Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash Supports Amiibo (Wii U)

Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash is the 6th game in the Mario Tennis series and the first for Wii U. Developed by Camelot, who made the past games in the series, it is the first true “next-gen” entry in the Mario Tennis franchise (not counting 2012’s 3DS game). The game is OUT NOW and of course supports amiibo figures! More on that below.

Check out these in-depth details on Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash.

Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash has two big new features:

1. The first is the ability to perform a Jump Shot from anywhere on the court, when the ball is directly above you, but before it hits the ground. This gives the game a new layer of strategy not seen in previous titles.

The titular “Ultra Smash” move can be performed if you manage to knock your opponent off balance. The “Smash Point” Jump Shot icon will appear on the court, and if you reach it in time, you will be able to perform an extremely powerful Ultra Smash attack; where the camera zooms-in Matrix-style and effects are added.

Mario Tennis Ultra Smash Toad Mega Mushroom Battle Mode Gameplay Screenshot Wii U
Toad tossing a Mega Mushroom in Mega Battle mode.

2. The second biggest new feature is, quite literally, a BIG new feature. That is the addition of “Mega Battle Mode”.

The second biggest new feature is, quite literally, a BIG new feature. That is the addition of “Mega Battle Mode” wherein Toad strides the court & tosses Mega Mushrooms that grow you into a giant!

In Mega Battles, Toad stands aside the court and tosses Mega Mushrooms onto the field. Collecting one of these will grow your player character into a giant; giving you increased range and a blast of powerful strength to your shots. Being Mega-sized is temporary, but new Mega Mushrooms will constantly be thrown onto the court.

More: Another big addition is “Simple Mode”. True to it’s name, this allows you to turn off all the special, wacky features, to play a pure game of tennis similar to that of the original N64 Mario Tennis from 2000.

While local four-player multiplayer play is supported, Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash – like Mario Tennis: Open for 3DS before it – will include online multiplayer support as well. You can play Standard, Simple or Mega Battle modes online, in both “Ranked” or “Casual”.

Mario Tennis Ultra Smash RPG Amiibo Stats Level Up Luigi Gameplay Screenshot Wii U
RPG-style stat-leveling is possible with Amiibo in Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash.

Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash is also the latest Nintendo game to add Amiibo compatibility. Tap a compatible Mario-series Amiibo, and that character will be added to your game. You don’t control your Amiibo directly, rather it becomes your partner. Win matches to face increasingly tougher opponents. As you win matches, your character will level up and you can customize their individual stats, which can be saved to the Amiibo figure itself. You can increase statistics in categories like Stroke, Acceleration, Serve, Speed, Curve, Agility, Control and Skill. Adding a flair of RPG gameplay to the proceedings.

As you win matches, your character will level up and you can customize their individual stats, which can be saved to the Amiibo figure itself. Adding a flair of RPG gameplay to the proceedings.

Your Amiibo can then be taken online and used in the Online Double matches to battle against other players and their powered-up Amiibo’s.

Sadly, Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash does NOT feature the ability to play online with your friends, as there is no online matchmaking feature. Instead, you are forced to play against random people only.

The absence of this basic feature, and a lack of new online modes and other innovations, caused the game to receive bad reviews universally. However the game still looks like it offers a great deal of fun if you are just looking to get your Mario Tennis on.

Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash is OUT NOW, it was released on November 20th, 2015 in America & Europe, November 21st in Australia and will be released early next year, on January 28th 2016, in Japan.

Wii U Mario Tennis Ultra Smash USA Box Artwork
Box artwork for Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash for Wii U (USA).

SYNOPSIS

Compete with friends in the multiplayer Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash game on the Wii U system. Along with the fun and dynamic gameplay known to the franchise, surprise your opponents with a new move to the series, the Jumpshot, which sends the ball flying down the court. Change the sport up with new Mega Battles, using the Mega Mushroom to gain an advantage over the competition. Claim your spot in Mario Tennis lore in singles (1v1) or doubles (2v2) as you play with and against family, friends or the CPU using returning and new characters to the series.

Key Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash Features:

* Tap amiibo figures to unleash even more smashing fun!
* Play alongside amiibo to earn them perks by winning matches in Knockout Challenge
* In Online Doubles matches, you and your amiibo face off against an opponent and their amiibo
* Train your amiibo with 8 different stats earned through Knockout Challenge wins.
* Compete with friends in the multiplayer Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash game on the Wii U system.
* Play against friends and family in multiplayer matches.
* Play against friends and family in both singles (1v1) and doubles (2v2) matches as your favorite Mushroom Kingdom characters.
* Control your character’s every movement on the court, using precise timing and the correct shot to outwit your opponent.
* Use the new Jumpshot technique to return shots like never before.
* In Mega Battles, get the Mega Mushroom to gain a “big” advantage over your competition.
* New characters make their Mario Tennis debut.

Mario Tennis Ultra Smash Amiibo Online Multiplayer Doubles Gameplay Screenshot
Online multiplayer with Amiibo.

Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash is the 6th core-game in the series, and follows the previous games in the Mario Tennis franchise:

0. “Tennis” (1985, NES) & “Mario’s Tennis” (1995, Virtual Boy) — Neither were developed by Camelot, so not true entries; but they, especially the Virtual Boy one, laid the foundation.

1. “Mario Tennis (2000, N64) – The original Camelot game on Nintendo 64 that started it all & followed-up 1999’s N64 “Mario Golf” to start the Mario Sports Franchise.

2. “Mario Tennis GBC” (2000, Game Boy Color) — Featured RPG-gameplay in addition to Action Sports gameplay.

3. “Mario Power Tennis” (2004, GameCube) — Added all manner of wacky courts & super moves to the proceedings. Re-released for Wii in 2009 as “New Play Control: Mario Power Tennis“; adding motion controls where you actually had to swing the Wii Remote, similar to “Wii Sports”, to the game.

4. “Mario Tennis: Power Tour” (2005, Game Boy Advance) — Re-released for GBA Wii U Virtual Console in 2014. This version, like the GBC entry, also features an RPG Mode.

5. “Mario Tennis: Open (3DS, 2012) — Although it’s a handheld version of Mario Tennis, it lacks an RPG mode like the past portable games. FOR SHAME!

It’s ironic that Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash seems to be a rushed… Or gimped, experience on the Wii U; even though it still looks like it offers a great deal of Mario Sports fun.

Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash replaces Mario Tennis Open’s incredibly innovative & insanely cool Super Mario Bros. Mode, where NES SMB plays in front of you in 8bits (controlled by your tennisball skillz) with… “Mega Battle Mode”. *smacks forehead*

This is surprising because the game is made by Camelot, the same developers that have made all previous Mario Tennis & Mario Golf games, and also the folks behind Sony’s “Hot Shots Golf” series, Capcom’s “We Love Golf” for Wii, and, more surprisingly, the “Shining in the Darkness/Shining Force/Shining” RPG series for Sega and the PS1 JRPG classic: Beyond the Beyond for PS1.

It looks to me like Camelot was simply tasked by Nintendo to quickly turn out a new game that supported Amiibo, and Mario Tennis is the game they settled on. Giving us the basics, and the new Mega Battle mode, but that’s about it.

Compare what you’ve seen of Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash on Wii U, with Mario Tennis Open‘s incredibly innovative and insanely cool “Super Mario Bros.” mode, where NES Super Mario Bros. plays on the screen in front of you in 8bits and you have to bounce the ball into the screen to literally play Super Mario Bros. with your tennis skills! With this comparison, you can see why Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash comes up so short…. As this type of awesomeness was replaced with… “Mega Battle Mode”…..

Even so, I think Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash will be well recieved by those normal gamers who don’t play every Mario Tennis game. And thus will not be comparing them.

Taken for what it is, Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash looks as fun as the previous games in the series; and looks like a good time to fill up an evening of gaming on your Wii U.

Do you plan on buying Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash?