Mario Tennis Aces has the feverish energy of typical Nintendo games. It’s less about tennis than the shine. Every racket-meets-ball moment explodes with a blistering highlight. That builds meters and bars, also throbbing with light. Executing the super strike the latter builds toward is a blinding fantasy – more sparks, in other words, along with playful animation.
As tennis goes, it’s capable. A dressed up version of Nintendo’s 16-bit Super Tennis, now with super moves and the natural comic colors of the Mushroom Kingdom. The characters too, from Bowser to Piranha plants, dress Mario Tennis Aces in capable clothing.
It’s rarely doing much else other than looking the part. While fluid, the density of say, Virtua Tennis isn’t here. There’s more depth in Sega’s series too. So much of Mario Tennis Aces depends on character art and fantastic colors. The actual volley game is a frenzied if forgiving, pedestrian take on this sport, where it’s more about building up super powers than skillfully maneuvering return shots. Outside of the Game Boy Color and Game Boy Advance entries, the series continues with no real identity.