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YMMV / Mario Tennis

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  • A.I. Breaker: Lobs in Power Tour, specifically in Doubles. Executed properly, you can enjoy the back AI futilely trying to reach the ball clear on the other side of the court. This technique, combined with how good net play is in Power Tour, can potentially make even Luigi and Donkey Kong look like jokes. Sadly, this does not work so well in Singles.
  • Author's Saving Throw:
    • A "Classic Tennis" mode, with the ability to turn off Chance and Jump Shots, was featured in Ultra Smash, which relieved fans who didn't like the game's connections to Open and missed the gameplay from the 64 and Gamecube installments.
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    • Aces brings back the Story/RPG Mode that's been missing since the Game Boy titles, relieving concerns of a lack of content after Ultra Smash didn't bring much new to the table.
    • Mario Tennis Aces surprisingly perfects some things that Paper Mario Color Splash struggled with a few years prior. For one, enemies are friendly NPCs from the very beginning of Story Mode alongside the Toads. It's also made very clear several of them, such as the Spike racquet builder, are locals to the Kingdom of Bask with no allegiance to Bowser, unlike how there was always something "weird" about enemy or even non-Toad NP Cs in Color Splashnote . Finally, Lucien is explicitly sentient and possesses Wario, Waluigi and Luigi for most of the game before settling on Bowser, rather than making a "mystery" out of Bowser being possessed across several flashbacks while acting wishywashy about his possessor's nature.
  • Awesome Music: The GBC version of Mario Tennis has some surprisingly elaborate music for a Game Boy Color game (even when you don't count the ports from 64). Especially great when you get to the Semifinals of the Island Open.
    • One could argue that the awesome music even starts in the Preliminaries.
  • Broken Base:
    • For Aces, no one can decide whether or not Rosalina, Bowser Jr, and Chain Chomp are overpowered (Rosalina's trick shots, Bowser Jr with his long reach and little hinderance when charging a shot, and Chain Chomp's long reach). Patches have rebalanced the characters, fixing most of the issues.
    • Also in Aces, are zone and special shots a test of wits, skill, and strategy, or is it just a slugfest of flashy moves that either guarantees a point or perfectly blocks every shot? Trick shots are also under the same boat due to how much energy a player can regain if they do a trick shot correctly.
    • There's also a heavy divide in Aces on whether or not people should be allowed to refuse a match with an online opponent. For those against the option, they feel it lets people hand pick who they want to play against and avoid certain characters they perceive to be as broken. Those who are in favor of the feature feel it's a much needed feature to avoid playing with people that have a bad connection.
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    • Aces also have fans divided on the direction of the game. Supporters feel it's one of the best Mario Tennis games that has deep strategy and complexity with the character balance and special/trick shot mechanics. For others, the game is incredibly lackluster in content and is completely unfriendly to newbie players online where, due to a declining player base and wonky matchmaking, only the best players are found playing.
  • Casual/Competitive Conflict: Aces heavily divided the fan base on the game's direction. The competitive players feel the game going in the direction of more hardcore competition is good while casual players believe that the game shuns casuals though lack of gimmicks and bad balancing with the characters.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: A Chain-Chomp being playable for the first time in Aces has been received very well, with many people actually claiming the metallic dog-like ball to be adorable. That said, there are several people who wish other characters like Pauline (prior to her reveal) and Cappy had made their playable debut in the roster before it did, but overall the Chain-Chomp is considered a pleasant surprise and a nice addition to the roster.
  • Game-Breaker:
    • Waluigi in 64. He's a "technique" player like Peach and Daisy, but with much better reach, making it almost impossible to get a shot past him if he's at the net. Your best hope is to try to lob a ball over his head and hope he doesn't get into position to smash it.
    • The Mii in Open also qualifies. With the right set-up, the Mii can become a Master of All, with better stats than even the Star characters.
      • The original custom characters back in the GBC/N64 games could up similarly overpowered... Albeit at the risk of getting TOO overpowered that they barely become playable from constant "outs".
    • Trick shots in Aces, a high risk high reward move that lets you reach the ball from almost anywhere on the court. If timed improperly, you'll lose some energy. If you time it right, you can regain quite a bit of energy for your zone and special shots. A decently skilled player can pull off trick shots nearly every time and build up energy very quickly.
  • It's the Same, Now It Sucks!: Many write Ultra Smash off as "Open with Mega Mushrooms". It doesn't help that the game reuses both character icons and voice clips from previous games, making people suspect it's been Christmas Rushed after The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Star Fox Zero were delayed to get in a holiday release. Aces seems to have been made entirely in response to these complaints, if the general reaction to the game is anything to go by.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • "Mario Tennis Aces is a fighting game." / "Mario Tennis Aces for EVO."Explanation 
    • Mario Tennis: Infinity War / "Luigi found the Infinity Racket"Explanation 
  • Moment of Awesome: The "Match of the Century" trailer. Mario takes on tennis star Rafael Nadal... and loses, due to getting an out at match point. The score at the beginning of the commercial shows that Mario and Nadal really went toe to toe and down to the wire, they're just that good.
    • Here's a little detail at the end of the trailer: When Mario signs his name on the screen along with Mr. Nadal, the squeaks from the marker play the iconic first few notes of the overworld theme from the first game. Nintendo really stepped up with their marketing.
  • Nightmare Fuel: Luigi being corrupted by Lucien in Aces. He clearly seems to be in some sort of pain as he's turned into a rocky, evil golem of sorts like Wario and Waluigi.
  • Relationship Writing Fumble: Elroy and Tori are supposed to just be doubles partners, but behave and interact like a couple. At a few points you almost expect them to smooch. The GBA version also has this with whoever your doubles partner is, but a milder version. Another notable mention is Dweezil and Mynx.
  • Scrappy Mechanic:
    • The primary way to earn coins in Open is to play the Special Games... and that's it, unless the player wants to replay the tutorial for 200 coins each when it takes 155,000 to purchase everything in the shop.
    • The power shots are this for players of the game who actually play tennis in real life. Mainly because if you can pull off a good one it's an instant win for whoever launches it (player or NPC).
    • The charge shot in the N64 and GBC versions. If your timing is off, you'll accidentally activate it (you have to hit the button slightly BEFORE the ball gets to you), and then you're stuck moving at the speed of molasses, which can very easily give your opponent(s) the point. There's a way to cancel it (by pressing L, or Select on GBC) but by the time you realize it's happening, it's probably too late to react that fast, ESPECIALLY in the later cups. (Not to mention that the L button is hard enough to access with the way you need to hold the N64 controller anyway.)
    • Ultra Smash's main gimmick, the Mega Mushroom, can become this in the Knockout Challenge mode, which is essentially a "Survival Mode" where you take on progressively smarter opponents until you lose. The Mega 'Shrooms cause the players they affect to grow giant, and after a while (or upon being hit by the ball), your character will shrink to their normal size. Shrinking at the wrong time can seriously mess up your ability to return the ball; oftentimes, you'll shrink right when you're in the middle of a tricky shot (like a Jump Shot or Ultra Smash) and end up missing the ball entirely because the game doesn't compensate for you shrinking while swinging your racket.note  While the AI can also encounter this problem, it doesn't happen often, and during the Challenge Mode, you'll occasionally end up facing a permanently Mega 'Shroomed Bowser, who'll never have this issue because of that fact.
  • So Okay, It's Average: General consensus is that Ultra Smash is an okay tennis video game that functions well, but it's also been criticized for being very bare bones compared to past entries. Most feel that the game was rushed out just so Nintendo would have one extra Wii U game for the 2015 holiday season, in light of the delays of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Star Fox Zero.
  • Stock Footage Failure: The intro in Aces tends to use recycled lines from previous games that don't fit with what's happening onscreen. Waluigi says "he walks funny" to Wario with nobody else present (he was originally talking about Bowser), and Mario yells Luigi's name in a manner that doesn't match his expression or mouth movements.
  • That One Boss:
    • All of the bosses in Mario Tennis Aces are pretty tough, but BOWCIEN is insane. You have to be a master at blocking in this game, since you will have to pull off a chain of five consecutive blocks in a row to defeat him, three times. His attacks are also very difficult to avoid, making it quite easy to run out of time.
  • That One Sidequest:
    • Getting a perfect score in the Piranha Challenge to unlock the exclusive court is one of the hardest challenges in the series. You have to get 50 tennis balls past your opponent without making a single mistake, which means that there is little to no room for error. It doesn't help that your opponent is relatively smart.
    • The Reaction Training Minigame in Mario Tennis: Power Tour. It is a Rock–Paper–Scissors game against a robot where you have to win x number of times before a timer hits zero. The second level alone is tough, but the third level requires godly reaction speed and massive amounts off guesswork and pure luck. Reaction is needed to get some of the more powerful and useful Power Shots. Most likely, you will be stuck doing Level 1 over and over again, tediously grinding until it hits level 10.
    • Galaxy Rally in Open. It's a constant volley where you have to return the ball to a Luma while avoiding the holes the ball leaves when it hits one of the four sections of the court. As the game progresses, there will be more holes, so you have to aim at the only parts of the court where there's still solid ground. Worst part? You need to clear the level 3 version of the minigame (volley 100 shots) to unlock Luma.
    • Unlocking the Sprixie Princess in Ultra Smash without using Coins is sort of this. You need to make sure you get a 100 or more ball rally in Mega Ball mode in one play. This can be quite hard to do especially if the computer does a fast chance shot that needs expert timing or if they miss hitting the ball which cause a Game Over and make you go back to the start of the mode. The fact the ball shrinks every 30 hits does not help matters either.
    • Playing against Kamek in Aces where you have to make 400 rallies without missing 3 times. The court takes place on a ship with a mast in the middle of the net and if the ball hits the mast, it will bounce off on an unpredictable path. While you don't have to beat Kamek to complete the story mode, you will have to beat him if you want to earn a new racket.
    • The Sure-Shot Challenge can be a massive pain, since you will need to get 30 balls past an incredibly smart CPU, but can only make three mistakes. It's like the aforementioned Piranha Challenge but even worse, since you'll also have to block several shots as well.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: The Tournament mode in 64, Power, and Open is available in Singles and Doubles. Don't bring a friend over for this though, as Doubles can only be played with a computer partner.
  • Tier-Induced Scrappy:
    • Defense characters at launch in Aces, specifically Waluigi and especially Bowser Jr., were both admonished by anyone that did not play as them. With incredible cross-court reach that allowed them to charge shots and build up meter without fear, their solid shots that rivaled even Technique-type characters to open up characters, and their massive Trick Shots that allow them to return from anywhere on the court while also receiving less stun and knockback from Zone and Special Shots, the two characters are considered to be the best characters "leagues" above the rest of the cast. It only escalated as Complacent Gaming Syndrome kicked in, leading to a horde of players using these characters. The characters have caused so much backlash that many are actively avoiding any players that use these two like the plague.
    • Rosalina became one in the Online Demo for Aces as a good player could completely shut out an unwary opponent with ease, as well as having great mobility while charging a shot (an advantage to the Tricky-type characters). It got to the point that Rosalina players couldn't find anyone willing to play against them. As the game continued on launch, however, Rosalina was soon recognized as a strong character, but not as annoying to fight as other characters.
    • Chain Chomp gained notoriety for being one of the best characters in the Online Demo for Aces thanks to being a power character with fast shots, surprisingly good speed, and incredible reach due to its sheer size, making it extremely difficult to get the ball past it. This notoriety died down after the game's launch, as players identified his susceptibility to being pushed back as a weakness, but his strong strengths are still a pain to some today.
  • Unexpected Character:
    • Donkey Kong Jr. in the original N64 game, marking the only time he and the current Donkey Kong have appeared together as separate characters.
    • The Baby Luma in Open also counts, as he had never appeared without Rosalina beforehand. Rosalina actually appearing in the following game doesn't help.
    • The Sprixie Princess in Ultra Smash, who had never been playable previously and mostly served as a replacement Damsel in Distress for Peach in her debut game.
    • The Chain-Chomp in Aces, since not only is it a generic Mook that also never had a previous playable role, but it doesn't even have any limbs, forcing it to hold its racquet in its mouth.
    • Blooper was an unexpected playable character in Mario Party 8 and Mario Super Sluggers, and the aquatic enemy makes another playable appearance in Aces.
    • Aces threw yet another curveball with one of its final characters: Fire Piranha Plant. It's similar to how Piranha Plant was infamously included in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, but the announcement of Fire Piranha Plant in particular had fans scratching their heads like never before.
  • Win Back the Crowd: Ultra Smash left a bad taste in many fans' mouths for seemingly being rushed for the holidays, too similar to previous entries, and overall feeling rather barren and lacking in content. Aces was made almost entirely in response to these complaints, with many features that Ultra Smash lacked and notably having the first Story Mode in the series since Power Tour. Most fans seem to agree it's an improvement.


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