Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash
Top Critic Average
The Mario Tennis you know and love, only substantially less of it than usual. Still fun, but such slim pickings leave a sour taste.
Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash is a bare-bones, lackluster addition to Mario's sporting adventures.
The core gameplay of Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash is enjoyable, but disappointing side modes, online restrictions and gimmicky power-ups make this return go a little wide of the mark.
Treat it as an HD remaster of the N64 game and this is actually one of the best Mario Tennis games since then, but the lack of features and extra content is a real turn-off.
There is a great straightforward tennis game here, but little else to hook you in and keep you coming back
After more than a decade of handheld titles and digital re-releases, Mario Tennis finally returns to consoles with Mega Mushrooms, online multiplayer, and a disappointing lack of content.
In the end, Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash is a solid tennis game that feels thin when it comes to content. But the gameplay is fun and the visuals are great eye candy. Playing with friends in a living room is a fun way to kill a few hours.
Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash feels like it was rushed into the holiday season to mask the absence of Star Fox. You're better off just playing any other previous game in the series, which is particularly easy to do since the first game is on the Wii U Virtual Console for just 10 bucks.
Mega Battle is great fun, especially in local multiplayer, and has seen me both laughing and cursing aloud, but with no mini-games or notable campaign to speak of, and without the overblown power-ups I'm used to in Mario games, it's a game that I'll have all but forgotten by the time Wimbledon rolls around next year.
Mario Tennis' transition to the Wii U feels like one step forward and two steps back. The addition of Mega Mushrooms is clever enough, but the game doesn't commit to the idea of power-ups enough to sustain it. Meanwhile the no-frills package feels so anemic that I was burned out on the experience after only a few hours. If you want a great Mario Tennis game, stick with the better, cheaper, and more complete 3DS version.