Mario Tennis Open

Date Completed: November 29th, 2012

Mairo Tennis Open Box Art

I listed the game on eBay before I started writing this blog post.  That should give you a pretty good idea what I thought of the game.

This is not the game I thought it would be.  It doesn’t play like a Mario sports game at all.  Imagine one of those soulless Korean game clones, throw in some Mario characters and you’ll have Mario Tennis Open.  My expectation was for a Tennis game featuring shells, bananas and bombs, ridiculous power shots and instead I was treated to sterile Tennis experience.

The game is played with either gyro controls + the touch screen or with the buttons.  If the gyro controls are enabled 3D is disabled and you are switched to a 3rd person over-the-shoulder view.  In the 3rd person view your field of vision is severely limited and I found it also impossible to score points at all.  I stuck with the standard button controls for the duration of my experience with this game.

There are six different button combinations you can press that perform six different shots.  If you get into position fast enough you can send back a charged shot that knocks your opponent back a bit.  Each charged shot has a counter shot and if you use the proper counter you won’t be knocked back as far.  In practice I found the lob shot to be completely useless and only the Flat Shot and Drop Shot would score with any regularity.

Mario Tennis Open Screenshot

The 6 shot panel is on the bottom screen.

Playing through each tournament took me between 5-10 minutes.  I won almost all of the tournaments without losing a single match.  The difficulty didn’t scale linearly.  When I hit the later tournaments I couldn’t win a match at all until I realized you can equip clothing that enhances your speed, power and technique.  After the equipping new gear I was winning again without any trouble.  It looks like there is a harder difficulty that unlocks after you defeat all the main tournaments but I didn’t enjoy the game enough to even bother trying it out.

There are a couple of extra modes to the game including a doubles tournament and some special modes like ring shots and even a mode where you play tennis through classic Super Mario Bros levels.  I found the doubles tournament to be too frustrating as my partner was completely useless.  The special modes could be fun and they provide you with coins to buy clothing upgrades at the clubhouse.  The clothing upgrade mechanic was clumsy so after my first round of clothing upgrades I never went in again.

The game play frustrations far outweighed the positives of this game for me.  I was bored while playing and was ready to sell it well before I finished.


  • Can’t think of any.


  • Boring.
Is it fun: No
Score: 4/10
Length: ~5 hours
System: Nintendo 3DS
Genre: Sports

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