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Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash – Video Review (Wii U)

August 21, 2019


Oh yeah, a new Mario Tennis game baby. So
let’s plug Ultra Smash in and see what epic opening the game has
in store. Oh. Well, at least it’s pretty,
I guess. And that about sums up Mario Tennis: Ultra
Smash. It’s pretty–but there’s not much to it. Okay, I’m getting ahead of myself. Here’s
the good news: the core gameplay is still pretty solid. The controls are fast, responsive,
and wonderfully simplistic, allowing you to pull off all kinds of shots with almost no
learning curve. So when it comes to the very core of the gameplay, Mario Tennis still has
it. But here’s the bad news: it mucks up that
core gameplay up with some questionable new & returning features. One of these new features
is the Ultra Smash, which allows you to launch the ball at blistering speed whenever a star-shaped
spotlight appears on the ground–it’s basically a new type of Chance Shot from Mario Tennis
Open. And it actually wouldn’t be that bad of an addition–except that the rest of the
Chance Shots are back too. And my main problem about the Chance Shots–and now the Ultra
Smash–is that it makes the gameplay more about them than actual Tennis. I mean, they’re
overpowered, reveal exactly where the ball’s going to land, and appear all the freakin’
time. I felt like I was mindlessly running point-to-point more often than using actual
strategy. And all of this chance-based gameplay is compounded
by the game’s primary new mode: Mega Battle, where Mega Mushrooms are randomly thrown onto
the court that make your player bigger, stronger, and extends their reach. And while it is kind
of fun as a novelty for first few matches–it quickly wore out its welcome because it’s
just another gimmick layered on top an already gimmick-ridden experience thanks to the Chance
Shots & Ultra Smashes. But mercifully, the game has a Classic Tennis
option that turns all of those gimmick off–so yeah, no Mega Mushrooms and no Chance Shots.
Even the game concedes this is the mode you want to play if you like strategy being a
factor. So needless to say, this was my preferred way of playing, if only because it reminded
me of how the classic Mario Tennis games used to play. Unfortunately, Ultra Smash is still missing
almost everything else that made those original games so special. Instead of a variety of
well-themed arenas, you get just the one stadium here. Although you can at least swap out the
court itself for different materials that affect how the ball reacts. Then there’s the serious lack of new modes.
Beyond Mega Battle and Simple Tennis, all that’s left is the snorefest, Mega Ball
Rally, in which you hit a slightly larger ball back and forth in as long of a rally
as you can, and knockout battle–which is the closest thing this game has to a single-player
mode, where you battle progressively more challenging opponents in a round of Tennis. Of course, Mario Tennis has always been at
its best when played with friends–and that’s still the case here too. And thankfully, the
game even allows you to even take the action online too–unless you want to play with your
friends. Yep, in a baffling decision, there is no friend option at all, meaning you can
only go up against random players. But, I will say the online multiplayer ran well in
my experience, with only occasional connection issues when playing in doubles matches. Although
speaking of which, if you want to play Doubles, you’re going to find a partner first–either
a friend on the same system, or an amiibo figure that you’ve trained in the Knockout
mode. Unfortunately, there is no option to use a standard CPU as a teammate, which means
you’ll be at a huge disadvantage if you haven’t properly trained your amiibo. On the upside, what little that is here actually
looks pretty great. The game runs at a buttery-smooth 60fps, and the characters are superbly animated.
I especially love their reactions during the instant-replays. This is the kind of character
and attention to detail that I wanted to see from the rest of the game. So here’s the deal: Mario Tennis is a great
looking game…without much to offer. Sure, what’s there, though flawed, can still be
fun. But it’s the same fun that I’ve had many times before in past Mario Tennis games–only
there was a lot more to play around with back then. As such, the overall experience of Mario
Tennis: Ultra Smash just left me feeling meh. While it may take the series visuals to new
heights–it wasn’t worth trading in its soul. Thanks for watching and make sure to stay-tuned
to GameXplain for more reviews and other things gaming too.

100 Comments

  • Reply ViciousTheHedgehog95 November 20, 2015 at 11:37 pm

    No intro, less characters, less content, no playing with friends online, AND IT'S $60!?!? Nintendo, WHAT THE FRICK ARE YOU DOING!?!? YOU'RE MAKING ME ANGRY, GRRRRR!!! >~<#

  • Reply TheMack625 November 21, 2015 at 1:52 am

    Well, I got the game. And…I like it. Like Mario Party 10, Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash is better than most people make it sound.

    For one, the game has a solid base. The controls are responsive, and the pace is consistently fast. The Mega Battle mode is very fun, and it gives the Mega Mushroom some prominence in a spin-off (complete with a great remixed theme!).

    As for the characters, it is a bit small in size, but the quality is there; we got the Big Eight, most of the secondary characters, and even a brand-new player, Sprixie Princess.

    There is a notable lack of single-player modes, but the Knockout Challenge and Mega Ball Rally are cute diversions from the main modes.

    Also, the game looks beautiful, with its 1080p graphics, colorful backgrounds, and impressive character animations.

    Basically, what I am trying to say is that Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash is a good game. Sure, it does not boast the variety of modes from its predecessors, but in the end, it is a decently passable game. Considering it was under development during Iwata's passing and released after Star Fox Zero's delay, it is good; it could be worse than it is.

    I respect that not everyone agrees with me, but I wanted to give this game a little bit of love while most others are salty. And I try not to expect an over the top, crazy multiplayer experience in every Mario spin-off. Sometimes it's good to have a more simplistic game.

    I apologize for my rant here, GameXplain. I just wanted to say how I felt. 🙂

  • Reply TheEshams November 21, 2015 at 3:28 am

    Wii remote or Wii u gamepad?

  • Reply Salmence November 21, 2015 at 4:34 am

    The chance spots only appear if you have a bad rebound and you the wrong shot response, so the chance spots appearing a lot is completely the fault of the player (assuming you're playing with only humans)

  • Reply CaptinNabil7 November 21, 2015 at 5:19 am

    Seeing this makes me regret giving away MARIO POWER TENNIS.

  • Reply Happy The Blue Cat November 21, 2015 at 6:16 am

    I don't know but im pretty sure nintendo rushed this game, i mean like the courts are plain and simple, the character roster looks like its unfinished, the only item you can use is the mega mushroom and you can't play with friends online, this game is like its in development…..

    i ran out on what to say but i guess i might get this game to see if its worth it or not..
    (sorry for my bad english DX)

  • Reply Flint Given November 21, 2015 at 6:37 am

    Nintendo fails again

  • Reply Rhey Marc Albalos November 21, 2015 at 1:25 pm

    Just when I thought Nintendo is getting better. sigh

  • Reply MrDarksword123 November 21, 2015 at 2:54 pm

    I don't know if I'm going to get this, reviews for it have not been good and it doesn't have many options like the previous Mario tennis games did.  Why cant it have as many options as Mario power tennis for the gamecube? That's a solid game with many many options.  It has many different courts, several tournaments, minigames just so much more to offer.  Here it looks like it just has mega battle, that big ass ball rally, and online.  Power tennis had probably twice as many options than this game

  • Reply Noah & Toad November 21, 2015 at 2:56 pm

    There is one other good thing about this game…

    We get to see Waluigi's Hair for once!

    It's actually pretty sexy!

  • Reply Noah & Toad November 21, 2015 at 3:10 pm

    The Biggest Flaw I found with this game is the lacking of stages, just think of all the locations they can go to? Like maybe a Isle delfino stage which has a sand texture with the mega mushrooms getting replaced with Flood Nozzles that you can use against your opponents. Or a Snow stage with ice physics, but the Mega Mushroom gets replaced with the Penguin Suit, which can let go go faster if you belly slide, and has better traction? What about a stage based off the Minigame Concentration in SM64DS, where wherever the ball lands breaks a block that it lands on, limiting to space you have to play with? What about a Mario Kart based stage? A Luigi's Mansion stage? Daisy Cruiser? Just imagine an Airship stage! There are so many Things you could have done Nintendo, but we just get the same stadium over and over! …there's not even any stage hazards!

  • Reply Untouchable November 21, 2015 at 4:10 pm

    I am going to pick this up, I never been a fan of the gimmicks so I will play it anyway and I am sure Nintendo will offer dlc in the future kinda like splatoon.

  • Reply ArcadiaArclight November 21, 2015 at 4:27 pm

    Nice review! I think that pretty much confirmed to me that this isn't a game I need, which is a shame since I loved the N64 Mario Tennis and always wait for a return to form for the series. The fact that pretty much all the character art on the select screen is just reused from past games – and the girls aren't even in the sports outfits they wear in-game lol – sums up how much they were just phoning it in with this one.

  • Reply Moe M November 21, 2015 at 5:15 pm

    I hate the fact that Nintendo is lazy to put effort into their side games, which I truly loved during the N64 and GameCube era. All I see now is graphical adjustment with a different title name. Now don't get me wrong they are doing well with the main games and I'm enjoying them, it's just I want those good side games back on track! JEEZ NINTENDO GET YOUR SHIT TOGETHER

  • Reply Dripward Xanacles November 21, 2015 at 6:06 pm

    Sega Superstars Tennis > Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash

  • Reply Matt11111 November 21, 2015 at 11:40 pm

    And that'sh it. Okay.

  • Reply Hgg Fhh November 21, 2015 at 11:57 pm

    lackluster nintendo, Camelot just make power tennis hd

  • Reply SuperGreninja 3482 November 21, 2015 at 11:59 pm

    I'm not going to get it until it's 20 Bucks

  • Reply Matt P November 22, 2015 at 12:22 am

    You really need to say "thats it" better. I keep hearing "thats shit." 😂

  • Reply Gera WallStar November 22, 2015 at 12:30 am

    how long did the developers put into this game? I mean, seriously, they could've at least put in some more effort in online mode, and add in some more arenas, right?

  • Reply Lardeon Ranon November 22, 2015 at 3:21 am

    It's more plain than I thought it would be. I'll probably be still getting it but not too soon.

  • Reply Blue November 22, 2015 at 8:57 am

    No Matter a What Anyone Says The Mario Baseball/Sluggers Series is easily the best funniest and the one that should have another sequal

  • Reply DeathEgg94 November 22, 2015 at 11:12 am

    So it sucks?

  • Reply Golf4Life Woods November 22, 2015 at 4:53 pm

    why did this game get such a low rating?

  • Reply The0ptimus November 22, 2015 at 5:46 pm

    Damn, I was looking forward to this game

  • Reply KrazoanSpectre November 23, 2015 at 1:19 am

    This game looks incredibly rushed.

  • Reply graphics or gameplay? November 23, 2015 at 4:54 am

    I think we can all agree that splatoon still holds the best game on wii u

  • Reply Disable November 23, 2015 at 11:50 am

    Yeah, that's pretty much what I was expecting…

  • Reply Jamie Gibson November 23, 2015 at 6:33 pm

    The game's not THAT bad

  • Reply James Ellenberger November 23, 2015 at 6:39 pm

    I'm surprised that you manages to stretch all the content in this game to 4 minutes. You could go in detail on the entirety of the game content in two minutes, max.

  • Reply NeNe73224 November 24, 2015 at 1:01 am

    This game is so…….unfortunate

  • Reply KingBoo64 November 24, 2015 at 7:29 pm

    I agree, at least they have more characters, but the other one was TERRIBLE!

  • Reply KingBoo64 November 24, 2015 at 8:07 pm

    I guess it's meh, most of the tennis games I play here, they don't entertain me.

  • Reply Paul Taylor November 25, 2015 at 12:14 am

    This review reminds me of my ex. Pretty, but shallow.

  • Reply Aiden. I make videos November 25, 2015 at 5:58 pm

    No friends that play Nintendo =SAD LIFE

  • Reply Wungo, Hateful Shitlord November 26, 2015 at 2:55 pm

    Mario Tennis: Bare Bones. Seriously. Of course the gameplay is fine, it hasn't changed in years 'cause it's Mario Tennis. But that's all this game has.

  • Reply Ryan Neely November 28, 2015 at 4:13 am

    It's pretty astounding that this is selling for the same price as Smash Bros.. Smash Bros. is ten times the game this is.

  • Reply Nyx November 28, 2015 at 9:22 am

    Rosalina is slowly taking daisy's spot. she even took her spot on the disc!

  • Reply Will Forrest-King November 28, 2015 at 11:34 am

    Can you play with wii remote like wii sports

  • Reply Jorge Noriega November 29, 2015 at 2:51 am

    First Mario-themed game that dissapoints me…

  • Reply PopaSquach November 29, 2015 at 4:12 am

    what is the deal with the ranking system, me and my cousin have a rating of 2436 in doubles and just beat a team and it gave us +0 to our rating.. what is the point of the rating if you get +0????

  • Reply Nathyn Acosta December 1, 2015 at 9:28 pm

    +funnymatio

  • Reply Jeff Ruffner December 2, 2015 at 12:17 am

    What about online rankings, voice chat " I doubt it" and mii support and some other standard stuff????? You don't say it does or doesn't have any of that….

  • Reply TheMack625 December 3, 2015 at 6:52 am

    I like Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash, but even I will admit this game REALLY needs DLC. What is offered in the vanilla game is too low for a Wii U title. Here's to hoping we get DLC before 2016.

  • Reply Bluemaskgirl December 7, 2015 at 5:28 am

    See Nintendo, this is what happens when you force an RPG developer (Camelot Soft) to make nothing but sports games for five years.

  • Reply oscarzx n December 15, 2015 at 3:05 pm

    This game is pahtetic, every single camelot mario tennis game before this one has more content and grace ….and the worst part, for 50 dollars.

  • Reply Austin Kasmeier December 30, 2015 at 12:51 am

    the game sucks. why there aren't any tournament modes? or different courts or why they didn't bring back the power shots from Mario power tennis?

  • Reply panther5896 December 30, 2015 at 10:51 pm

    This game is insulting to Nintendo fans. What's there to say? This is ridiculous.

  • Reply James Derrick January 1, 2016 at 11:45 pm

    For clarification: Is "Meh" the worst on your rating system? Thx!

  • Reply switchtalent123 January 13, 2016 at 5:42 pm

    Not getting this unless there is a big fat free dlc pack

  • Reply Triple-D26 January 25, 2016 at 9:47 am

    It's kinda the same as Mk8. Looks amazing and plays great but lack content that was in previous Mario kart games.

  • Reply Riddley Diddley February 14, 2016 at 9:09 pm

    For me personally, I saw reviews and I was like…. Meh I'll definitely not get this. And then my grandparents sent this to me as a gift and so I played it. For what it's worth.. It's really fun. Like really fun. It's amazing how much more technical you have to be in this one compared to the other installments considering there are no special moves. You have to rely on optimal punishments and moves. There's even strategy that comes into play when using the mega mushroom, such as when to use it, or if I can play against the opponent without using it first to make them waste theirs and such. As an avid Mario sports game player, I believe that this game isn't getting the recognition that it deserves. Sure, it's definitely FAR from perfect and has a lot of design flaws, but aside from the few quirks, it's pretty great. One of the only things I would complain about is the online mode. That is pretty trash. Other than that, it's a great game to spend some time on. 3.5/5 stars. 🙂

  • Reply ShyLesbian February 16, 2016 at 5:04 am

    There's only one reason for not buying this game, only one arena!!! Sh*t Only One Arena! Just a stadium, sorry that's not a Mario Tennis game for me, it's like playing 32 courses in Mario Kart in only one stadium, it's stupid

  • Reply Simon Cox February 20, 2016 at 3:57 pm

    mario tennis died after the great GBA mario tennis RPG

  • Reply Wee Woo Wee Woo February 25, 2016 at 10:40 pm

    No power shots?

  • Reply Moonlight Artz March 11, 2016 at 11:50 pm

    toadette and dry bowser

  • Reply Maggou March 16, 2016 at 11:44 pm

    Finally got to play this "game" and I even have to disagree with your first sentence. "The Gameplay is solid". No it isn't! You can't do anything wrong! We played this and Mario Tennis 64 afterwards and in the 64 version we were terrible because that game act think ally punishes your mistakes. Ultra smash never does that. No fouls, no outs, nothing. You reach shots that you never never never should get.
    This game needs no skill at all and I could barely play it 30 minutes and be pissed off already. No game mode is fun, characters all feel the same and the jump shot is just overpowerd as hell.
    The gameplay is completely off.

  • Reply Victorwitha V April 9, 2016 at 5:12 am

    I skipped this game cause it's boring. It's sad cause mario tennis 64 and power tennis were fun to play. They Had fun courts, characters, and gimmicks. I hope DLC comes out. Like a Power Tennis Pack. And An 64 Classic Pack. Heck even a 3ds/Gba Pack. This Game Needs Variety.

  • Reply MotorHome Family May 1, 2016 at 5:39 pm

    so it six/?

  • Reply KelzMassacreMusical May 4, 2016 at 7:25 pm

    I'd buy this if i could play against my friends online. how could they mess that up?

  • Reply D. RII June 15, 2016 at 6:15 am

    Mario Tennis for N64 was an absolutely excellent game! every sequel since has sucked!

  • Reply Luke July 16, 2016 at 1:53 pm

    Why is this game even excisting? Even the 3ds version has more modes….

  • Reply Habiluca Smash July 31, 2016 at 7:09 am

    I only got interested in this game because it had Rosalina. Too bad Mario Tennis Open didn't have her…

  • Reply Eric Plourde August 25, 2016 at 10:33 pm

    It's 30% off and still too expensive for me lol, looks good, but it doesn't look like worthing it

  • Reply opsimathics September 14, 2016 at 4:27 am

    does anyone know if they screwed up mario golf on the 3ds too?

  • Reply Metaboss October 1, 2016 at 6:08 am

    I didn't buy this game for one reason only: no motion controls.

  • Reply TheMack625 October 13, 2016 at 11:09 pm

    Eh. I like to play this game casually. It is simple, relaxing fun. 🙂

  • Reply starflame34 November 8, 2016 at 3:38 am

    I'll never understand Nintendo's obsession with adding such random characters to their Mario spin-off sports and Kart games. Gold Mario!? The Sprixie!? Metal Mario!? THE FUCKEN HONEY QUEEN BEE IN MARIO KART 7!? Even Shadow Mario would make more sense than these characters, and he's only ever appeared in Mario Golf Toadstool Tour!

  • Reply Jonathan Cena February 14, 2017 at 9:51 pm

    This is an amazing work of art, meticulously crafted by true geniuses. It is 100% perfect with absolutely no flaws whatsoever, and should be worth more than the Wii U itself. So much time and effort must've been put in to this outstanding project.

  • Reply Sorrowfool June 27, 2017 at 8:48 pm

    0:09 Andre:Dissapointment.

  • Reply Seven August 8, 2017 at 1:27 pm

    i'm just gonna get mario sports superstars for my 2ds :/

  • Reply Рок Посевы August 31, 2017 at 10:31 am

    Fantasy Tennis much better and + PC online game was 🙁 RIP.

  • Reply 2071Johnny October 3, 2017 at 2:39 am

    I'd forgive this game if it were a lite $20 eShop title, but I feel sorry for whoever paid full price for this.

  • Reply NovaBeast92 January 11, 2018 at 3:14 pm

    So basically, this game was a crap cupcake with nice looking icing

  • Reply Erdrick, the hero himself January 11, 2018 at 3:42 pm

    I'm from the future

    The new mario tennis for switch actually looks good!

  • Reply Sanchan January 12, 2018 at 8:45 am

    Hi everyone. Coming back from year 2022. And yes, mario tennis, strikers, olympics, and basketball is the greatest thing ever.

  • Reply Andrew Mckibben January 14, 2018 at 5:43 am

    This is funny to watch after the announcement of aces

  • Reply Streetpass Princeton January 25, 2018 at 10:58 pm

    I agree the game is disappointing.

  • Reply mraaronhd March 1, 2018 at 1:35 am

    Let's not buy from Camelot. ''Tis a silly developer.

  • Reply Lunar_A March 16, 2018 at 6:48 pm

    0:55 R.I.P Camera Man :3

  • Reply LeoFLG March 24, 2018 at 7:04 am

    Mario tennis aces is the best

  • Reply Apollo Generation April 2, 2018 at 12:35 am

    What a shitty game

  • Reply Comrade Seanski April 7, 2018 at 8:25 pm

    rewatching vids of the dark age for idk why

  • Reply Yrok24 April 19, 2018 at 3:47 am

    Oh boy this should be good

  • Reply Shy Guy Kid April 23, 2018 at 10:51 pm

    I wondering why I wasted my money on this

  • Reply Ragingsilver May 20, 2018 at 2:27 pm

    I hated the floaty auto move to the ball feel to it, it was jarring me

  • Reply Dylan Michael May 31, 2018 at 11:03 pm

    Whats that background music at 0:26

  • Reply ARS June 1, 2018 at 12:02 pm

    Actually you can now play with your friends online. You just have to go to online like normal, because no one else plays the game

  • Reply _KyngAlex Ult June 3, 2018 at 6:11 am

    Why would this pop up on my timeline just now? Mario tennis aces took over.

  • Reply eatcarpet June 4, 2018 at 1:04 am

    It looks like identical to Mario Tennis Aces.

  • Reply Rudy Yeye June 25, 2018 at 7:40 pm

    Hurray for Aces!

  • Reply ChuckCheese • June 28, 2018 at 12:13 pm

    Xd

  • Reply Sir Kibble July 2, 2018 at 11:33 pm

    No.

  • Reply Jordy vader Jvs July 5, 2018 at 8:57 pm

    😭

  • Reply Dalphin Zg July 7, 2018 at 7:05 pm

    Wii u failed mostky

  • Reply Dragonsamurai July 16, 2018 at 6:21 am

    Swap out this game with Aces and you pretty much got the same review.

  • Reply Emanuel Theodorus October 3, 2018 at 1:24 am

    The thing is, this game is not even bad. It's just…. empty. There's almost no content at all. It's like judging an empty house. There is so many things you can do about it but what would I say about it? Judging a bad house is much more easier than judging an empty house. I really wished this game wasn't rushed, because it would ended up undone like this.

  • Reply Hoggington the Fourteenth November 9, 2018 at 7:28 pm

    Mega mushrooms and making the ball bigger don't make the game any better. They're just tactless gimmicks.

  • Reply tofujins January 7, 2019 at 10:36 am

    i found this game in a $5 clearance section in walmart a few months ago lol

  • Reply Spencer Calderon June 29, 2019 at 9:34 am

    I just saw this game at Wal-Mart sealed for like $5. That NEVER happens to 1st party Nintendo games, especially those in the Mario series. It just goes to show how lifeless and low effort this game was…

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