I'm Going To Get So Angry At Mario Tennis Aces

Mario Tennis Aces was the star of today's Nintendo Direct, and the company took the opportunity to outline some of the new mechanics. Most are what you'd expect - lobs, slices, topspin shots and the occasional Mario super.

But the Japanese giant also showed off a bunch of new tricks, including a couple that without fail are certain to have me launching my JoyCon into the nearest wall. Meet "zone shots".

The basic premise is this: as you hit the ball back and forth, coupled with good timing, your character's energy gauge fills. At it's peak you can execute your character's special shot, either to guarantee a point or to break your opponent's racket.

But the really aggravating element? The ability to slow down time and aim, Splatoon style, with a new ability called zone shots. Zone shots only use part of your energy gauge, but they allow you to target parts of the court more precisely, opening up some truly filthy angles.

Interestingly, the Direct mentioned that zone shots require motion controls to aim. Further more, zone shots will do damage to your racket if you don't time the return correctly. Take three hits to your racket and it'll break. Lose all of your rackets and you'll forfeit the match.

Today's footage showed some action of characters starting with three rackets a piece, although it's worth noting that special shots can break a character's racket in a single hit. Coupled with the new trick shot that rapidly builds meter, I wouldn't be surprised if more games ended via KO than not.

No single shot is capable of guaranteeing you a point or winning outright, though. You could fire off a bullet into the tightest corner possible, only to watch filthy Waluigi on the other side drag it back thanks to a random burst of speed. Zone Speed lets the player slow down time and cover ground much more quickly.

You'll still need accurate timing to block powerful shots, but you also won't waste any metre going into first-person to aim with motion controls. In practice, that should mean zone speed will be the more efficient use of your meter. It won't stop me from swearing at the TV Peach magically leaps over and returns my 200km/hr forehands, but it's nice to know that at least I can make someone else on the internet angry for a few seconds.

What we didn't see, and I'll be keen to know once the beta begins, is whether you can power up any of your slice shots. Having something just drop over the net before bending the other way, or curving into the side wall, will be a crucial move for messing up people's positioning and timing with the new trick shots. It's also something that will, like every other idea I've had about Wii Tennis in the past, be used against me relentlessly.

No matter how good your shot is, there is the small chance that the opponent will flog it straight back down the line at you.

Which is great for balance. Not so great for my JoyCons, or the wall they are soon to be permanently embedded in.


    I'm predicting 4.7/10 on squishybatfangs.com when this is released.

    Looks pretty gimmicky, if this didn't have mario characters, I'm pretty sure it'd be getting ripped to shreds.

    If this is anything like the N64 it has huge potential to be fantastic.

    If it is anything like the Wii U game, it'll be a pass for most everyone.

    Still waiting for a Mario Party game for the Switch though. Surely that shit has to happen soon.

    I thought the whole thing looked great except for the mention of motion controls... Really hope you can use the zone shots without them otherwise I might just not bother. Somewhat kills the fun for me of having a portable console if you have to waggle it around like an idiot to play some games (essentially making them unplayable in handheld mode).

      Motion controls is a seperate game mode.

        The WiiTennis-style swinging is seperate from what I understand but the Zone Shots that burn meter to slow time and accuratly place on the court are part of the main mode and the direct (as with this article) said that's controlled with motion too.

    i like how they threw a bone to whingeing purists that just want to play a game of tennis without the fandangledry.
    ME :) they threw a bone to me :)

    Will it be possible to turn every single thing off in a couch coop 2vs2? Just playing a normal tennis game without any extras?

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