One of the pleasures of producing FGTV is going back and visiting families to see how they are getting on with video games. In this episode we go back to the Emmens family and bring with us a clutch of 3DS handhelds to try out the Mario Tennis Open multi-player feature.
Before we dived into playing together we had a chat about the single player game. Here it was interesting to hear how they played the game mainly via the touch screen, that offers a customizable set of buttons to suit your ability.
Also, like with my kids, the ability to be able to “dress up” your Mii before taking to the court was popular with the Emmens. This extend beyond the usual rackets and trainers to full outfits. My daughter delights in dressing me in all sorts of unusual clothing before we take to the court — in the game that is!
What the Emmens hadn’t realized, as you can see in the video, is that Mario Tennis Open uses the gyroscope to adjust your view of the court. If you hold it flat it gives you a top-down view of the court. However, hold it up in front of you and you get a behind the player view like Virtua Tennis. This then uses the gyroscope to adjust the view depending on which way to face the 3DS. It’s a subtle change but one that can help younger players get a better idea of where the ball is.
The main event for our family gamer reunion was the multi-player though. Mario Tennis Open has a single-cart mutli-player mode that means that four of you can play together with just one copy of the game. The 3DS with the cart in simple “shares” the game with the other players. If you have additional copies of the game this makes jumping in to play even easier.
We all got on really well playing together, even the Emmens’ youngest son got in on the action and was able to have a go. Because we were all playing each other there was no computer player to get in the way. If you have fewer players you can opt to add in additional computer controlled characters to make up the numbers, but we all thought it was worth the extra effort rounding up enough 3DS’s for everyone to join in.
We’ve even planned another “3DS Party” as my daughter calls it, next week. The plan is to try out Mario Kart’s local multi-player mode next I think.
Mario Tennis Open is available from Amazon.
[Disclosure: the game was provided by Nintendo for this post.]