- Game: Mario Tennis Aces
- Platform: Switch
- Developer: Camelot
- Publisher: Nintendo
I’ll be honest, I would have had zero interest in Mario Tennis Aces were it not for the promise of a full story mode, and that campaign – the ‘Adventure Mode’ – is not at all what I’d have expected from a game with Nintendo’s mascot on the front.
It’s gruelling and unwelcoming, with painfully uneven difficulty spikes, and doesn’t do a great job of explaining its fighting-game style mechanics, nor make any effort to ensure you understand them. The rhythm of ‘easy, easy, easy, fuck you, easy’ is utterly baffling, and at times it simply feels completely unfair. I’m not one to shy away from a challenge, I love and beat Celeste, for example, but even I nearly walked away from Aces at least three times.
Although it has definite issues, I am glad I stuck with it until I beat it. I had fun in places, and beating the matches and challenges that at one point seemed impossible was definitely pleasing, yet I felt the need to press on in spite of it, rather than out of enjoyment.
We talked about it in Episode 37 of the Switch Focus Podcast, and I’ll talk some more about it in 38.