Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash is one of the Wii U's key titles coming up in the near future, and now Nintendo has upped its PR offensive for the November release. While it may not necessarily be the sort of big-name game to blow anyone's hair back, it could nevertheless provide some innocent fun over the dark Winter months.
Within a hearty dose of new information a couple of key features stand out. First of all there's amiibo support, in which you can team up with a figure online or in the offline 'Knockout' mode and level them up, earning improved abilities with the more matches they play. This is a relatively rare case of read / write functionality as seen in Super Smash Bros., so you'll need a compatible amiibo without any data on it - those are Mario, Luigi, Peach, Bowser, Yoshi, Rosalina, Wario, Toad and Donkey Kong.
Beyond that there's another character confirmed (which you've probably spotted in the last sentence) - joining the recent announcement of Boo, Waluigi and Daisy we now have Rosalina; don't lie, you're delighted she's in it.
Four modes have also been confirmed, with the press release information below.
- Knockout Challenge: Tense tiebreak matches against increasingly difficult computer-controlled opponents await in this single-player mode. If the going gets too tough, you can call in a supported amiibo as your doubles partner.
- Mega Battle: Your character grows to gigantic proportions after grabbing a Mega Mushroom, dominating the court with their increased power and range. When rivals on both sides of the net are giant-sized, anything can happen!
- Classic Tennis: For those who prefer their tennis a little more traditional, Classic Tennis offers two variations: Standard mode features Chance Shots and Jump Shots but no Mega Mushrooms, while Simple puts competitors between the tramlines with no Chance Shots or power-ups – a real test of tennis prowess.
- Online multiplayer: Go up against distant adversaries from all over the world in competitive ranked play in either Mega Battle or Classic Tennis modes, or quickly jump into more casual matches. Two players on the same console can team up to take on all-comers, or a supported amiibo can join you on as your doubles partner on the online courts.
In a neat extra offer for European gamers it's also confirmed that eShop purchases of the new game - a "limited launch offer" - will receive a free download of the original Mario Tennis, also known as that game everyone played in multiplayer on N64. Apparently it was the first time Waluigi appeared, so there's a fun bit of trivia for you.
There's a trailer for all of this below too, so let us know what you think. Are you pleased with the mode selection outlined, excited about training up an amiibo doubles partner? Itching to play as Rosalina?