Even before popping the game in, I was pretty pumped about Mario Tennis Open for the 3DS. The Mario games are always, well, awesome. And tennis game are really underrated in the sports gaming world. Honestly, have you ever played a tennis game that wasn't fun?
Well, there's no shortage of fun in Mario Tennis Open. The graphics are all bright and Mario-y, from the players to the opponents to the courts (my favorite court is Peach's Palace), and I was able to jump right in and start drilling topspin winners and perfectly placed lobs. Alright, it didn't happen right away, but I picked it up pretty quick. The points are fast-paced, and when you put spin on a shot, the ball really moves. There's strategy involved in setting up your shot, but not so much that it's overwhelming.
Not surprisingly, the mini-games are awesome, and it's perfect for a quick tennis fix. And there's online play for up to four players (once you perfect your skills with the mini-games and want to kick your friends' butts).
I really only have one small beef with Mario Tennis Open: If you don't touch the control pad, your player will automatically move to the ball so you only have to worry about your swing. That's fine for a beginner, but moving around the court should be part of the challenge once you've gotten the hang of the game. If I'm playing someone online, I don't like the fact that they can take that shortcut.
But aside from that, there's not much to complain about. Even if you're not a huge tennis fan, you won't be disappointed with Mario Tennis Open!