After 20 minutes of play, I thought I had seen everything Mario Tennis Open had to offer. Volleys back-and-forth, dumb A.I., unlockable baby versions of characters nobody asked for. Still, it’s not that the game was a major step back from its predecessors, but it’s a tennis game, just a really a fancy version of Pong with Toads and Shy Guys lining the courts.
But I’m here to tell you that 15 hours later, I can’t put the game down. Mario Tennis Open isn’t a terrific game, but collecting tennis duds and rackets has become an addiction I can’t shake. Never mind the fact that my current Boo costume makes it look like my Mii is wearing a diaper on his head – every knickknack I collect gives me more opportunities to customize my character and broadcast my creation to the world. It’s one of many instances in which Nintendo has tapped into a need for self-expression; MTO is just the latest proof that the 3DS is a very social device in need of a network.
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