Mario meets his greatest foe yet on the tennis court in the brand-new trailer for Mario Tennis Aces. He squares off with the great Rafael Nadal in a match for the ages—or in a match that begs for better green-screen work. Rally for rally, man against man, Mario and Nadal duke it out while a huge crowd watches their duel of the rackets. Unsurprisingly, Nadal bests Mario and, in a sports movie-like moment of sadness, the camera cuts to an empty locker room. Well, it is empty except for the dejected, beaten Mario, who sits sullenly and twirls his racket as he seemingly contemplates his defeat, how many Goombas he has snuffed out of existence or whatever else might cross the plumber’s mind. Then, in a moment of Nintendo charm, Mario hears a commotion and leaves his metaphorical pit of despair. He emerges, quite literally, into the light of the tennis stadium and is invited by Nadal and the line judge to play Mario Tennis Aces. It is there, in a moment of joy, that the trailer ends.
The only new gameplay reveal in the trailer is the ability to use motion in a sense similar to Wii Sports Tennis when playing against another local player. It seems cool enough and Nintendo, at this point, will probably never let go of the whole motion control slant. What is most important, though, is the lore ramifications that are posited in this trailer. Is Mario an actual human being? As of late, that answer seems to be yes, and, like a human, he seems to have legitimate emotions. The animation and facial work, when in the locker room, project and portray genuine sadness and contemplation onto the character of Mario. Everyone’s favorite plumber might start getting deep on us. Will that happen in Mario Tennis Aces, though? No, probably not. But maybe, on his day off, Mario will reach for the Thoreau book on his table rather than his sentient hat that colonizes bodies for Mario’s own selfish benefit. Maybe Mario retires the old red suit and cap, befriends Bowser and they start an independent, mushroom-forward castle-construction company. With Bowser’s experience in building castles, and Mario’s experience in exploring and besting their defenses, they’d make quite the dynamic business duo.
Check out the new trailer for Mario Tennis Aces below and get ready to take it to the court come June 22.