Mario Tennis Ultra Smash Famitsu Interview Translations (Summary) 1/27

At the request of LiteAgent (of Perfectly Nintendo), I translated an interview for Mario Tennis Ultra Smash (for Wii U). It released in Japan a few days ago, and released in the west back in November.

Due to time constraints, I did not apply them to the original scans, but I still provide the scans themselves below!

All of this is done on my free time and is rather time consuming. It is certainly a lot of work… so please consider donating if you like the work I do. Any amount (no matter how small) is much appreciated and helps me keep going on a daily basis. I hope you enjoy the end results of my work!

Summary:

  • Please play regardless of whether a series fan, newcomer, or even tennis fan!
  • At first the team thought global matches would be impossible, but managed to implement as something for players to look forward to.
  • The entire Camelot team are big Mario fans, that familiarity and love for the series goes into polishing out even the most minor of characters.
    Boo was originally heavily resisted by Nintendo, saying “it would be unable to hold a racquet.” However, Camelot argued that Boo’s ability to disappear was exactly the sort of thing that gave the Mario game a distinctly “Mario” flavor.
    Amiibo: raising them came about after consulting Nintendo. They wanted RPG elements that they had experience in making. Wanted the amiibo to play an active role in internet match doubles, and allow one to grow with amiibo.
  • A balancing issue: someone like Mario should be easy for newcomers to play as, but an easy character cannot be too strong in a sports game or the player will never learn/improve, but how can they make Mario weak?!
  • They would think of a character’s image and traits, and try to keep abilities that fit the traits. If fans did not approve, then they [Camelot] did not approve.
    Had to constantly tweak, failing quite a bit at first, but eventually got it right through experience.
  • So many characters with different traits appear, had great difficulty in balancing.
  • Characters who would sell the game, were wanted, or have appeared in previous Nintendo games given priority. This allowed for both a mix of popular and spontaneous characters.
  • New character requests are passed by the staff and deliberated on before being decided
  • Regarding characters, Camelot would consult with Nintendo during the decision process for playable characters
  • Thought of how to implement the Gamepad. They decided that it would be bad to draw player attention away from main screen in an action game,
    So, they decided to go for a “reverse course” shot (shows angle from other team’s court). This way, when the player switches, they do not get disoriented by being on the far court rather than close court. Can alternate between Gamepad and screen each time sides are switched
  • They were helped by Nintendo, and made a demo in about 3 to 4 months that could test player preferences/reactions
  • Due to it being Camelot’s first HD game, they were nervous at first (in regards to staff manpower and experience), but rose to the challenge.
  • To make things more accessible, things like Giant Goombas, Jump Shots, and Chance Areas are optional and can be turned off. This will allow one to enjoy simple rallies as they were back in Mario Tennis 64
  • Mega Battle was originally a concern as to how it would be implemented and what it would mean for the play-style (such as the basic act of hitting the ball), but implemented with little issue and so there were not too many more concerns
  • Players able to enjoy a Mario game and tennis at the same time
  • Due to it being Camelot’s debut HD title, giant characters were implemented as a sort of test
  • Strategic element comes from making one think about when the opponent will hit a ball. A quick hop and smash? A long drawn out jump and smash?
    Giant Goombas and Mega Battle Mode were Camelot ideas, however, and not Nintendo’s
  • This game aims to be just as approachable with easy rallies
    Nintendo suggested new additions like the “jump shot” to expand the strategic element. Since it involves Mario, “jump action” is a necessity
  • The first game (Mario Tennis 64) was accessible to anyone regardless of their interest in tennis
  • Game is an attempt to “return to the original spirit” of Mario Tennis

TL Notes:

-I am not familiar with the Mario Tennis verse/games. So some terms may be different than they appear in the games.

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