Tennis 3DS review

  • Getting into the groove
  • High-speed challengers
  • Mario cameo
  • No multiplayer support
  • Getting schooled by the AI
  • Can't dive or run

Price: $2.99
Size: 32 Blocks
First Released: 1989

There’s a certain appealing weight to the word: Tennis. Say it with us now: “Tennis.” On its own, that simple two-syllable title is perhaps the best description for this racket-swinging retro romp. One of two athletic-themed launch titles to accompany Game Boy’s debut, Tennis is a straightforward take on the sport that leaves the bells and whistles at home. It’s an addictive diversion, but something is missing.

Playing solo, you’ll whack the ball back and forth across the court in an effort to defeat your generic AI-controlled opponent across a standard game of Tennis under the watchful eye of Mario. Four different difficulty levels let you speed up the pace and intensity of matches. Holding the D-Pad in different directions adjusts the angle and intensity of each hit, making the task of psyching out your opponent and playing to their weak zones a satisfying effort. It’s easy to dive back into the pleasant rhythm of exchanging hits between the chunky challengers over the course of lengthy matches, but the lack of two-player support saps much of the game’s competitive energy.

We have fond memories of linking two Game Boys together and dueling human opponents in vitriolic Tennis matches back in the good old days. For some unexplained reason, the game’s two-player competitive mode isn’t accessible. The ad-hoc wireless capabilities of the 3DS are perfectly suited for local play; that this apparently isn’t supported on the virtual console is rather absurd. While there’s enough meat in the game’s solo experience to make it worth the download, the missing multiplayer cuts out a big chunk of the fun.

Jul 15, 2011

More Info

Available Platforms: Game Boy, 3DS
Genre: Sports
ESRB Rating:


  • knightnettie - July 16, 2011 2:16 a.m.

    Hm, I'd rather play tennis on an actual court...less eye strain.
  • GringoStar - July 16, 2011 2:53 a.m.

    I still have this for my original Gameboy. It would be nice if they would have added some extra features like what you've said with the multiplayer and maybe online play? They really need to release titles like Bubble Bobble and Super Mario Land.
  • samsneeze - July 16, 2011 4:31 a.m.

    Yeah, I think I'm just going to wait for Camelot to make another tennis game instead.
  • rockbottom - July 16, 2011 11:42 a.m.

    Nintendo and another re-release/rehash. When are people going to realize this third rate game developer has been taking your pants down and giving it to you hard for years and years now, and making you pay for the privilege. The whole point of any technology is its constant development. We don't live in an 8-bit world anymore, move on. They clearly are unable to keep up any more yet still get millions each year by selling old crap back to people who have already bought it numerous times anyway. Nintendo's launch title for Wii-U, let's you use the Wii motion control to frantically scrape the bottom of a stinky, 25 year old barrel. Deep down you know it's not good enough but look, you get to do it as Mario, Luigi, Yoshi, Donkey Kong, Kirby and many more outdated, badly animated 2D toss-pots so, obviously you'll all buy it. Morons
  • GringoStar - July 16, 2011 1:45 p.m.

    @Rockbottom Though it sucks that Nintendo does re-release really outdated titles (yes 80s sports titles I'm looking at you), people buy it. So Nintendo would only do the smart marketing answer and continue to release the likes of Hockey, Pinball, Baseball, etc. No doubt that with technology we also want the latest hardcore game that will make you scream like a virgin woman in a B slasher movie. It's really hard to say what Nintendo will do with the Wii-U. They are focusing on HD this time, so I have some hope. Though there will be some casual titles more than likely released for the launch up, I don't think it will be bad at all. Plus we have third party developers, so I as a gamer am looking forward to this. We all need to stop being so pessimistic for everything.
  • TheDigitalG - July 16, 2011 1:51 p.m.

    @rockbottom, we're morons for enjoying something you don't? Crawl back under your rock, you elitist filth.
  • rockbottom - July 16, 2011 6:17 p.m.

    @TheDigitalG I apologize for the "morons" unreservedly, that was wrong to say but I stand by everything else. Nintendo have been selling you the barrel scraping game for years now and won't stop until you stop buying it. Isn't "elitist filth" a bit harsh? Just look honestly and objectively at their output over the last year or so. 3DS is just another way to re-sell you old ideas. And the wii-u is still not showing any actual games at all, just a new way to get 2d mario platforming on the shelves.
  • mrclam - July 16, 2011 6:47 p.m.

    @Rockbottom: And microsoft keep selling you the same bottom of the barrel mediocre boring tired fps game with nothing changed between each installment than the story line. We get it.. You think games begin and end at modern day dull shooters, and that people who enjoy retro gaming are idiots. We think vice-versa. .. isnt fanboy trolling fun?
  • mrclam - July 16, 2011 6:48 p.m.

    >he wii-u is still not showing any actual games at all That's because they had to announce it before games were ready thanks to all the leaks appearing on the internet. Surely you must understnad that - Or are you really that dense?
  • rockbottom - July 16, 2011 7:10 p.m.

    @mrclam Sorry to dissapoint but I hate fps. I like retro gaming, if i want to play an old game i will play it. I just think it's a bit much being asked to re-buy all the old games again and again. Pointing out that microsoft keep re-hashing old shit too doesn't make nintendos relentless re-release policy any more acceptable. Recycling old ideas is, as you rightly point out, lazy and cynical and microsoft and sony should be ashamed of their respective clone libraries, but Nintendo are even worse than that, they're now happy to just re-sell the same cocking title again and again without even trying to jazz it up. Nintendo used to be a guarantee of original, creative game ideas and now it's just plain struggling. What did you say about fanboys? It's ok to say so when something stinks you know, regardless of how much you love the company pumping it out. N64 was awesome. Wii not so. DS fantastic. 3DS piss poor. I used to love Mario, but maybe, just maybe it's time to move on. Will wii-u feature a Mario game? We both know the answer and obviously have different opinions about what that says about nintendo.
  • UsernameLoser - July 16, 2011 8:44 p.m.

    I hate: Lack of Progression Mario cameo No multiplayer
  • GhostNappa - July 16, 2011 9:13 p.m.

    When you look at the wider picture, all of the 'Big 3' are pretty much selling the same game with about one tweak. Microsoft do it with Halo, Sony do it with Wipeout and Nintendo do it with their Virtual Console. HOWEVER it does make them money, so until people stop paying, they will continue. To be honest, its a very good business decision on their behalf as none of them are in it to make friends, judt to make money, and this tactic so far has proven to work well.
  • GringoStar - July 18, 2011 12:10 a.m.

    @Mrclam I'm not defending anyone, but Rockbottom's post wasn't actually a fanboy trolling rant. He was just basing his opinion in a rather graphic way and wishing that Nintendo would move forward rather than focus on their Gameboy emulator. @The Digital G it really sucks when insults have to be thrown instead of having a debating and having a nice formal argument. But I guess there are 'elitist' filth who would rather throw insults and start the whole troll train going.
  • sjneow - July 18, 2011 12:36 a.m.

    This was probably the most played games after Pokemon on my old Gameboy, me and my cousins love it back in the days...
  • TheMagnificentManCooker - July 18, 2011 5:24 a.m.

    I'm confused why a port/remake is such a big deal at all Since with those, lack of progress is sort of the point If you already played them great, don't buy it As long as Nintendo releases new things as well I'm perfectly happy
  • stavros45 - July 18, 2011 6:10 a.m.

    I really don't get the whole trolling discussion in these posts. If you want to bitch about a company's policy, go complain on the official forum or, y'know, actual write a letter with a well constructed argument. News flash: Nintendo doesn't read comments on GamesRadar. STFU, and comment on the game itself.

Showing 1-16 of 16 comments

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