MARIO Tennis Aces was first revealed in January, and until today gamers figured they’d have to wait until it was officially released on June 22.
Now Nintendo has confirmed that there will be a three-day pre-launch beta tournament starting on June 1, at 3pm BST. You’ll be able to pick up a racket with the titular plumber, Princess Peach, lovable dino Yoshi, and misunderstood power-serving Bowser.
You will then be able to unlock another five characters as you play, though Nintendo haven’t announced who they will be.
In the full game, though, you’ll have a choice of those four plus Wario, Waluigi, Daisy, Rosalina, Donkey Kong, Toad, Toadette, Chain Chomp, Bowser Jr. and Boo.
If you take part in the beta tournament, you’ll be able to deck the beloved block-smasher out in his traditional dungarees and hat in the full game once you’ve bought it.
Both single-player matches against AI and online matches against other players will be available during the beta too — though your console will have to be connected to the internet for the duration whichever mode you choose to play.
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Mario Tennis Aces is the latest in a long line of sports games featuring the moustachioed piping engineer, but the first time he’s picked up a racket since 2015 when Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash hit the Wii to a lukewarm critical reception — which may explain why Nintendo wants to make sure potential players have a chance to pick up a racket without having to shell out.
The single-player story mode sees Luigi kidnapped, forcing his brother to deal with Waluigi, Wario and an enchanted racket (really) in order to rescue him. The Adventure Mode will feature full matches to help hone your tennis skills, but also appears to features some platforming elements to boot.
While the game will be played using a normal controller for the most part, fans of the lounge-destroying family favourite Wii Tennis will be glad to know there’s a ‘swing mode’ too, which uses the motion-sensing abilities of the Switch’s controller.