In less than a month, 3DS owners will be able to get their hands on Mario Tennis Open. The latest Mario title from the Big N for their once struggling handheld will throw the iconic plumber and his gang back onto the tennis courts, this time with online play, customizable Mii characters, and a medley of different single-player game modes that’ll surely score with the game’s audience.

Since Mario Tennis Open is scheduled to release in late May, Nintendo has appropriately begun cranking out new media to build awareness for its impending release — starting with a large amount of screenshots. The in-game images showcase some of the new courts, characters, and modes that players will be greeted with the first time they fire up their copy of the latest portable Mario Tennis experience.

‘Super Mario Tennis’ is the appropriately titled mode that will display several different worlds from the original Super Mario Bros. on the NES. Instead of side-scrolling your way through all kinds of different retro platforming goodness, players will be tasked with spiking the tennis ball at certain objects. Hitting coin blocks, nabbing mushrooms, and squashing enemies will net the player more points.

The ‘Ring Shot’ mode is demonstrated in the screenshots where Luigi is serving his tennis ball through golden rings – it’s appeared in several past games from the series. The objective is to lob more shots through the rings than your opponent. As time continues marching ever forward, the rings on the court will begin to grow in size; the larger the ring becomes, the less points it’s worth.

Another game mode displayed in the pics is ‘Ink Showdown.’ As Mario and friends play the special game mode, black piranha plants (the same that appeared in the recent Super Mario 3D Land) will spit ink at the screen. Gamers must to find a way to keep playing the match despite the increasing lack of vision, with hectic volleys and blind-induced bouts of rage surely following.

The fourth and final mode shown off in thee screenshots is based on Mario’s outer planetary adventures in space. The new game mode, titled ‘Galaxy Rally,’ throws players on a crystal clear playing surface in the new Galaxy Dome court. The objective of this mode is to lob the ball on the platformers that appear on the court, while simultaneously grabbing as many star pieces as possible. Mario Tennis Open will also feature the adorable little Luma as a playable character to tie in with all of the spiffy new Super Mario Galaxy-themed content.

Nintendo plans on serving up Mario Tennis Open in North America on May 20th, exclusively on the Nintendo 3DS.

Follow me on Twitter @TheRileyLittle.

Source: CVG