It was perhaps a dream that Nintendo managed to downplay in their latest Direct presentation. Waluigi, regularly the heart-throb of the Mario Tennis series, had already overwrought a euphoric hysteria in the realms of social media, particularly Reddit. While the Mushroom Kingdom applauds an old-favorite, the rise of an unlikely opponent has gone unnoticed, from humble beginnings in the Desert World of Super Mario Bros. 3 to its eventual conclusion as a playable character in the upcoming Mario Tennis Aces; Chain Chomp is the fourth wish we didn’t know we wanted to make.
Not willing to be shackled to its role as an antagonist, Chain Chomp had been left on deuce far longer than any other of Bowser’s minions, a sheer stubborn denial saw him through to the finals. While Bowser himself regularly adorned the all-white attire, it wasn’t long before Shy Guy and Koopa Troopa came by racket in hand. Not that hands are entirely necessary for tennis, as Chain Chomp has willingly shown in the latest Nintendo Direct, hands are merely a small advantage, not a requirement.
Chain Chomp acing the crowds of the Mushroom Kingdom might have been met with immediate bemusement, but was soon followed by acceptance, before a startling approval of grandeur enlightenment. The journey of an underdog certainly arouses the spirit of Nintendo fans, long cast in the shadows until the Switch turned on the light. Not willing to stay in one place, Chain Chomp is the ironic humor that the Nintendo Switch often ties itself to, a confidence to be admired.
While never unnoticed, the restrictive nature had often held Chain Chomp back, first showing glimpses of its true potential when unleashed in Super Mario 64, bursting through the jail pertaining its true star-quality. A stellar performance in Super Mario Odyssey has left Chain Chomp with many options. The ability to control it, albeit limitedly, in Odyssey has inspired a previously unknown flexibility, diversifying its credentials into a playable character.
Now with racket-in-mouth, we can expect the audacious nature of our misunderstood friend to glimpse through. The beautiful courts we’ve seen so far in Mario Tennis Aces look ready to be torn apart by the new confidence of Chain Chomp. Waluigi might have the fans in the arenas, but with the arrival of an underdog, these crowds soon turn to be part of a new untold tale.
A feverous delight might well pertain itself, not just knocking Waluigi off his perch, but even challenging Mario to his crown. Much will depend on the skills and advantages that the developers will have assigned to Chain Chomp, with a likelihood of power over agility. Such detail shouldn’t be overlooked as it will determine your style of play, with all-rounders like Mario an easy choice for beginners. This leaves Chain Chomp likely to be a character for the experienced, only solidifying its reputation for its unruly nature.
The inclusion of Mario Tennis onto the Switch is the biggest ace of the year so far. The use of the motion controls brings the innovation of the Wii to the flexibility of the Switch, providing plenty of options for fans of the series to enjoy. With an arsenal of shots and strategies, it’s definitely the most Mario sports game yet, with the option of making a Luigi out of it by selecting the purest mode; for the Andy Murray’s of this world.
However, while Mario Tennis Aces might offer a diverse variety of ways to enjoy it with plenty of amazing boss battles and competitive online multiplayer matches, Chain Chomp will undoubtedly be the most memorable inclusion. A subtle rise from antagonist to Djokovic has been a surreal change of fortunes for the reclusive opportunist, once inspired by Shigeru Miyamoto’s childhood experience with a temperamental canine. Now that Chain Chomp can play tennis, we should inspire ourselves to challenge our own limitations and do something equally remarkable.