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Mario Tennis Aces’ Bowser Jr. gets nerfed again, among other great updates

Bowser’s son is now little less powerful, while others got a boost

A screenshot of Bowser Jr., Chain Chomp and Boo from Mario Tennis Aces.
Three of Mario Tennis Aces’ biggest pains.
Camelot Software Planning/Nintendo

Game of the Year 2018 contender Mario Tennis Aces continues to receive major updates, improving some of its more frustrating parts. Version 1.2.0, out right now, is one of the meatiest patches yet, delivering widespread changes to everything from the story mode to overpowered players.

Let’s start with the characters who will now be less likely to make you curse at your Switch. Bowser Jr., the notoriously talented (and cheap) Koopaling, is way slower now. He also can’t return balls as easily or quickly; lunge as far for stray balls; or serve up return shots that are both way high and way fast.

This is the second nerf made to the bratty tennis prodigy since the game launched. We’re slowly entering a Bowser Jr.-safe world for lowly tennis players who just want to play as Daisy, it seems. And it’s good to see regular tweaks to not just Bowser Jr., but also other characters who have been a pain in the butt to play against — like Waluigi, Boo and Chain Chomp, all of whom are also less nimble now.

Nintendo and developer Camelot Software Planning haven’t ignored other parts of Mario Tennis Aces, either. If you fail a mission in the single-player Adventure Mode, you can immediately retry it without having to do that whole “return to the world map” rigamarole. Trick shots can now be assigned to use the right stick only, which means you won’t accidentally press the Y button twice and screw up your return shot. And there’s now the option to play a full six-game, one-set match in Free Play mode, which may satisfy players who were clamoring for the ability to change match length.

The list of changes is super long, especially when it comes to those made to characters and their abilities. Here are some highlights; check out Nintendo’s support page for the rest.

Version 1.2.0

Game Balance Updates

We have increased the minimum energy level used for a Zone Shot serve from 25% to 30%. 33% energy is still needed in order to trigger the shot.

We have shortened the distance a character is pushed back when returning a shot that pushes the opponent to the back of the court, such as a Max Charge Shot.

The player can reduce the impact of being pushed back by returning a Topspin and Lob with a Slice, a Slice with a Topspin, and a Flat with a Flat.

We have adjusted the way the ball bounces back when hitting the center mast on the Savage Sea court.

Additional Settings

Options: Players can now switch the controls of Trick Shots to use only the Right Stick.

When holding the Joy-Con sideways, you can complete a Trick Shot by pressing up on the directional buttons (or the Y button) twice, regardless of the settings.

Free Play: You can now choose Stadium Only when entering search conditions when searching for players online via Invite Anyone.

We have added Full (6-game, 1-set match) to Free Play and Swing Mode.

Changes to Adventure Mode

It is now possible to retry a mission without returning to the world map after failing.

You can now retry a mission while from the pause menu without quitting the mission.

How to Play: It is now easier to hit a Block during the tutorial.

Forest Practice Court: We have adjusted the charge amount of the opponent’s Charge Shot.

Detour: We have adjusted the charge amount of the opponent’s Charge Shot and likelihood of using a Zone Shot.

Savage Sea: We have adjusted the charge amount of the opponent’s Charge Shot and likelihood of using a Zone Shot.

Changes to Swing Mode

Rally Challenge: The Smash Point will not appear during Rally Challenge in Swing Mode.

The image showing how to hold the Joy-Con is now a video demonstrating how to hold it.

Fixes to Online Tournament Ratings

Your rating will no longer go up when you lose a match.

When you win a match, your rating will not go down, and when you lose a match, your rating will not go up. Your rating will change based on the result of the match, but the amount it changes will be based on your opponent’s rating and on the content of the match. (The change may also be zero.)

If the software is forcibly closed during a match, your number of losses will increase, and your rating will go down by 0.5%.

If multiple intentional disconnections are detected, they may not be reflected in your ranking.

Starting with the August 2018 tournament, the ability to sort by rating will be added to the ranking board.

Along with this, the ranking board for total accumulated points will no longer display rating. You will be able to check your own rating for the month of July by looking at Results on the left-hand side of the tournament display.

At the start of each new month, your starting rating will change based on results from play the previous month. (This will be reflected as of the change from July to August.)

Rating of 2,000 or less - starts at 2,000

Rating between 2,000 and 2,500 - rating stays the same

Rating above 2,500 - 1/10th of the amount over 2,500 will be added to 2,500 to determine the rating

Note: If you did not play the previous month, or if any irregular data is discovered, your rating will be reset to 2,000.

Other Changes

Fixed an issue where the “Too Early” block timing indicator would appear when you are not pressing a shot button, while using a Trick Shot to return a ball from a Zone Shot or another Special Shot.

It is possible to block the ball from a Zone Shot or another Special Shot by pressing the shot button with good timing, even when while using a Trick Shot.

Fixed an issue where it became easy to succeed at a normal block during a 1-point rally in the period between a perfectly timed Trick Shot and the next shot that was not a perfectly timed Trick Shot.

Your energy gauge will refill greatly when you hit a Trick Shot with the best timing possible.

This issue will not occur during Zone Speed or blocks performed during Trick Shots.

Fixed an issue where the energy gauge would show as yellow instead of red when your remaining energy is between 1/3rd and very little.

Fixed an issue in online tournaments where the character icon was horizontally inverted as it entered the tournament display block on the right side.

Fixed an issue where the game would stop when connectivity was especially poor during local wireless or Internet matches.

Fixed various issues related to the display of text.