NP: In the past, portable Mario Tennis titles have featured an involved, RPG-styled single-player mode. Why does this game not feature such a mode?
Takahashi: This version may be for a handheld system, but we approached it like a console title. With aspects like download matches and online matches made possible by the hardware, the game has a feature set more similar to console games. Another reason is that the game's cast includes Mii characters in addition to characters from the Mario family, which are difficult to work into an [RPG] scenario. It didn't feel right to have already-existent Mii characters appear in an original storyline. But there are RPG-like elements in the form of costumes. I hope people will enjoy collecting the various costumes to customize their own characters and expand their abilities.
NP: If you could introduce another Nintendo character (not from the Mario universe) into Mario Tennis Open, who would it be? Why?
Takahashi: Characters from the Pokemon series, like Pikachu, might be a good fit. I think that might be a good way to get new players interested in the game.