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Platform

GameCube

 

Genre

Sports

 

Publisher

Nintendo

 

Developer

Camelot

 

ESRB

E (Everyone)

 

Released

November 2004

 

 

- Great tennis action

- Power shots are a lifesaver

- Gimmick Courts and Special Games add to the package

- Fantastic multiplayer

 

 

- You can only dress-up tennis so much

- Will probably turn off the hardcore crowd

 

 

Review: Mario Kart: Double-Dash (GC)

Review: Mario Golf - Toadstool Tour (GC)

Review: DOA Xtreme Beach Volleyball (XB)

 

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Mario Power Tennis

Score: 8.9 / 10

 

Mario Power Tennis (MPT) addresses a point about tennis that is inescapable for non-tennis people: tennis is a boring game to watch.  The only reason I’ll watch tennis is in the hopes someone will get beaned on the head or smacked in the groin with a well-place serve.  MPT doesn’t have either (though you can hit your opponent) but MPT mixes up the regular old tennis played amongst the Mario Universe Elite with Gimmick Courts, Item Battle and Special Games (like defending yourself against a mechanical Bowser by knocking Bob-Ombs into the air).

 

mario power tennis review          mario power tennis review

 

The action on-screen doesn’t feel that much different from the previous game in the series on the N64, except for the Offensive and Defensive Power Shots.  During the course of a match your racket starts to glow and when it reaches it’s fullest you can perform a Power Shot.  Depending on your position to the ball (near or far) you’ll either smack a near unstoppable return or make a “miraculous” save via a spiffy animation.  Playing doubles with four human opponents is the most fun way to play but if you have just one buddy it’s still beats playing against the AI.  That’s not to say that the AI doesn’t present a challenge it’s just more fun to play with friends, particularly on the Gimmick Courts.

 

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There are a number of Gimmick Courts and almost all force your to be accurate and serious about tennis.  The Gimmick might be that the court is made of sliding tiles or that crocs knocked off the net attach to your opponent’s ankle and slowing your opponent down.  If you’re not interested in this creativity, MPT features the usual Exhibition and Tournament modes in both singles and doubles play.

 

The graphics and audio drip with the kind of BSH (bright, shiny, happy) 

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vibe of other ensemble cast sports ventures like Mario Kart Double-Dash or Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour.  The animation is first-rate as well, with no jarring transitions to look at and power shot animation that somehow never get old.  However, it still serves as an example of why Nintendo has a rep as a “kiddie” company with lessening importance to the “M” crowd.  I imagine that  if Team Ninja were behind this iteration that the game would have moved in a different direction – like Princess Peach with breasts bigger than her head – but the “kiddie” graphics in no way detracts from the game.  This is solid tennis.

 

mario power tennis review          mario power tennis review

 

Great control, fun, lots of stuff to do and solid tennis?  Mario Power Tennis is a great game even for those that don’t generally like tennis unless Anna Kournikova is playing.

 

- Omni

(December 14, 2004)

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