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Mario Power Tennis

マリオテニスGC

Developer: Camelot Software Planning Publisher: Nintendo
28 October 2004
Mario Power Tennis [マリオテニスGC] - cover art
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3.43 / 5.0
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175 Ratings / 2 Reviews
#1,250 All-time
#68 for 2004
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Releases 4
Mario Power Tennis New Play Control!
2009 Camelot Nintendo  
Disc
XNA 0 45496 90142 4
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Mario Power Tennis Nintendo Selects
2012 Camelot Nintendo  
Disc
XNA 0 45496 90292 6
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Title
Mario Power Tennis is a genuinely fun arcade tennis experience, and in my opinion the crown jewel of the robust collection of GameCube-era Mario sports titles. In addition to characters from the series with wildly differing attributes that encourage varying styles of play, there are enough arcade-y gimmick twists on the formula to keep the game fresh, whether you're playing by yourself or with others.

The actual game of tennis, all gimmicks aside and turned off, is very solid. You can play either singles or double with 1-4 players, and the control scheme is very simple and easy to pick up. Novices can play a decent game with just the left stick and normal topspins via the A button, while more experienced players can take advantage of slices with B, lobs with A->B, and drop shots with B->A, and smashes with A+B. The moveset is small, but mastering the time and place for each of these swings will take some effort. To boot, there are a handful of different types of characters with different strengths on offense and defense. Power characters have strong smashes and great spiking ability but lack mobility in the backcourt. Speed characters are mostly the opposite, with great defensive mobility and poor hitting power. Tricky characters have massive curves on their hits but relatively low stats otherwise, making them a bit gimmicky but powerful in the right hands. Defense characters have long reaches that make up for their slower movement speeds, and make great backline doubles partners. Finally, Technical characters specialize in strong angles which can be difficult to volley. Mario & Luigi, of course, provide all-around characters to get your bearings before you find your playstyle.

The major addition Mario Power Tennis brings to the base formula comes by way of the offensive and defensive Power Shots, which either help the player reach a ball they couldn't get to or increase the power of one they're about to the volley. The largest issue with the Power Shots is the animation time - although only comprising a few seconds each they completely halt the action, and are earned after only a handful of successful normal volleys. In doubles settings, 4 players using their Power Shots in succession can feel chaotic as much as it is tedious. Many of them are pretty creative, although some are certainly better and useful in more situations than others. For example, Daisy's defensive Power Shot has her diving towards the ball, physically moving her to a likely far-from-center position that can be easily exploited on the returning volley. Alternatively, Peach's defensive Power Shot brings the ball back within her reach, not changing her position, which improves her ability to get back into the action without consequences. There are various little quirks like that which arise as you experiment with different characters, and in combination with the character's type and strengths/weaknesses you'll start to see a bit of a hierarchy form. That said, none of these advantages are such that equally skilled players would ever consitently lose given certain matchups (outside of Power characters versus Tricky ones, who never stand a chance in hell). The overall balance is interesting and depending on the opponent you'll quickly surmise what strategies would work best to gain the upper hand, which is great fun, especially in multiplayer where psychological effects are in play as well.

In addition to the regular exhibition mode, there is a series of tournaments to play in both singles and doubles mode, with each successive victory unlocking new characters, courts, modes, and minigames - all of which have a great amount of variety. A huge, avoidable misstep here is that the doubles tournaments are still single-player only, requiring the use of a very unreliable COM partner, which can feel a little frustrating depending on your choice of character. The matches get progressively longer in number of sets as the opponent difficulty is raised, making for a nice challenge. Finally, there are some minigames that can help improve your skills in both single-player and multiplayer settings, though they are fairly limited in their scope outside of one very clever twist on Mario Paint, where you volley globs of paint into a picture until it's colored correctly. They are a fun distraction and there are a lot of them but they're a tiny bit half-baked: a Mario Party-style take on the training exercises from Virtua Tennis 2.

Finally, the courts occasionally have gimmicks to them as well, usually with concepts re-used from other successful Mario-adjacent GameCube titles. I really like the collective look and feel of this Nintendo era, and this sort of continuity is creative and feels fresh. There's a Luigi's Mansion court with ghosts that can block your movement, three Super Mario Sunshine courts with sludge on the ground, moving court bounds, and a tilting hanging court, respectively, a Donkey Kong: Jungle Beat court with snappers that impede your movement, a WarioWare court made of conveyor belts, and a classic Mario Bros-inspired court with enemies from the original arcade game. The coolest part about these courts is that the effects are always triggered by the match participants, and can be used to gain an upper hand. Similarly, if burdened by the gimmick of the stage, the "reset" buttons for the gimmick in question also lie on the stage and can either be walked over or hit on the opponent's side of the court, giving the player the power to manipulate the court in real time. It's frantic and absolutely insane, and definitely where the ingenuity of the formula comes to life the most.

In all, Mario Power Tennis is a pretty outstanding arcade tennis game with some great character quirks and balancing, inspired court design, some interesting twists on the normal tennis gameplay, and fun diversions that make it hard to put down. It isn't perfect - doubles can be chaotic and a little frustrating, some matchups seem downright unwinnable, and outside of the tourneys there's not an enormous amount of content to dig into. The minigames in particular could have been more fun in single-player if they had a larger emphasis on improving the player instead of making a fun party game. In all, though, you'll be hard-pressed to find a better-designed tennis game on the GameCube, and maybe in the entire 6th generation of consoles. Definitely a must-have for basically every audience.
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the_lockpick 2020-06-03T14:15:16Z
2020-06-03T14:15:16Z
4.0
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Title
Mario Power Tennis is a port of the Gamecube game which was one of the only Nintendo releases I didn't play in that era. The game has 3 modes; Exhibition, Tournament, and Special Games. Exhibition is a single match and you have the option of singles or doubles matches and choose players from the roster of 14 (plus 4 unlockable characters). The skill levels can be set per player; Novice, Intermediate, Expert and Pro. You can play on normal courts (grass, clay, hard) or gimmick courts (DK Jungle, Delfino Plaza, Luigi's Mansion etc.), and play either standard matches, Ring Shot, or Item battle. Then you can choose whether to enable power shots, and choose amount of Games and Sets. All these options mean you can customise the game to your ability and preferences.

The gimmick courts usually have some focus on hindering the player or changing ball movement which makes the matches a bit different. In Tournament mode you play a series of knock-out matches to win the 3 tournaments in which you can choose the game type and court style. Each character has progress saved independently so unlocking star cup with Peach won't allow you to play with Mario.

In Special Games, there are a variety of gimmicky mini-games like you would find in Mario Party, but they usually have a focus on a particular technique. For example, in one game you have to hit coloured paint balls at a drawing to colour it in. It mainly relies on the lob shot and gives you good practice in your technique and positioning in order to hit the correct area.

The major change from the Gamecube version is that the controls now use the Wii remote's movement to hit the ball. Different movements determine whether it has topspin, backspin, normal, or lob shot. The controls work fairly well, although lobs often register as topspin shots unless you do a dramatic upward movement, and the game becomes quite fatiguing after a while.

In terms of the power shots, there are 2 types; offensive and defensive. Offensive shots usually win the point but are returnable, although hard to do so and you incur the penalty of your character being dizzy or pushed back for a second, then your opponent's follow up is often impossible to return. Defensive power shots guarantee the ball to be knocked over the net, and can actually end up being quite offensive. I think the power shots charge up too fast so end up being too frequent which results in breaking up the action too much. It also gets a bit silly when playing doubles matches since you get your power shots about the same time, so what tends to happen is one player does an offensive power shot, then the next does a defensive one to counter it until all 4 have used it.

One thing that is brilliantly done in the game is the variety to the characters. Each character is given a type such as All-Around, Power, Technique, Tricky, or Defensive and the difference between them is clear to see. Technique players like Peach are great for adding top-spin and back-spin, Tricky players like Boo are even more dramatic and can hit large arching shots, but having a bigger chance of hitting the ball out. There are noticeable differences with players in the same category too, with players having different animations and distance they can swing and lunge. Characters like Donkey Kong are very slow and cumbersome. Despite having a large reach, he doesn't have a great lunge, so you must position carefully before swinging, on the plus side, he hits with great power.

Overall, I thought Mario Power Tennis was a good game although a lot of the game I didn't care for too much. The Special Games didn't seem very fun, the Gimmicky Courts didn't appeal, and the Power Shots seem to detract from the action. The standard tennis was pretty good in short bursts, and the variety of characters added a lot to the game-play, so even if you master one character, the challenge is there to master another.
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CaptainClam 2019-06-22T14:48:35Z
2019-06-22T14:48:35Z
3.5
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Catalog

Brock5575 マリオテニスGC 2022-08-07T14:53:49Z
2022-08-07T14:53:49Z
3.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
smartpatrol Mario Power Tennis 2022-08-05T23:13:22Z
Gamecube • XNA
2022-08-05T23:13:22Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Goge マリオテニスGC 2022-08-04T15:58:50Z
2022-08-04T15:58:50Z
2.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
TiltControls マリオテニスGC 2022-06-14T02:47:09Z
2022-06-14T02:47:09Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
brokenheartsforeverbaby Mario Power Tennis 2022-06-13T10:24:33Z
Gamecube • XNA
2022-06-13T10:24:33Z
2.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Arschooo マリオテニスGC 2022-06-05T19:39:36Z
2022-06-05T19:39:36Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Boobert_G マリオテニスGC 2022-06-05T19:15:17Z
2022-06-05T19:15:17Z
3.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Spartan1790 マリオテニスGC 2022-05-29T00:38:13Z
2022-05-29T00:38:13Z
8.0 /10
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Ericthefox Mario Power Tennis 2022-05-08T04:16:50Z
Gamecube • XNA
2022-05-08T04:16:50Z
3.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Sodebayashi マリオテニスGC 2022-04-27T03:49:49Z
2022-04-27T03:49:49Z
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Irredeemable
Zanto447 マリオテニスGC 2022-04-26T17:22:53Z
2022-04-26T17:22:53Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
3rdLeg マリオテニスGC 2022-04-16T09:41:32Z
2022-04-16T09:41:32Z
3.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Content rating
CERO: All Ages
Player modes
1-4 players
Franchises
Also known as
  • Mario Power Tennis
  • Mario Tenisu Jī Shī
  • Mario Tennis GC
  • View all [3] Hide

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