For those of you who look back to the glory days of the Nintendo 64, I doubt there are many games that rank higher then Mario Tennis 64. Although it was not my absolute favorite game on the console, it really was a remarkable game that combined the great sport of tennis with the great world of Mario to make for a very enjoyable experience. Now quite a few years later the guys over at Camelot are on the courts again! Did they hit another ace with this one? Put on your tennis shoes, grab your Cube controller, and read our full review of Mario Power Tennis for the Nintendo Gamecube.
This may come as a shock to you all as many people out there couldn’t even tell you how to score the game of tennis, but the sport I play on a regular basis and love almost as much as football is the game of tennis. What a thrilling game it is that combines just as much physical effort as mental, and that’s what tennis games really offer as well, not only strategy but also the fun of playing the game. Recently the most popular tennis game to date right now is Top Spin on the Xbox, which really does do the game of tennis justice. So does Mario Power Tennis do for the Gamecube what Top Spin did for the Xbox?
For those of you who are familiar with the Mario Tennis series, you will be right at home with Mario Power Tennis as it really takes the same gameplay mechanics as the original. The game gives you quite a few different shot variations to choose from, which includes: topspin, slice, lob, flat, and drop shots. All of which must be mastered sooner or later throughout the game in order to achieve victory. Also each player in the game has one offensive and defensive power shot to work with, that kind of pose the first "taste test" in the game. When I say that I mean it all depends on what you are looking for in the game. You see your character when he starts to heat up gets a special shot that will bring a halt to the game and offer up a short cut scene that shows your character getting ready for the special shot. This in my eyes was really an interesting idea at first, but after a while I think it just got in the way of the actual gameplay.
The special shots were not as big of a deal for me as what I found the biggest downside to this game, which is the lack of a real single player mode. The game does offer up a singles and doubles tournament mode, but to be quite honest that is just plain pathetic. My girlfriend who has very little experience in gaming beat the singles tournament mode (on the normal difficulty setting) without losing a single match. Not only had that but it only taken her a matter of hours. This is just inexcusable, which shows a gigantic need for a deeper single player mode. The game however does attempt to make up for the lack of a deep single player mode with the mini-games mode, which for the most part is enjoyable.
Which leads to the obvious, and that is that this game was made for the multiplayer portions of the game, which are downright brilliant. The game does a great job of making a fast paced, easy going, enjoyable tennis experience that anyone can easily pick up and play and master in seconds. What this leads to is a game that works well with even the most casual of gamers. Being able to play a great game of doubles with three other friends is truly where this game shines brightly and gives much life to a game that needed something with the lack of some serious single player modes.
Although the power shots can take away from the gameplay at times, you can turn them off, and I really think the game shines even more with it turned off. You can truly see all of the hard work the developers have put into the game, because all of the gameplay has been polished to the max making for a very enjoyable tennis experience. Mario Power Tennis was never intended to be a tennis simulation, and it never pretends to be one. Instead, the game excels in giving you a very fast paced, wacky tennis experience that really is fun for the whole family.
I remember the old Mario Tennis 64 game, and how besides Mario 64 and Zelda Ocarina of Time, I don’t remember a better-looking game. I must say that Camelot has been known for making great looking games and Mario Tennis 64 was no exception. So does Mario Power Tennis make for a great looking game?
Mario Power Tennis is one game that really takes advantage of the Gamecube, and does so in a very fashionable manor. Camelot takes the cast of characters makes them highly detailed, and nicely colorful, and throws them into some extremely well crafted tennis courts. I must say that the character models do the Mario gang a whole lot of justice and is just great to see the whole gang with so much detail. All of the courts in the game are very unique and some maybe too much for there own good as they can interfere the gameplay of the game, but for the most part they all work really well.
Overall Mario Power Tennis is a great looking game that I am finding a hard time finding anything to complain about.
When you look at Mario Power Tennis from a purely multiplayer standpoint, this would probably be the most enjoyable game to hit the Cube yet. But when you combine the great multiplayer capabilities, with the lack of a real single player mode the game unfortunately evens itself out. The gameplay in the game is very smooth, and has a whole lot of little features to have fun with. With everything combined Mario Power Tennis is still a very enjoyable fast paced tennis game.
Although Mario Power Tennis may not be as memorable for me as Mario Tennis 64, it’s still a great game. I am just really disappointed that the game didn’t include more in the single player portions of the game, but luckily make up most of its ground in the multiplayer side of the game. For those of you who were fans of the original I would highly recommend this fast paced highly enjoyable tennis experience.
The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.