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Mario Power Tennis for the GCN is my favorite Tennis video game of all time

Updated on August 5, 2015

My Mario Power Tennis YouTube review

Scan of my GCN Mario Power Tennis box

Note all pictures and videos on this hub were captured by me using a captured card, Mario Power Tennis owned by Nintendo and created by Camalot

While I have reviewed Mario Tennis for the N64 when it came out on the Wii U Virtual Console it’s time to take a look at Mario Power Tennis for the gamecube (and I often just call it Mario Tennis for the gamecube). This is probably my favorite Tennis game and one of my favorite Mario sports games. Don’t get me wrong the original Mario Tennis is a solid more arcade Tennis game with Mario in it, but Mario Tennis feels more like a Mario game that you play Tennis. It’s just oozing with the characteristics of a Mario game.

Story/Presentation

Ok so there is no “story” really in Mario tennis beyond a short movie where Wario and Wauigi team up with Bowser to wreck Mario’s day at the tennis court. It’s humorous but pointless. That said moving through the game involves playing tournaments with each character. Each tournament last 3 games and there usually short games. Beating a tournament can take up to about 10-30 minutes so you’re not stuck for a long time if you hit a hard spot, and you can save at any time in 3 save slots. Overall it’s a really good game.

Graphics

The graphics in this game are pretty good, if they were given an HD spit shine you wouldn’t be able to tell them much apart from Mario games on the Wii U. The sprites are well drawn, they look wonderfully cartoonish and it has some good special effects. The special courses also look really great has well.

Sound

The music sounds pretty good for a tennis game; and the Mario voice actors are pretty entertaining at least in small doses. Overall the sound and the music may not be impressive but it’s not annoying and fits in with the action.

gameplay

Like Mario Tennis before it; Mario Power Tennis follows the rules of Tennis. You have to hit the ball over a net with a racket, your opponent has to hit it the ball back before it bounces twice, unless the balls first bounce is out of bounds. So many points wins a game point, so many game points wins a set point, and so many set points wins a match. It’s confusing and convoluted sometimes but that’s just the rules of tennis go.

Also like Mario Tennis the basic movements are the same B and A control back hand over hand. And pressing different combinations with have you hit the ball high in the air or slow over the net depending on what strategy you’re employing. It’s fast pace but so simple to learn. However Mario Power Tennis adds in a new twist that the N64 one didn’t have. It has unique super moves for each player.

After hitting the ball around for a while your racket will power indicating you have one of these moves. Pressing the R button and the A button activates the move and it depends on how close the ball is what move you have. The first is the offensive attack move when you would hit the ball regularly with the racket. Your characters rackets will turn into hammers, or they will fire out of cannons. Now only are the balls usually hit back at amazing speed up even trying to return the ball will either push your character, or pull them towards the net. It’s neat to see how many moves there and what they do, it gives each character a lot of personality.

The Super Move make this game unique

Mario hitting the ball with his hammer
Mario hitting the ball with his hammer

Also if the ball is far away, like you miss it and the opponents about to score as long has you activate the super before the second bounce you will hit the ball back to the other side. Now these are the super impressive power shots that the attack one does, rater they are usually weak and barley make it back over the net. They are meant to save you when you miss the ball. Still some element of surprise can be factor in here if your opponent isn’t expecting it.

Now these super powers make the game unique but I do have one complaint about them, they often times happen at the same time has your opponent. Launch a fast attack one over the net; the opponent can just use his defensive move to safely punt it back over the net making it pointless. But there are times where these super powers just awesome to use.

Besides the double matches which are fun in Mario Power Tennis there are also special theme courts that come into play. For example one has you trying to dodge ghosts in Luigi’s Mansion, while another might have you having to dodge piranha spit in a Super Mario Sunshine course. These courses add in a lot of extra fun to the game.

The special courses make this game even more intresting

Who you going to call...a Tennis player that's who.
Who you going to call...a Tennis player that's who.

Final Recommendation

Mario Power Tennis is probably my favorite Tennis video game of all time. It has a good solid arcade tennis game at its core and then builds on it with plenty of Mario theme weapons, power ups, and surprises. If you’re in for a sports arcade game you can’t do better than Mario Tennis.

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