#593 Mario Power Tennis

Posted: 27th September 2020 by Jeroen in Games
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901st played so far

Genre: Sports
Platform: Gamecube
Year of Release: 2004
Developer: Camelot Software Planning
Publisher: Nintendo

Now we’re reaching the end of this project, I’m getting more restricted in the games I pick, and so scheduling and choice means that this time, the post-milestone game isn’t an indie or weird game. Instead, today is another entry in one of the biggest video game franchises, which at this point had a big sports game legacy anyway. Mario Power Tennis, unlike the early Mario Golf games, focusing clearly on playing with all the characters we know, and so we get to the Mario Kart of tennis – but without a Wiimote quite yet.

Our Thoughts

As you might expect, a Mario Tennis game doesn’t just have you play tennis like all the other games like it. It implements the rules, sure, but there’s always a twist. For one, as you play different characters of the Mario franchise, you don’t exactly play fair. Instead, each character has different powers – a power shot and a defensive safe to catch a ball you would otherwise miss. They look different for each character, but for the most part they work the same, either a shot that’s hard to defend, or an ultimate defensive action, just with a neat different visual that makes it feel like you do something special.

Although there are some normal courts, the game also has a bunch of gimmick courts, which are the other part of the game that’s interesting. This ranges from fields that move around under your feet to ones with ghosts floating around that freeze you for a while. Ones like the latter can really change the game – and with their random nature, unbalance them, which is a bit frustrating when you’re stuck for an extended amount of time. It’s an interesting choice for a tournament format, but as a casual experience it’s fun enough.

Final Thoughts

You don’t come to Mario Power Tennis for a balanced, deep tennis game, as it simply doesn’t offer that. What it does do is giving you a fun way to enjoy tennis, with enough twists that are likely enough to go your way that they stay fun that way. It really manages to be a Mariofied version of tennis, with the weird details that entails.