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Mario Power Tennis (video game)

**this review was written largely for troytotheworld.com, but I figured since I’ve got copyright, I’d put it here, too.**

Mario Power Tennis
Review by Andy (lifeofandyman.com)

Hey, suckas! My name’s Andy and I’m good friends with Mr. Troy, popular cover boy best known from his work on Troytotheworld.com and IDJP4. I was telling him about this video game I’d been playing recently and I jokingly said, ‘hey, I could write a review on it.’ Then, a bit to my surprise, he said, ‘Please do.’ So here it is.

The last few days I’ve been playing a healthy nerd’s amount of Mario Power Tennis for the GC. I feel credible in writing this review because I was a big fan of Mario Tennis, the 64 game. At first play, there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of difference between the two, excepting the standard improved graphics. The play is almost exactly the same, and, in a way, that made me feel at home.

The only real differences from the 64 game are characters (more later) and ‘Power Shots.’ I can’t decide if I like these or not, but they are a bit clever. Randomly, every 5-10 seconds or so of play, your character gets charged up, enabling him ready for you to use a power shot. Each character has two powershots, an offensive one and a defensive one. The offensive one usually just hits it really fast or really crazy to the other side. The defensive one is special because it’s your ‘oops I fucked up’ button. As long as you hit the button in time, your defensive power shot will return the ball no matter how far away it is from you.

I think all in all I’m okay with the power shots because it adds a new strategy to the game, however, every freaking time you use a power shot, the game does a cut-away animation of it. The animations are always painfully cheesy: like when Princess Peach blows a kiss to the ball and a myriad of hearts engulfs the ball and sends it romantically to the other side, or when Donkey Kong’s racket turns into a banana which he throws boomerang-style at the ball. I quickly get sick of these cut-away animations happening every 10 or so seconds in the game, and I think it would have been a good idea if they had an option to turn them off, but I’m afraid this option exists only in my superior brain.

The best part of the game is the unique abilities of the characters. In the 64 Tennis, the characters could basically be divided into 3 categories: speed, technique, power. All the ‘speed’ characters were basically interchangeable, all the power characters were basically interchangeable, etc. In GC Tennis, however, there are some very impressive differences between some characters. For instance, Boo has the best ‘lunge”when a ball is slightly out of reach, you hit ‘L’ and he disappears and reappears next to it (the ‘lunge’ is also a very cool new feature that wasn’t present in the 64 Tennis). And the Koopa Troopa is craaazy fast because he actually goes inside his shell when he’s running around, and then comes out to hit the ball (Koopa Troopa is by far both my favorite and the drop-fucking-dead cutest character in the game). And the princesses, Peach and Daisy, well, they’re okay characters, but in this game they have a unique ability to wear short shorts.

I did find what I consider to be a bit of a flaw, though. I played against the computer on it’s hardest setting (Pro) with every character. I couldn’t beat the computer with any of the characters, sometimes couldn’t even come close to winning’EXCEPT with Donkey Kong and Bowser’the two ‘power’ characters (and here I don’t count Wario because his character, as well as waluigi’s, were piles of shit). So, basically, what that means is that those ‘power’ characters are weighted to be better than the other characters. This is unfortunate because they’re not the coolest characters (the coolest being, in order, koopa troopa, boo, DK Junior, and shy guy).

I haven’t even played all the novelty levels, like ‘Wacky Tennis’ at a court in Luigi’s mansion. Maybe someday I will*, but the love of the game, for me, is really in the sport. The tennis that I ascribe to operates on too high a plain to waste its time on ‘wacky tennis.’ Though, you may note, not on too high a plain for hitting the ball with a banana. Incidentally, more and more everyday we should all strive to do more things ‘boomerang-style.’

*After writing this I went back and played the wacky tennis levels. My opinion, however, remains the same.



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