Mario Power Tennis

Mario Power Tennis is the latest in Nintendo’s ‘new play control’ line-up which consists of the best GameCube titles with their original controls replaced with Wii controls. Once again, players get to control their favourite Nintendo characters in a quirky Tennis title. All of the modes, characters and mini-games are present; the big difference separating this from the GameCube version is the controls - and unfortunately, they are terrible.

The different types of shots are pulled off via gestures; it’s harder than it sounds as you can quickly end up flailing your hand around, missing crucial shots and maybe even throwing your Wii Remote at the TV in frustration. It will take a few hours just to master the controls - assuming you have the patience. This is a problem since the entire point of the line was to revamp titles with motion controls to make them easier to pick up and play. If anything, it’s the opposite for Mario Power Tennis.

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Before diving into the tournament mode it’s a good idea to try the exhibition mode, as it will help you get to grips with the new control scheme. Setting up an exhibition match is as straight forward as ever. After selecting either singles or doubles, you pick your characters, switch between left or right handed, and pick from eight courts to play on. Each court affects ball speed and bounce and can give you the advantage, or leave you at a disadvantage, depending on your character’s style.

There are four types of controls to use: easy, normal, technical and manual. Although they have no affect on the swinging, each mode tweaks the power shot control a little – the higher the selection, the more control you have. Ironically, normal is slightly easier to use than ‘easy’ because it selects and lunges automatically, while letting you choose when to trigger the power shot – this allows you to get the timing just right.

After getting to grips with the new control scheme, you can check out the tournament mode. The original classes from the N64 version are back along with 14 characters to choose from, including the all-rounders (Mario, Luigi), speed (Koopa, Diddy Kong), and power (Bowser, Donkey Kong). On top of those, Mario Power Tennis also introduces Technique (Peach), Defense (Waluigi), and Tricky (Bowser Jr).

Once you’ve played through the tournament modes, you can check out the selection of mini-games including Artist on the Court, in which you hit paint balls at a painting to colour it in; and Mecha-Bowser Mayhem, a boss battle mini-game where you hit bombs and grab the occasional power up to defeat Bowser.

Should you feel the need to torture three of your friends, Mario Power Tennis features a solid multiplayer mode – one where you won’t be at a huge disadvantage because everyone else will be just as gimped by the new controls. On that note, you can take bets as to who will go insane and kill the other players first.

After the ball drops it seems strange that the game’s biggest flaw is a control issue that could have been avoided so easily if they just left the original controls in as an option. Unfortunately this will be remembered as an oddball in an otherwise great Tennis series. Camelot dropped the ball on this one.

"Hard for all the wrong reasons"
- Mario Power Tennis
Follow Own it? Rating: G   Difficulty: Hard   Learning Curve: 1 Hour


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Comments Comments (7)

Posted by twisterjamz
On Thursday 19 Mar 2009 12:34 PM
Is it that boring
Posted by Koopa18
On Thursday 19 Mar 2009 3:12 PM
It's a real shame - I have respect for Camelot and they really should have waited for Wii Motion Plus if they were going to do this.

Hopefully Metroid Prime fairs a bit better.
Posted by Munkah
On Thursday 19 Mar 2009 3:59 PM
19 March 2009, 03:12 PM Reply to Koopa18
It's a real shame - I have respect for Camelot and they really should have waited for Wii Motion Plus if they were going to do this.

Hopefully Metroid Prime fairs a bit better.
Nintendo may have given them a push to do this - does seem unlike them to let something with a major IP behind it slip up this much though.
Posted by tiamat1990
On Thursday 19 Mar 2009 7:51 PM
I expected that much. IGN's usually biased for Nintendo due to a little bird called Cassamassina but even they gave this game quite a low score.
Posted by ChatterboxZombie
On Friday 20 Mar 2009 4:01 PM
Sounds 'bout right
Posted by warrfan
On Friday 20 Mar 2009 4:30 PM
I do like Mario games especially kart racing franchise. But is there too much of Mario around? I know Mario is likeable game character but haven't we have enough of Mario. mario has appeared nearly every type of genre game there is. Look, my opininon is, Mario is a character that has recently over and over again. I think the creators of Mario ( Nintendo) should slim down on Mario games and if they have to make one, then let it be a good one. Zank you
Posted by swordoflight
On Thursday 9 Apr 2009 10:41 PM
This is probably for the family too play?Oh well have too play too find out the truth!