Review by Dynamic Mr Creature
"An Addictive and Great Tennis Game"
Mario and his other Nintendo buddies come to the N64 to play yet another sport, tennis. If you know nothing about tennis, like I did when I bought this game, this will be even more fun than if you did. That means that it buys a little bit of learning time and laughs with friends when you keeps messing up on the return of serve.
The gameplay of this game is extremely easy and fun. You use the control stick to move your player around the court (duh). You either press A for topspin or B for slice. The topspin shot makes the ball go faster because it spins the ball forward. It also makes it go a little higher. The slice spins the ball backward but unfortunately doesn't slow down its bounce. The ball goes slower and seems to float on a slice.
There are fourteen characters to start this game, and they all have very different attributes. Baby Mario has speed, Mario is all-around, Bowser has power but is really slow, Boo has tricky shots that have a ton of spin, and Daisy (a new character in this game, was created to match with Luigi) has technique, which allows her to aim her shots better.
There are several different modes for this game, but it's mainly the same thing: tennis. In the singles/doubles, you can play against the computer, which isn't so fun when compared to playing with your friends. When I first got this game, I played it for five hours with two others. There was the learning experience, and then learning the rules of tennis. You can play a game as short as a two game-one set match, or you can play something as long at six game-five set matches.
There is a ring shot mode where you play with two or four players or the computer rallying back and forth to hit the ball through the golden rings that appear in the air above each player's court. This isn't so hard and is a little boring because you're not supposed to beat the other player, you're just supposed to hit it through as many rings consecutively as possible.
Next there's the tournament round. For those loners out there, this is the gist of the game. You climb the tournament ladder of eight players and face off against the winner of the match next to you if you won yours until you win the championship. The cups increase in difficulty and there are even more challenges after that. You can also play doubles there with a pre-set computer partner.
Finally, and in my opinion, the worst mode, is the Bowser Stage. You are on a court that tilts, meaning that if you and your opponent were both on the left side of the court, you would slowly slide in that direction, possibly missing the ball. To add more twist to that, there are rainbow boxes above the net that contain items. You can only carry one item at a time. If you hit a box, you get that item. The items you can use against your opponent to hinder their playing ability. An example is the red shell, which chases after them and hits them, stunning them temporarily. In my opinion, this is the worst stage because the items distract my from the game of tennis.
The graphics are great in this game. That's a fact. The topspin shots have a yellow trail after them, the slices have a blue one, and the smashes have purple-pink one. There are many courts you can unlock to see the Nintendo characters right there on the floor. The fans don't look very good; they're just circles, but nobody pays attention to the fans anyway.
The bad thing about the graphics, I have to say, are always visible in the instant replays that come after every shot. You are able to see how pathetic the ball contact is. You see Bowser smash the racket right through the ball three times in a row super fast and then see the ball zoom down the court. That ain't pretty. Another thing. The players look weird. I can't describe it too well. Mario looks white, and Bowser just looks wacky. See for yourself (ugh).
This game has good music, don't get me wrong. The problem with this is the music doesn't match tennis, in my opinion. It doesn't sound as good as some other games. The music will get old and it's quite annoying during the games to listen to it. You will really notice this during the ring shot mode.
Replay Value 9.5
This game has second biggest replay value out of all my games. You can beat the tournaments with every one of the players, try to get 999 rings with all the players, something I've only been able to accomplish with Boo, or try to get stars on all the multiplayer stats. You will be playing this for months.
Buy it or rent it? If you have someone to play with, this game is a must. You only notice the major flaws if you've played another tennis game or have played it for a really long time. Of course, you notice every flaw with every one of your games, don't you?
Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 12/22/03
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