Review by gamefan1221

"Mario burns off some calories in his new game soon to become legend"

The year 2000 looked like it was going to belong to Pokemon Gold and Silver, everybody was anticipating that game. All other games were being avoided, all eyes were on the two Gameboy games. I had no idea Mario Tennis was even a game coming out until I saw some screen shots of the game in a magazine. Once seeing them, I knew this game was going to be a hit. When it came out I decided to but it right away instead of renting it, because after all, Mario has not disappointed me ever, except from the release of Mario is Missing.

I bought the game from a local store, and I believe it was some of the best moments playing video games in all my life so far. It took tennis, and made it extremely fun, and had the concept of tennis make sense. Tennis was made easy with Mario, just like typing and golf. This game was also responsible for introducing a new partner for Wario, which was Waluigi. The game had everything a sports fan can ask for, and then everything a Mario fan could ask for.

Gameplay/Graphics: 10/10
The graphics of the game are undoubtedly impressive. The Mario colors beautifully lit the game as you played in one of 3 different cups in one of 5+ different courts to play on. And yes, believe it or not, the tennis court you choose does matter. The game is not too challenging, but then again, just like in Smash Brothers, few ever attempting to defeat the opponent is very hard on hard difficulty. The cups you can play in are not too difficult, except sometimes in Star Cup, in which there will always be the one character you can not beat on the first try. You can play in singles and doubles, just like in the U.S. Open or Australia. I beat the cups in a few days, but the real fun comes in when friends happen to come over.

Sound: 9/10
The music is pretty good, and the mixes of the Donkey Kong song, the Yoshi’s Story song, and the Mario theme are a real plus. Also, this game features plenty of sound bites and does have decent voice work at the beginning story. If you do not like average tennis, you can play a really messed-up version of it with the Bowser Stage. There, the Bowser theme song is really good. The Bowser stage is simply loads of fun, it features Mario Kart items that helps take down the opponent, the court actually sways left and right, and also has a tough surface to run on, adding a great deal of challenge and amusing tennis action.

Controls: 10/10
Perhaps the easiest controls ever built into a game. You can smash the ball, slice it, topspin it, spike it, spin it a little, tip it, and even pop it with a touch of a couple buttons.

More words to add
More things in the game is there is instant replay, which is a good add, because they show you every play. There is a rule book that will help you, and there is also playback, so you can see it even more times to see where you messed up. The instant replays feature a little matrix-like camera, a camera that momentarily stops all the action; you can see the winning hit on many different angles. There is even three different ways to view the game when playing one-player. The camera controls the action really well; there should be no complaint to where the camera is located while you are trying to win a point.

Forget about it, the N64 OWNS multiplier and this game is just another reason why a few extra controllers will help in the long run. I still play this game, 4 years after it came out. Playing with one friend is fun, but playing with three friends is even better. It is spectacular violence-free fun that is perfect for the entire family. Who says that all video games are being to violent? I know parents that enjoy the game as much as their children. Like my dad for example; he begs me to play it with him all the time. He’s like a kid all over again. This game is too easy to control, so even other parents will learn how to play in a few minutes. With 16 characters to choose from, there really is not much to complain about when it comes to selecting. Not only that, but the characters each have a specialty, ranging from being good at speed, to being good at technique, to being good at power.

Weaknesses
Well, this game has a few here and there, First off, as I mentioned before, besides playing people at “intense” difficulty, the game is fairly easy. Also, there are not too many extra features. There are two or three courts to earn, and two extra characters to find. I would have hoped for more extra features, or at least more cups to play in for more challenge. These tow things are unnecessary weaknesses that really do not horrifically affect the game’s lasting appeal, but it certainly should have been fixed like in the new Mario Tennis for Gamecube, when that comes out.

Bottom Line
This was a hit nobody saw coming. This was a game that did not receive as much hype as it really deserved that is why it did not sell at phenomenal numbers and that is why the Game Boy Mario Tennis was barely looked at. This is a great game that should be experienced by every tennis or Mario fan; it is a keeper for the N64. With good graphics, simple controls, plenty of characters, good replay value and a great multi-player; this is probably the best tennis game ever, and definitely one of the best Mario games ever. Buy it, it doesn’t matter that it’s an older game, it’s an amazing game. You will be satisfied. Besides, it’s probably very cheap now and you shouldn’t have any complaints about the price.


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 03/28/04


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