Mario Power Tennis (Hands On) (GameCube) Preview

By James Temperton 03.08.2004

Here at Cubed

The whole title has received a total visual overhaul from its N64 predecessor. The look of the title is easily comparable to those found in Double Dash!!, very bright, smooth and lush. The characters are wonderfully animated, and from the looks of the short bits of the game we saw, this is one of the best looking titles of its kind on the GameCube to date.

One part of Mario Tennis that we always liked was the ability to enjoy the game of tennis, but with a Mario twist, and the same is certainly true with the GameCube version, perhaps even more so. There are various themed courts (on the version we played there was a Peach court, a Luigi's Mansion court and a DK court), each one has its own look and theme. The DK court has crocodiles dotted about it that will bit onto you and slow you down should you wonder too close to them, the same goes for Ghosts on the LM level. At times this can be off-putting, but in general it adds to the fun and amusement factor of this bouncy and vibrant titles.

You perform the special moves by holding down the R Trigger when a shot comes towards you. This will stop the ball in mid-air and the action slows down, allowing the special move to begin. Each character has various different special shots in his or her (or indeed, its) locker, from a mallet used by Mario to Yoshi turning into an egg and powering the ball down the court and even DK hitting the ball back full-pelt with a banana. The force of these shots, if your opponent gets to them, can cause them to be pushed back on the court, leaving burn marks or tracks on the court surface...nice!

Game modes include the normal Exhibition and Tournament modes, but there is also a special section for bizarre side games. Here you will find a version of tennis based on Sunshine, where water globules are fired at you and you have to hit them back into the other court to clean off the sludge and reveal Shines, the aim is to get as many as you can in a set time.

All in all this is a very impressive title. It looks great, the controls are tight and the gameplay fun. You can really mix up how you play the tennis, making shots work for you, there is little to hold you back but your own ability, which makes for a refreshing change to so many of today's more flawed sports titles.

Final Thoughts

Many sports purists will complain that this isn't tennis, with all the bright colours and silly characters, but the fact is at the end of the day they don't matter, if anything they really make the game. There is nothing quite like a game that can put a smile on your face, and Mario Tennis certainly does that. Often funny, always enjoyable and fair most of the time, from our short amount of time with the title we can deliver you a positive verdict. The one major problem, we are unsure as to how much this title has developed over the N64 could end up being all too similar. Still, if it wasn't on your 'most wanted' list before, certainly scribe it on.









C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10 (6 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   


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