Electronic Theatre In-depth Review: Mario Power Tennis

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Rating: 5.0/5 (4 votes cast)

Electronic Theatre ImageMario Power Tennis is the latest in the Mario franchise, a follow-up to the Nintendo64 hit, Mario Tennis. Mario Power Tennis has the sport of tennis drenched with typical Nintendo flavour, with its solid control and typical match set up. Play is constructed in an easy-to-grasp fashion. In order to hit the ball, all that is needed is the press of the A Button or the B Button. The A Button will harness the commonly used Top-Spin Shot, which will quickly fly and bounce with a high trajectory. Electronic Theatre Image The Slice Shot, used with the B Button, will fly and bounce with a low trajectory at a slower speed. If the button used is tapped twice, a more powerful shot will occur. A Lob Shot can be used by pressing the A Button then the B Button, a handy move to trick those net players. The opposite, a Drop Shot, can be used with the pressing of the B Button then the A Button. This kind of shot will stay near the net. Finally, a Smash Shot can be used by pressing the A and B Button at the same time. This is especially useful in an overhead shot while in a Smash Point; a star on the court made when a ball is high in the air. Any shot’s path can be changed by pressing left or right on the Control Stick right as the ball is hit. Characters will lunge at the ball automatically, unless the most complex control set-up is used. Even a beginner can pick up the controls quickly even if all they know is A and how to direct it then you can still have a pretty decent game. The other rules of tennis are also nailed down with ease in developer Camelot’s latest. Serving, the beginning of every point, is easy to learn, but difficult to master. Where the serving player stands can be altered with the Control Stick. Next, the ball is tossed into the air with either the A Button or the B Button. Then, once the ball is at its peak, whack the ball with the press of the button again!(If you time it just right “NICE” will come up in the corner of your screen.) The character receiving the serve can taunt with the A or B Button to help charge a Power Shot and make the serve less powerful. While these tennis basics are fine and good, Mario Power Tennis sets a distinction from other games through Power Shots. Electronic Theatre Image Through the course of play, a player’s activity will cause their racquet to glow extremely brightly. The fine art consists of both Offensive Power Shots and Defensive Power Shots. The Offensive Power Shot will usually have great force behind it that can knock a character out silly! A Defensive Power Shot will allow for the ball to be hit, even if it is behind the character! Both of these variations are unique to each character, but still revolve around this general idea. Donkey Kong may barrel cannon the shot, Peach may kiss the ball to her, Luigi may use the Poltergust 3000, and other characters have their own wacky ideas. The Power Shot will use a short animation, which freezes everything else. Since each Power Shot has its good points and bad, these do nothing to taint the strategy of this experience. These Mario-theme Gimmick Courts are perhaps the best feature of the entire game. A Gimmick Court is a feature-rich arena that adds a new degree of action to the sport. Electronic Theatre Image The environment can be used in your favour and is often necessary for victory. For example, a court located in Super Mario Sunshine‘s Delfino Island has three large circles located on each side of the net. When the ball lands in one of these circles, it will fill with mud. If a character steps into the mud, they slow down. The mud can be cleared if a FLUDD switch is stood upon for a long enough time. Another example is Wario’s factory court. It is covered with conveyor belts that will change direction when arrows lined up along the net are hit. These are not cosmetic changes; any match can be swayed by proper use of the court. The entire design maintains the sport of tennis, but allows for the feel of Mario action. The tournament mode is the biggest let down in the game. As you can’t do a two-player doubles tournament you have to be with an AI player. But the singles tournament mode is quite cool, with a steady learning curve it’s quite easy to get to grips with the game. With the selection of either Gimmick Courts or the basic World Cup, this mode can either be experienced in Singles or Doubles. The Mini-Game Mode, Electronic Theatre Image which runs alongside Gimmick Courts, has a nice variety foe when the main game tires a little. Each Mini-Game offers a unique challenge. Artist on the Court shoots paint balls at the characters. By hitting them against a wall, a painting must be filled with the proper colours. Terror Tennis forces players to hit various Luigi’s Mansion ghosts back into their portraits. Chain Chomp Challenge makes the contenders feed their chain chomps tennis balls while managing Bob-bombs and water balls, which affect point value. Even though these are just the beginning, every Special Game offers a fun and unique challenge (except for one of the hidden ones). Up to four players can participate in most of these exciting challenges. For the lonely gamer, there are three ranks of difficulty to unlock for each game. While Mario Power Tennis may not shake the Tennis genre to it’s roots, much like it’s sister titles Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour and the forthcoming Mario Strikers I’d find it hard to believe that was ever the intention. The title plays as any arcade-style Tennis game should, but adds a defining characteristic by lending it’s stylings to the Mushroom Kingdom. Electronic Theatre Image



















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