GAMECUBE REVIEW:MARIO POWER TENNIS

Considering Mario Power Tennis has been in development for the last couple of years and it's essentially a retelling of the N64 game - also developed by Camelot - we really can't understand what the hold up has been. But hey, it's more Mario Tennis goodness so we'll just shup up and be happy that it's finally arrived.

MPT features 14 playable characters including Mario, Luigi, Princesses Peach and Daisy, Bowser, Kid Koopa (Bowser Jr.), Waluigi, Wario, Donkey Kong, Koopa, Boo and more. As in the previous game characters skills are based on the following factors: all around, speed, power and tricky which enables them to dazzle and confuse with special movements.

The appeal of Mario Tennis has been it's pick up and play approach and MPT continues this tradition. This means even grandma can get in on the action - as long as you don't mind playing with that old person smell right beside you.

The traditional tournament and versus modes are present, as well as the various courts which provide differing physics for the ball. The clay court will have more bounce, while the grass court will absorb some of the bounce etc. The novelty courts return again and feature all sorts of extra fun that will take a regular game of tennis into parts unknown. These fun courts run the gamut from Donkey Kong's Jungle Court to Mario Sunshine's Court and you'll have to play around various obstacles taken from the area the court is based on.

For example in the Luigi Mansion Court you and your friends will have to contend with mischevious ghosts hellbent on ruining your tennis match and sucking your soul through your mouth so that if you lose you'll be sentenced to an enternity of punishment in hell. At least I imagine that's what the consequences will be. Blame Cole for my overactive imagination. He's the idiot who decided to inform his much younger sibling that the banging noise in our room was a mummy living in the walls which was making its way to our room to get me. I later discoverd it was his foot banging his guitar case at the end of the bed, but it was too late. The damage to my delicate psyche was already done.

You can't fault Nintendo for milking a franchise as good as this one, especially since gamers can play the game straight or all tricked out with goofy Nintendo-esque funkiness, which elevates the playability above Microsoft's Top Spin for the Xbox (although you can't play MPT online). It's a fun romp through the courts of the Mushroom Kingdom one more time. I'd say buy it, but the ball's in your court.

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System: GameCube
Dev: Camelot
Pub: Nintendo
Release: Dec 2004
Players: 1 - 4
Review By Vaughn
RATING (OUT OF 5)
OVERALL
4.5
GRAPHICS
5.0
CONTROL
4.5
MUSIC/FX
3.0
VALUE
4.5