U.S. Release Date: August, 2000
Current street price: $50.00
Save: Battery Back-up
Size: 16 characters, 4+ courts, 5 modes
Players: 4 simultaneous
ESRB Rating: E
In a nutshell
Mario and friends play tennis on a variety of courts and modes
The Mario gang gets together for a tennis tournament. Mario and Luigi reach the finals while their girlfriends, Peach and Daisy" cheer from the sidelines. Suddenly, Wario and Waluigi show up. They challenge the bro's to a match, and they accept when all of a sudden Bowser and Boo drop in from the sky. They start out looking mad and angry that they weren't invited to the tourny, but then get good natured about it and everyone has a good laugh. The tournament restarts, now with all the participants.
For a tennis game, Mario Tennis is pretty complicated. Unfortunately, Tennis games aren't that complicated to begin with. You basically run around the court to get the ball wherever it's going to land, and hit A or B to return it. Depending on when you hit these buttons, how long you hold them down, what order you hit them in, etc. you determine how far the ball will go and with what spin. while hittign the ball, holding left or right on the analog stick directs the ball to the side. Mario Tennis has a variety of game modes to play in:
Exhibition: Play a practice game against your friends or the computer.
Tournament: A basic 8-player, single elimination tournament against the computer. Win three matches and you are the champion. Complete with Mushroom, Flower, and Star Cups
Ring Shot: hit the ball through floating rings above the court, and win the point to beat this mode.
Bowser Stage: You hit the ball into floating ?-boxes to get items (straight from Super Mario Kart), then use these items to help you or disrupt the opponent. The court also tilts as you move. It's crazy!
Pirhana Challenge: My favorite mode. Three Pirhana Plants spit balls at you from the back of the court. You have to return them without the opponent returning them again. Compete for a high score out of 50 balls.
Winning in these modes opens up new courts with different effects on ball speed and bounce.
What's the big deal?
Tons of Mario!
: Mario Tennis has 14 playable Mario characters available . Mario, Luigi, Wario, Waluigi, Peach, Daisy, Birdo, Toad, Baby Mario, Bowser, Donkey Kong, Koopa Paratroopa, Boo, Shyguy and Donkey Kong Jr. Lakitu, Bob-omb and Koopa Troopa also make appearances. Mario and friends appear on the secret courts along with classic Mario music. The Bowser Course features Mario items such as shells and mushrooms. It's also packed full of voice samples of all the characters (annoying as they may be). What's my point you may ask? It's this: Mario Tennis is the best use of the Mario liscence yet. It is crammed so full of Mario stuff that you can't avoid it. This is not just a random cameo drop-in. Mario Tennis has the full Mario treatment, head-to-toe.
Notes of interest
Waluigi's first appearance!
Birdo returns for the first time since SMRPG!
Each character's raquet has their "logo" on it. Waluigi's is an upside-down L.
Music from Yoshi's Story and SMB can be heard in the background of some courts.
Made by the same developer as Mario Golf. Ring Shot mode is in both games.
Each player has their own ending when you beat the various cups in tournament mode. All of them involve picking up the cup, and many of them involve losing it. Some of them are pretty cute.
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