Mario Tennis Review by: EX PalenMario Federer versus Koopa Nadal
I'm sure I'm not the only one who discovered this game because of its Gamecube sequel, Mario Power Tennis. I didn't get to play any N64 games in real life, but the ones I've played have hardly disappointed me. For example, this one.
Overall, I have to say I'm impressed with this game, because it has some better things than its sequel, although it also has its flaws that the sequel managed to dispel. But let's stop comparing older generations to newer generations.Graphics:
The graphics are good. The characters may look as Porygons, as in any other Mario game for this console, but still look somewhat stylized compared to what I remember from the PSX I used to own. The courts design is fairly good, specially the grass, hard and clay courts that can perfectly pass as being the central court of a real life Grand Slam. I give graphics a 9 for this.Sound:
Well, what to expect from the ones that created the background songs for F-Zero, The Legend of Zelda and the first Mario Bros games. It won't be remembered as epic, but still not disappointing. About the in-game sounds, nothing much to say either, save for the worse flaw I see in this game. The sound a character emits when the point is already lost (for example, if you fail to smash a lob), but the ball is still bouncing (so technically the point is not over yet), could perfectly be omitted and nobody would have ever complained about it. For this flaw, sound misses the 10 and instead gets a 9.Addictiveness:
One of the most addictive games my brain remembers. Even when you have completed all tournaments, and they're not few, you still have way to go. The main thing is the face-to-face records, this means, playing against all other players in all game modes. Completing that score table can take even more than completing the tournaments, depending on the settings (and I would choose five-sets six-games, as a Grand Slam). For everything this game has to offer to keep you playing it, addictiveness gets a well deserved 10.Story:
Nothing to say in here. The main goal of the game is to just win all tournaments with all characters, with no purpose whatsoever.Depth:
Here is when the fun begins. Allow me to include some math in here so you can get a glimpse of how deep this game is. First of all, 14 characters, 2 more unlockable, 12 cups to beat (6 in singles and 6 in doubles). Adding the fact that each cup holds 3 matches, completing all cups with all players needs... 576 matches! Just to let you know, as of 6 September 2013, the current world number one, Novak Djokovic, has yet to win that many matches in his career (still more than 50 to go). If we keep adding, the score table mentioned above, playing in normal mode, gives you 240 more matches, elevating to 816 the number of wins needed (if you don't lose any match, because then the number can increase a lot more). Another real life fact: Pete Sampras, one of the best players in all history, in all his career, didn't achieve 800 victories. No wonder now why depth has earned a 10.Difficulty:
Difficulty is the weakest part, aside from story, which this game has none behind it. The controls are easy to master: five types of shot that are performed with different combinations of two buttons. Maybe, if you come from Mario Power Tennis as I do, you will have trouble with 3 things. The first is that you have to be much closer to the ball in order to hit it, the second is that shots or serves can easily go out or to the net due to excessive direction or lack of power, and the third one is that taming the serve to serve in the highest speed the character can achieve is harder. Also, when charging a shot, the character doesn't move as much, meaning this game is more dynamic and realistic than its sequel. It also lacks the superpowers, which makes points much shorter due to the inability to save impossible balls. We could say is somehow hard to play, but it's not hard to learn nor the controls are irritating, so a low rating of 6 for difficulty.
Summarizing, an addictive game that can take long to fully complete. Maybe I should change those words, because they can summarize almost any Mario game released so far!