Howdy peeps and welcome to Day #20 of Month of Nostalgic Video Game Reviews 2! This is a blog series where I review video games from my childhood. Today’s game is one of my all-time favourites, it’s a sports game but has Mario-related stuff thrown in for a little variation, I am of course talking about Mario Tennis!
Mario Tennis was a tennis game released in the year 2000 for the Nintendo 64 and then for Game Boy Colour a little while after in 2001. It is the third game in the Mario-related tennis series, but this was the first proper game that most people associate with the Mario Tennis series and because of this game it spawned multiple sequels on newer Nintendo systems.
In this game you could take control of several characters from the world of Mario including veterans like Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach, Yoshi, Bowser, Toad, Baby Mario, Boo etc. However there were some new characters introduced including the first appearance of Waluigi, the re-introduction of Princess Daisy and a list including Wario, Shy Guy, Donkey Kong and Birdo.
You had the choice in playing in one of several modes including Exhibition, Tournament, Ring Shot, Bowser Stage, Piranha Challenge and Special Games, these were playable both individually or with friends in a group. The game featured a decent amount of variety and customization from what I can recall, you got choose from a number of characters who had specific types of playing styles, you set how long you wanted matches to go on for by adjusting the points and sets, you also got to pick your court which would affect the way in which the ball acts on the court and while you were in matches you could edit the camera viewpoint to get the right angle for your viewing pleasure.
When it comes to controls. The game uses a control system that differs from most other video tennis games on the market. Shots are performed by pressing one, or both, of the two main buttons (A or B), which make the ball spin in different ways. Pressing a button twice strikes the tennis shot with more power and spin. Additionally, pressing the two buttons in a different order can result in a different type of shot altogether, such as a lob or drop shot. All 4 buttons can be pressed at the same time to hit a very powerful smash shot. The longer a button is pressed before contact is made with the ball, the stronger the shot will be. The control system allows players of all levels to become familiar with the mechanics of the game within a very short time, whilst also encouraging advanced players to take advantage of the variety of shots on offer to come up with different strategies for winning points. A total of seven types of shot are possible using only the one main button of the controller.
Mario Tennis, oh how I love you! This was one of my favourite N64 games and I played it all the time. Straight from the time the game begins with that awesome intro sequence you know its gonna be a great game. Just have a look below:
Probably one of the best intros Nintendo have in any of their games ever.
This is one of my favourite intros to any game ever. It’s funny, entertaining and sets the pace and atmosphere for the rest of the game. Mario Tennis was great because it didn’t feel like the plain old boring version of tennis, it was swift and dynamic and while it had all the rules of proper tennis it was very easy to pick up but hard to master. I used to play this a lot with either my sister or my school mates, though I mainly played the game in doubles with my sister as we were very into this game when we were younger. I loved messing around in exhibition mode playing with different characters and trying out the different courts, my favourite court was the Wario and Waluigi Court, it had the best music ever! And speaking of the music let’s move onto the presentation. Visually the game looks pretty good for N64 standard though some of the characters look extremely blocky (Bowser), and as for the music it instantly sounds like a Camelot game, it reminds me so much of Golden Sun and the way the songs are composed have a great sound to them. All of the tunes are memorable, cool, different and the remixes of classic Mario themes are great too.
So in conclusion Mario Tennis was and still is a cracking tennis game. It finds a way to take the game of tennis and make it simple yet challenging and also incorporate Mario-related elements from the main game series into it too. The game may have aged quite a bit and is missing some of the refinements made in later games, but it’s still a lot of fun especially when you have friends to play with, I’d highly recommend it! 😀
Well there’s another game review done only 10 more to go! If you have experiences with this game or any of the following ones do comment below! I’ll see ya tomorrow with another nostalgic video game review yo! 😀