In Depth Review: Mario Power Tennis [GCN]
Mario Power Tennis is basically the same game as Mario Tennis for the N64 was. All the characters have returned, with some exceptions (where have you gone Birdo!).
Each of the characters in the game has a different style of play. For example Bowser is a power character. He can slam the ball back at his opponents much harder than the other characters. His main drawback is it can take him a long time to get from one side of the court to other. The types for all the characters are Power, Technical, Defensive, Speed, Tricky and All-Around (of course if all these characters can play so many different sports I donít see why they arenít all All-Around).
The controls are simple and you can pick up the controller and be playing like a pro in minutes. A new addition to this series is the power shot. As you continue to volley with you opponent a ring of light will grow around your racket. When the ring is complete and your racket begins to glow, you can use a power shot. There are two different types of power shots, offensive and defensive. For every character the defensive power shot allows you to return any shot by opponent, allowing you to reach a ball anywhere on your side of the court. The offensive power shot is different for each player, but the idea behind them is to make a shot that is difficult for your opponent to return. Besides being hard to return, some of the offensive power shots have a secondary effect on your opponent if they can return it. For example Yoshiís offensive power shot will temporarily slow down anyone who returns it.
If hitting a ball back and forth with a racket sounds like it can get kind of boring - well it can. Youíll tire of playing the tournaments rather quickly as the only computer opponents that put up much of a fight are in the last match of the last tournaments. There are 8 different tournaments of three different types that can be played in Singles or Doubles(two people per team). The tournament types are World Open(regular tennis), Gimmick Masters(tennis on interactive courts) and the Star tournament(tennis against faster, stronger opponents). As I said, most of the matches are easily completed. The only reason to give the single player mode an extended playthrough is for practice and to unlock some hidden goodies. I really wish Nintendo had gone all out like they did for Super Smash Brothers with the unlockable things. As it is you can only unlock 4 hidden characters(still no Birdo!), a few minigames and some more gimmick courts, all of which are easily obtained.
The real attraction for this game is the multiplayer. You can play with up to four people and fill in any empty spots with computer controlled characters(which do a good job of playing like a human when itís on a high difficulty level). You can easily sit down and play this game for a few hours with your friends and have great time. Itís a simple game and I think thatís what makes it so much fun.