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Mario Tennis (gc)


Jools
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Played this yesterday at the rather nice Toys R Us in Kobe city. It plays very similarly to N64 Mario Tennis which is both no bad thing and a little bit boring at the same time. It comes with a whole bunch of mini games which are a bit fiddly and annoying to be honest. One involves looking at colour picture of mario and then trying to colour in a black and white version by batting coloured balls at it. I didn't particularly enjoy any of these games because getting the level of precision needed to bat the ball just were you wanted seemed impossible. Maybe these will get a lot better after you've owned the game for a while and develope some l33t skillz.

The tennis game play was pretty standard stuff but with the addition of little cut-scene-esque animations when you get right under the star and hit a good shot. Although something interesting happened in one game. I'd batted the ball past Luigi and there was no way he could hit it so he threw his bat at the (far away) ball pulled out his ghost catching vacuum and sucked the ball back to him! He then proceeded to bat the ball right past my shocked self who didn't even attempt to knock it back. That was pretty cool, how it'll affect gameplay though, I don't really know as I had no idea of how to do this myself.

Also, on a side note, I saw like a gazillion TV adverts for the new GBA Made in Wario there too which were coooool. It'll be out in a week!

-Jools

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I had a go of this at Game Stars Live - now whether it be me getting older or what, I didn't find it particularly thrilling. Yet I used to enjoy it on the N64 and GBC.

The thing I found with this (and to a lesser extent, Mario Golf - which I enjoy bar the silly Boo's), is that it has too many distractions on screen half the time - this is especially true of the Luigi Mansion-esque court where floating Boo's I swear float around on purpose to make you really angry.

Alas this may be a title I'll be giving a miss - unless it improves a lot (ie. fun yet not frustrating).

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I played this today at the demo pod of a Toys R Us (only got one turn because there was a really rude fat kid behind me telling me to hurry) And I really enjoyed it. The graphics are really fantastic, some of the best on the cube. I loved the N64 version so I will be picking this one up.

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i have had a chance to properly play it for a while... and im happy with it - to clear things up it plays in the same vein as the original with some small changed... they added a super special shot, but that while it looks good is not as powerful as you think, you really cant use it at any time as it just adds a little bit of extra speed, you need to use it after you got them on the back foot to give you that extra power to make the shot a little unreachable. I was glad to see that as i thought it might be some super duper type unblockable shot. Also the craziness of hitting the unreachable shot is an extra thing they added where i believe you have a certain amount of them to use for the entire game. So use them wisely, and also your opponents has a limited amount too. Anyway even with that said... if you wanted a serious tennis game i guess you’ll be disappointed...

edit: haha Napole0n, i get you... don’t blame me i just go up :).. anyway ran though Microsoft’s spell checker now :)...

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  • 3 months later...

Apologies for bringing up this thread again, but I was surprised at the fact that no other thread has been created in order to discuss this game. Is it because of the relative unpopularity of tennis? Or because it's been touted --and perhaps the addition of characters from the Mario universe hasn't helped this-- as a tennis game that is definitely not realistic? Or is it because many people were disappointed by Camelot's earlier update of Mario Golf? Or is it because of all the (relatively) bad press that the game has been getting around gaming forums or in magazines like Games™ or Edge?

Anyway, being a huge fan of the N64 incarnation, it was perhaps inevitable that I would be buying this game --regardless of what anybody said or wrote on the matter. A part of me wonders if I'm really playing the game so much not really because I think the game is great, but rather to demonstrate to all those people who have lambasted it in every way possible that it's really great after all. I wonder, because, at heart, I think I have to agree with some points raised by critics of the game, especially with the options given to the single player.

The main tournament modes are too easy, in my opinion: it wasn't until the end of the last matches in the Star and Rainbow Cups that I was presented with a challenge from the CPU --and I have yet to lose a set regardless of the player I choose in playing through every tournament. Moreover, I must also concur that most of the mini-games included in the game are, if not annoying or overly simplistic, somewhat on the dull side. I thought the "Paint" ("Artist on the Court") and "Shine Bingo" ("Tic-Tac-Glow") modes were quite enjoyable, actually (although "Paint" was perhaps a bit too easy); but the other modes are: fun only with three other people, (Wario Factory's "Chain-Chomp Challenge") or too fiddly to be fun, (D.K. Jungle's "Balloon Panic") or just plain dull (Super Mario Sunshine's "Gooper Blooper Volley"). Playing in the courts in "Gimmick" mode is fun, for a while, but I thought the "Item" mode --made even simpler than the one featured in the N64 version-- was especially tiresome. It would be interesting to compare the philosophy of making tennis mini-games of both Camelot, with the Mario Tennis games, and Hitmaker, with the Virtua Tennis games. It seems to me that there is a real difference in the way they consider to be the best aspects of tennis to apply to other modes or situations, with Camelot bringing a less serious view on the matter than Hitmaker, and providing a more Mario Party-influenced set of mini-games for the GameCube game.

However, after playing the game for a while, I've found that the special shots --for which the game has most been criticized by magazine reviews and countless forum posts-- are more interesting than most people think. It's true that these moves are quite simplistic, as they are used, really, as extreme or last-minute defensive or offensive moves. But there is more to them than just this, sometimes: the addition of the special moves adds a new dimension to forming tactics while playing, which makes each match a bit more interesting than usual. You have to take into account how a certain special move will affect your way of playing, &c.: for example, Princess Peach's defensive special shot produces a very high lob, which would be detrimental to one's tactics if one had decided to play near the net. (Saying all this, though, I must admit that I play the game with the special moves turned off as often as I do with them turned on....)

To add to the list of positive things in the game, there are several improvements to the main tennis engine as well. For one, the differences in court surfaces are ever so slightly more subtle than in the previous games, which I think is a positive step, as most games overdo these differences and, in doing so, eliminate a lot of the subtlety in the game of tennis. This has been the opposite for the characters, though: the differences among Mario & co. are more noticeable this time, thanks to the added improvements and the special moves: now you don't get over-powered characters like Yoshi in the N64 version who could do almost everything too well. This time a speedy, "technique" character with good serve and placement is weak in terms of volleying skills, for example. Which reminds me: I was impressed by how much the volley and half-volley controls in this version have improved, thanks to a more versatile way of producing angles for your shots. That it also helps the placement of drop-shots and lobs only comes as a welcome bonus to the great engine overall. The game really shines when you play with the "star" version of the characters.

Perhaps the game doesn't shine that much in terms of graphics and sound: the stadia and overall presentation verge on the pragmatic or perfunctory. But the style of the visuals, the graphics, (the changing times for each match are a nice touch: playing a match at sunset is quite nice) and the comical beginning and (Pixar-inspired) ending CG movies are quite agreeable; the sound effects and the music that flows throughout the game are quite effective; and the game has perhaps the best glockenspiel tunes I have ever heard in a videogame. Yes, I'm quite enjoying Mario Power Tennis (or Mario Tennis GC, if you've got the Japanese version).

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Have they kept the "ring shot" mode in? I still play that in multiplayer, plugged into a 40inch plasma screen at work. It's very popular.

They have --although not to the extent of presenting it with the various modes present in the N64 version, which I thought was a shame. Still, it doesn't detract from the overall quality of the mode.

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They have --although not to the extent of presenting it with the various modes present in the N64 version, which I thought was a shame. Still, it doesn't detract from the overall quality of the mode.

What exactly do you mean? What are the differences between the Ring shot mode from the N64 version and the GC version?

It is also one of my favourite modes from the N64 version, so this maybe would sway me into buying the GC version

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What exactly do you mean? What are the differences between the Ring shot mode from the N64 version and the GC version?

It is also one of my favourite modes from the N64 version, so this maybe would sway me into buying the GC version

Apologies if I wasn't as clear as I should have been at first. Simply put, the N64 version has more ways in which you can play in the ring mode. If memory serves, you could play in terms framed by certain details, like the clock, the amount of tennis balls, maximum points, etc. In the GC version, however, the only mode available is that of points. It's been made a bit more balanced now, (the loser of a certain point gets at least some rings) but I'm afraid that this is as much as Camelot have included in the game.

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Saying all this, though, I must admit that I play the game with the special moves turned off as often as I do with them turned on....

Sorry but YOU CAN TURN OFF THE SPECIAL MOVES???!!!

So, one of the main things Edge criticise the game for, is a feature you can turn off? one that if you don't like, you don't have to use?

Am I missing something??

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Sorry but YOU CAN TURN OFF THE SPECIAL MOVES???!!! So, one of the main things Edge criticise the game for, is a feature you can turn off? One that if you don't like, you don't have to use? Am I missing something??

Well, to be fair, they did mention in the review that you can turn off the special moves. (And it should be noted that you can turn them off only in the Exhibition mode.) They were really criticizing it for the Mario Party-tinged elements which pervade the whole of the game: in their opinion, they detract from the core of what a tennis game should be or present to the player. (At least that's how I read the review.)

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Apologies if I wasn't as clear as I should have been at first. Simply put, the N64 version has more ways in which you can play in the ring mode. If memory serves, you could play in terms framed by certain details, like like the clock, the amount of tennis balls, maximum points, etc. In the GC version, however, the only mode available is that of points. It's been made a bit more balanced now, (the loser of a certain point gets at least some rings) but I'm afraid that this is as much as Camelot have included in the game.

Thanks, brilliant. Ring shot points mode is the daddy. Epic 250 pointers are the stuff of legend.

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  • 1 month later...

Any revised opinions on this now, as the PAL release is due out tomorrow and I'm considering buying it? Has it revealed its brilliance or been consigned to the shelf?

At any rate it can always go back after a week for Oddworld or MGS3, I'm just wondering how people who may have had it a while feel about it...

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Im thinking of buying it when im in town... hopefully itll be in that Game 29.99 thing. On a positive note which is a reason i may get it, is that i herd the game is set to "Simple" controlls as standered, but in the options you can cnage it to "Experts" (or was it advanced) which does sound more promising (you controll when you use the power shot/def shots)...

EDIT:

thinking about it... is there still a "cancel" button? it was "z" on the N64... on mario tennis N64 the moment you press any swing button your players movement will slow down to snails pace, as they pull there racket back to charge up a more powerfull shot.... if you press the swing button too soon (out of the hitting area of the ball) you could easly press Z to cancel it so you can move easily again to a better position... is that still there?

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Any revised opinions on this now, as the PAL release is due out tomorrow and I'm considering buying it? Has it revealed its brilliance or been consigned to the shelf?

At any rate it can always go back after a week for Oddworld or MGS3, I'm just wondering how people who may have had it a while feel about it...

While I became more and more unimpressed the more I played Mario Golf: Toadstool/Family Tour, the reverse is true in my experience with Mario Power Tennis. I have to admit that, as a package, the GameCube update of Mario Tennis is no better than its N64 predecessor --but that's because Camelot has presented a somewhat uneven package in updating the franchise. It's somewhat tiresome unlocking the "star" options for every character (since you have to beat the three initial tournaments to do so --especially when you consider the extended roster of characters in the GC version); the "Item" mode for exhibition matches is so beyond a joke it's tragic (and even worse than the one found in the N64 version); it's surprising to see that there is some slowdown in the busier "Gimmick" courts (like the Delfino Plaza court) when playing with four-players; and most of the mini-games are, sadly, crap --especially in the single-player mode. (For the life of me, I cannot make myself complete the DK Balloon mini-game --it's just so incredibly dull. Although it's less so when playing with other people, it must be said; and this is true for other mini-games.)

But there is so much more to the game than just a list of its negative and positive aspects, because it's incredible just how much the main tennis engine has been revamped and improved. I know I wrote about this in my previous post, but it's worth mentioning again: I'm still finding out new moves and shots for every character; and once you learn how to choose your shots in terms of using a backhand or forehand, a whole new world of tactics opens before your very eyes, especially using a "star" character. Not to mention the fact that the game is superb in multi-player mode, whether it be in the Ring, Normal, or Gimmick modes. (And I must confess that I'm utterly addicted to the "Shine Bingo/Tic-Tac-Glow" mini-game. I'm working to break the 300-Shine-limit...) It's in these departments that Mario Power Tennis is so superior to the original N64 version, and all the much better for it.

... Thinking about it... is there still a "cancel" button? it was "z" on the N64... on mario tennis N64 the moment you press any swing button your players movement will slow down to snails pace, as they pull there racket back to charge up a more powerful shot.... if you press the swing button too soon (out of the hitting area of the ball) you could easily press Z to cancel it so you can move easily again to a better position... is that still there?

Erm... Yes; it's in the same position as it was in the N64 version: the left index finger. (I.e. the "L" button.) You also need to use the "L" button to perform lunges if you are playing using the "Expert" control setting. (And, while we're at it, there's no need to press and hold the "R" button in conjunction with either shot button to perform the power moves: you can simply press "Y" to access your defensive power shot, and "X" for your offensive power shot. Much more effective, in my opinion.)

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Arada, you've made me want to dig this out and give it another airing. Those power moves were what put me off - matches were quickly devolving into power move after power move, and those canned animations get tired really quickly.

But your enthusiasm and enjoyment of the title has made me wanna give it another go. Good work mate. :P

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