As fans of tennis on Wii Sports, we were pretty excited about trying out Mario Power Tennis. In this game, you get to play as one of several classic Nintendo characters, each with their own specialty and moves. Some are good at smashing power shots, some are good and defense, some are good at trick shots. Depending on your style of play, there’s an alter-ego just for you.
The play is straightforward. You swing your Wii remote just like a racket to hit the ball. How you swing affects what the ball does, just like in real tennis. You can hit short shots, soaring volleys, or put spin to try and trip up your opponent.
These normal hits aren’t why it’s called Mario Power Tennis. Every few hits you’ll have a chance to unless a Power hit unique to your character. You’ll be able to reach balls otherwise out of reach by employing a number of ridiculous tricks (think throwing your racket like a boomerang or using a vacuum). If the ball is close, you’ll unleash a more difficult return. The different moves certainly don’t make for a realistic experience, but do make it easier to win matches that would probably last a half hour otherwise.
There’s also a variety of courts to play on, from the standard grass and clay to those in haunted mansions or surrounded by lava. In normal matches or tournaments, they don’t make a whole lot of difference other than distracting you from your total domination of those that stand in your way. When you win tournaments, you unlock harder tournaments as well as new characters and power moves. There are disappointingly few new characters to win however, so there won’t be a lot of variety after a while. Like most games like this, there are various side challenges to complete that test your skills. These have various levels of difficulty, but the kids won’t have much trouble beating most of them in a day.
Overall, the concept is a fun one, but I think it would get repetitive after a while. As your character gets to perform a power move every 5 hits or so, you’ll be seeing the same cut scene over and over again. The controls don’t always register like they should and you’ll find a flick of the wrist is easier (and safer) than trying to replicate Agassi’s movements. On the harder levels you’ll find it very difficult to score and it would better if you had easier ways of hitting the ball away from your opponent instead of right to them.
Suggested Retail Price: $27.99
Website For More Details: Mario Power Tennis