Mario Power Tennis, is a sports game developed by Camelot Software Planning and published by Nintendo. The game is the sequel to the Nintendo 64 title Mario Tennis, and is the fourth game in the Mario Tennis series. Power Tennis was released for the GameCube in Japan and North America in late 2004, and in PAL regions in early 2005. The game was ported for the Wii in 2009 as part of the New Play Control! collection, and was also released as part of the Nintendo Selects collection in 2012.
Power Tennis incorporates multiple characters, themes, and locations from the Mario series. The game includes standard tennis matches, but contains variants that feature different scoring formats and objectives. Other variants include "Gimmick" courts, thematic areas with components and properties that directly affect gameplay. The game has 18 playable characters, each categorised by their style of play and each with a pair of unique moves known as "Power Shots". Power Tennis was developed simultaneously with Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour, and the pair shared similar technology and concepts with each other during production. Such similarities include an emphasis on the Mario theme in characters and settings as well as alternative game modes such as "Ring Shot".
The GameCube version was positively received in general, attaining an aggregate score of 81 percent from GameRankings and 80 out of 100 from Metacritic. Critics praised the game's depth and variety, but criticised the Power Shot animations, which could not be skipped. In 2010, it was included as one of the games in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die.
Mario Power Tennis includes variations of tennis matches consisting of characters, courts, and scenarios based on the Mario series. The range of courts includes the standard three types of tennis court, but consists predominantly of those themed upon games in the Mario series, known as "Gimmick" courts. As well as adopting the style aesthetically, these feature thematic elements that influence how the match will be played on that surface, such as the ghosts in the Luigi's Mansion court, which hinder movement when the character comes into physical contact with them. Although standard tennis is available, variants of the sport can be played which adopt different rules and methods of victory. "Ring Shot" involves the player earning points by hitting the ball through rings of varying sizes, with the number of points dependent on the difficulty of the shot. The player acquires the points whenever a winning shot is made adhering to standard rules; the match is won once the predetermined number of points is equaled or surpassed. A similar mode, "Item Battle", involves the characters using items based on the Mario universe to interfere with each other's game and gain an advantage. The central mode of the game is "Tournament Mode", which comprises a set of events with accumulating difficulty. These set of events must be finished successfully to unlock playable characters. This mode can be completed either in "doubles" or "singles", and is divided into Gimmick courts and standard courts. An alternative to these are "Special Games", which involve the player trying to meet a tennis-related objective on a Gimmick court. These Special Games come in multiple forms, incorporating themes from past Nintendo games, such as "Tic-Tac-Glow", which requires the player to hit balls of water to liberate Shine Sprites trapped in dirt, a reference to Super Mario Sunshine. Power Tennis supports the option for four-player multiplayer, which can be accessed during "Exhibition Mode", the standard mode of play where the player can choose his or her opponents and the conditions of the match. Such options include the difficulty of the opponent, the court used, and the number of games and sets required to win the match.
Power Tennis features 18 playable characters, all of whom derive from the Mario franchise. Many characters, such as Wario, had already appeared in the game's predecessor and several other Mario spin-offs, while this was the first appearance for Wiggler as a playable character. All of the characters are categorised into six groups that reflect their playing style: all-around, technical, power, speed, defensive, and tricky. Inherent in each character is a set of two unique moves known as "Power Shots". These powerful moves, which are accompanied with an animation each time they are triggered, incorporate the character's specific qualities. They can only be triggered occasionally in the match, but will usually result in defending or scoring a point, depending on the type of shot chosen. Generic tennis moves, such as slices, dropshots, and lobs, can be applied at any time in the match.
Sound Effects Used
- Hollywoodedge, Boing Wood Twang CRT016301
- Hollywoodedge, Comedy Body Fall Msx CRT017301
- Hollywoodedge, Quick Whistle Zip By CRT057503 (Heard once in the intro.)
- Hollywoodedge, Several Rapid Swish CRT054101
- Sound Ideas, BOING, CARTOON - BIG, LONG BOING
- Sound Ideas, BOING, CARTOON - RIPPLE BOING
- Sound Ideas, BOING, CARTOON - SPROING 01
- Sound Ideas, BOINK, CARTOON - TIMP DOINK (Heard once in Bowser Jr.'s trophy celebration cutscene)
- Sound Ideas, CARTOON, HIT - BIG METALLIC HEAD HIT (Heard in Wario's special move.)
- Sound Ideas, CARTOON, POP - LITTLE POP
- Sound Ideas, CRASH, CARTOON - WOOD AND CYMBAL CRASH, MUSIC, PERCUSSION, DRUMS (Heard in a blooper/outtake.)
- Sound Ideas, HIT, CARTOON - ZIP AND HEAVY THUMP (Heard in Wario's special move.)
- Sound Ideas, RUN, CARTOON - TEMPLE BLOCK GALLOP, SHORT
- Sound Ideas, ZIP, CARTOON - COWBELL ZIP (Heard in Wario's special move.)