Mario Power Tennis is a tennis game for the Nintendo Gamecube where Mario and friends duke it out on various themed tennis courts. The game came out on November 8, 2004, and was re-released for the Nintendo Wii on March 9, 2009 with new motion controls.
The basic format of Mario Power Tennis is similar to other tennis video games. There are a variety of characters, each with different styles like, "Speed," "Technique," or "All-Around," which the player can use as a guide to how that character moves or how they handle the ball. Generally, the basic rules of tennis apply, and you can play with singles or doubles. A shot which bounces within court limits and out without a player returning the ball is considered a point. However, a number of Nintendo-themed touches alter the sport's basic rules.
Rallying the ball back and forth builds up your Special Shot, which you can then release at any time. These are over-the-top moves designed to bring one player or team back from what may have been a defeat. There are two types of special shots, offensive and defensive. For example, using Boo's offensive special will cause a more powerful curve shot that is surrounded by small ghosts, obscuring the opposing team's view of the ball. His defensive shot will cause him to split up into a dozen or more Boos, allowing him to return the ball even if he is nowhere near it. These special abilities can be turned off if the player wants a more traditional experience.
Gimmick Courts also add in more Nintendo flavor. A number of courts borrow imagery from Super Mario Sunshine, Donkey Kong, Luigi's Mansion, and so on. These courts have special features that may alter the flow of the game. For example, on the Donkey Kong court, Klaptraps walk across the net. If the ball hits a Klaptrap, it will run into the opposing team's court and latch onto them, making them slower and putting them at a disadvantage.
The game can be played with friends via local multiplayer that supports up to 4 players.
A number of challenge modes complement the game's Tournament and Exhibition (quick action) modes. These are akin to minigames but still use the game's basic controls. These challenges usually require you to maintain control of the ball and where it is landing. You may need to get balls through rings floating above the court, or use colored balls to paint a picture. Completing Tournaments with different characters as well as completing challenges will unlock hidden characters and other extras.
New Play Control - Wii Version
Mario Power Tennis was re-released on Nintendo Wii as part of the company's New Play Control line. This version has some small graphical improvements (mostly in the form of increased sharpness) as well as a Nunchuck and Remote control scheme. Diagonal swipes of the remote do regular shots, horizontal swipes do slices, upward swipes do lobs, and smashing downward when a star is painted on the court will do a power shot. Special moves can be activated by using A or B plus a swinging motion.
Critics have vocalized their opinions that the motion controls, while functional, are no substitute for the Gamecube's traditional, pad-based controls.
On June 10th, 2012, Mario Power Tennis joined the Nintendo Selects line for the Wii.
An "all around" type character that has no particular strengths nor weaknesses. His offensive power shot is Iron Hammer and his defensive power shot is Spin Jump Return.
Also an "all around" character, his offensive power shot is Squeaky Mallet and his defensive power shot is Poltergust Return.
Has an offensive power shot called Super Peach Spin and a defensive power shot called Sweet Kiss Return. Peach is a "technique" type player focusing more consistent and somewhat high level play.
Just like Peach, Daisy is another "technique" player. Her offensive power shot is Wonder Flower and her defensive power shot is Flowerbed Return.
A "power" player who relies on strong shots to overwhelm his opponent. Wario's offensive power shot is Thunder Cast Shot and his defensive power shot is Ultra-Hand Return.
The only "defensive" staring character relying on consistent volleys and returns in order to beat his opponents. His offensive power shot is Whirluigi and his defensive power shot is Swimming Return.
Of course Bowser is a "power" player with an offensive power shot called Fire Breath and a defensive shot called Spinner Shell Dash.
Another "power" player who has an offensive power shot of Barrel Cannon Blast and a defensive power shot Boomerang Banana Return.
A "speedy" character who banks on being able to cover most of the court easily and return any trick shot thrown his way. Diddy has an offensive power shot called Acrobatic Banana and a defensive power shot called Barrel Jet.
A "speedy" character who can travel the court easily. Yoshi's offensive power shot is Rainbow Flutter and his defensive power shot is Rolling Egg Return.
A "tricky" character who relies on faking the opponent out in order to score points and win games. Bowser Jr.'s offensive power shot is Magic Paint and his defensive power shot is Rolling Brush Return.
The final starting "speedy" character with an offensive power shot of Water Bomb and a defensive power shot of Water Shell Dash.
The final starting "tricky" character with an offensive power shot of Boo Blast and a defensive power shot of Boo Brigade Return.
The final starting character and the final "technique" starting character. Shy Guy has Lightning Spear as an offensive power shot and Spear Dance Return as a defensive power shot.
A "tricky" character that's similar to the Shy Guy but with a propeller on his head which enables flight. You can unlock the Fly Guy by beating singles Mushroom, Flower, and Star cups. His shots are the offensive Tornado Twist and the defensive Tornado Return.
A koopa with wings the Paratrooper is a "technique" that is unlocked by winning 3 of the normal tournament cups. His offensive power shot is Energy Ball and his defensive power shot Sky Dive.
Unlocked by winning the Flower cup doubles this "defensive" character has an offensive power shot called Anger Management and a defensive power shot called Flutter Return.
Winning the Fire and Thunder special tournaments will unlock Petey for play. A "power" character Petey has Sludge Racket as his offensive power shot and Piranha Swingback as a defensive power shot.