Review by JSonavil

Reviewed: 08/30/00 | Updated: 08/30/00

Better than Mario Golf !

If anyone has playd Mario Golf, they know that that game was
hard because it was difficult to control your shots. Also, the CPU difficulty level was absurd !

Now out comes Mario Tennis. This is THE game to get for the
N64 ! It has 16 characters ranging from Bowser to Donkey Kong to old-favorites like Mario, Luigi, Yoshi, and Princess
Toadstool to new-comers like Waluigi. It even has Birdo from Super Mario Bros. 2 (NES) and Boo ! And if you want to play tennis as a turtle with wings, you can ! Each character has different strengths and weaknesses that can cost you the game. Bowser and Donkey Kong, for example, are extremely slow but they are power-hitters. If you play against Yoshi, who is very fast, you will probably lose because he will make you run all over the court. With regards to the power-hitting, both Bowser and Donkey Kong normally hit the ball to the edge of the court. You can do a charged hit but with a strong hitter like Bowser, 9 out of 10 times, it will go out of the court. And with regular characters, the charged shot leaves you immobile for a little while, so if you are not properly lined up with the ball, you will not be able to get to it in time.

There are 4 difficulty settings, easy, normal, hard, and intense. Easy is a joke and should only be played by first time users. Normal is for people with some experience. Hard is for skilled players. And Intense is for masters only.

There are 3 cups to compete in. Mushroom cup is a joke (except for Donkey Kong and Bowser). Flower cup is a bit of a challenge and Star cup is hard. Each character has their own ending but some of them are cliffhangers and are incomplete.

There are some special tennis courts to be played on and some of them have themes from previous Mario and DK games. Dk's board has the Donkey Kong theme, Mario's court has the Super Mario Bros. theme, and Yishi's court has Yoshi's theme. The background music is very well done and very tense. The voie overs are good except for Luigi's annoying moan whenever he loses a match.

There are several modes of tennis in this game. Torunament mode is a torunament. Exhibition mode is a single match. Pirahna Plant Challenge is a somewhat fun mode where a pirhana spits balls at you and you must knock them over the net. The catch is that there is another player on the other side of the net and if he hits the ball back, the ball does not count. The Bowser Castle mode is not good at all. Sure, you can get power-ups and use them against your opponent(s). But most of the time, whenever you get a power-up and use it, you win the point. And you almost always get a power-up whenever you succesfully get the ball over the net.

If you play this game with two, three, or four players, it is very fun. But the doubles games can get very fast and confusing. Especially since the ball is very hard to see. I miss the opponent's serve a lot because it is so hard to see the ball.

One player exhibition is also extremely fun and very addictive. Whether you play this by yourself or with a whole group, you will not be able to put this game down.

There are really only 2 buttons used in this game (A & B). But there are tons of different hits done with just these two buttons. For example, hitting A then B will do one type of lob whereas hitting B and then A will do a shorter lob. And you can hit forehand and backhand.

The only characters I do not recommend playing are Donkey Kong (because he is so slow) and Paratroopa (because it is impossible to see where you hit the ball because of his feathers) ! And remember, don't pick the character just because you like him/her; pick them because they have good strengths. This will determine whether or not you win the match.

Here is the run-down of the ratings for this game :

Single player : 9/10 The Mushroom cup is way too easy and the easy difficulty setting is a joke. But the exhibiton mode on normal and the flower and star cups are very fun.

Multiplayer : 10/10 This is one of the best parts of this game. It is easy for beginners and has depth for masters. And even if you are a beginner, the controls are easy to get used to, so you can just jump right in and begin playing with your friends. The matches are almost always close and a very fun when playing with friends.

Music : 9/10 Luigi's moaning is annoying and some of the characters have only one line that they repeat over and over again. But the background music is great. And there even is Mario's theme in his court.

Secrets : 9/10 There are a couple of secrets that range from extremely easy to unlock to very hard to unlock. But all of them are worth unlocking.

Lasting Appeal : 10/10 You cab play this forever with friends and playing by yourself is also very fun. You won't be dissapointed with this game.

Overall (not an average) : 9/10

Buy or Rent ? BUY BUY BUY BUY !!!! This is the best multiplayer game on the N64. It is even better than Perfect Dark and Goldeneye. Definitely BUY this game. Even if you never heard of Tennis before, you will like this game. Even if you hated Mario Golf, you will like this game. It is for everyone. So go out and get of copy of Mario Tennis today.

Rating: 9

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