Mario Power Tennis - New Play Control!

Mario Power Tennis - New Play Control! Review for Wii

On: WiiCube

Mario and his tennis playing friends arrive on the Wii, with crazy courts and a a whole host of bonus games.

Review Verdict Read Review
6Out of 10
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A fun game let down by fiddly Wii Remote controls
A fun game let down by fiddly Wii Remote controls

A fun game let down by fiddly Wii Remote controls

We're not against the idea of Nintendo re-releasing some of its classic GameCube games on the Wii, more or less as they were but with new Wii controls, but we were concerned that some games just wouldn't get the care and attention required. Mario Power Tennis originally hit the GameCube just over four years ago and, with the success of Wii Sports (and the included tennis game), bringing this fun sports title to the Wii seemed to make sense. The problem here is that the simple controls from the original release have been turned into awkward Wii Remote swings that cause nothing but trouble.

As with the other New Play Control titles we've played on the Wii, Mario Power Tennis doesn't add much to the original game. The game modes are as they were, so you've got the fairly basic Exhibition and Tournament play options, as well as Special Games: five tennis themed mini-games playable with up to four players. There's nothing here in the way of a career mode or story mode, so the lone player may well feel a little short changed.

As with all Mario sports titles you can choose from a variety of classic Nintendo characters, with each falling into a certain category: all-round, powerful, technical, fast, defensive or tricky. For example, Mario is good at most things, but specialises in no particular area, making him good for beginners, while Bowser Jr. is able to trick opponents by curving the ball.

As a four-player game, complete with crazy on-court antics, Mario Power Tennis was great fun on the GameCube. It would seem like a perfect fit for Nintendo's family conquering Wii, but somewhere along the porting line the controls must have slipped through a few quality checks. After playing Wii Sports Tennis we know that a tennis game can be great fun for everyone, but here you'll frequently activate the wrong shot type, it's incredibly hard to hit shots with power and after a few games your arm will most likely be suffering from tennis elbow.

As in Wii Sports the angle and power of your shot is determined by the speed of your Wii Remote stroke, with the timing determining the angle. It's all good on paper, but in practice it's a recipe for frustration. Trying to hit the ball where you want it to go, at the pace you want, and with the spin you want is bordering on a nightmare. For example, a topspin shot requires a stroke from lower right to upper left, whereas a slice requires a stroke from upper right to lower left. Then there's a standard flat shot which is just a stroke from right to left. You can see how your actions could easily be misinterpreted by the game.

Add in motions for smashes, lobs, drop shots and the ability to perform power shots and suddenly a simple game becomes somewhat more complex. While the game recognises your actions correctly most of the time, the errors still occur far too often to be acceptable, especially if you're coming to the game from a more hardcore background.

Power moves add some typically Nintendo fun to proceedings

Power moves add some typically Nintendo fun to proceedings

Something Power Tennis offers that Wii Sports doesn't is the ability to move your character around using the Nunchuck's analogue stick. While this method certainly gives you a greater sense of control, a lot of players will prefer to let the AI handle player movement and simply focus on performing the right shot type. Sadly there's no support here for NES-pad style Wii Remote play, the Classic Controller or the original GameCube pad. It's clear Nintendo wanted to make the game appear as new as possible, but it has severely reduced the fun factor as a result, meaning a lot of people will be better off finding a copy of the GameCube original.

The control issues are a real shame as the rest of the game has been proven to be a lot of fun. The on-court action is never predictable, the various courts are all well designed and the mini-games offer something different to sink time into. Visually the game is showing its age, but as with Pikmin it's still not ugly by Wii standards. While a proper new Mario Power Tennis for Wii would look better, this will do the job for now.

As much as it pains us to say it, having been big fans of the original GameCube game, the control issues in this Wii port make Mario Power Tennis hard to recommend. Had there been support for a traditional controller this would have been an excellent party game, but as it stands it'll really only be acceptable to gamers who don't know any better - who may well find many of the issues nothing to worry about. For that reason Mario Power Tennis on Wii gets a pass, but we really expected a bit more from Nintendo.

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User Comments

Azmo's Avatar


"I've just reviewed this game too, and I also gave it 6/10. How much is Nintendo paying you?" i think you was talking to me with this sentence...

No i've not been payed by nintendo. As you say they don't need...

The thing that worries me is that people who might recommend or advise against a game with their reviews often don't even bother to play this game for more than half an hour giving some final judgement... what about?
Or, as I already said, they are objectively unable to play a videogame so it's logical they can't give any judgement if it's not purely subjective...

Controls in mario tennis are not subjective... they are what they are. and they have to be learned for a "reasonable time" (if you're a standard gamer, i mastered them in 3/4 hours, as i did with the cube version)... this is objectively speaking.
Bashing game only cause one person can't play it, it's not objective.

Hope you give it a 6/10 for other things than the controls...

the only big LOW in this game is that it hasn't online multiplayer... maybe some "reviewer" would have changed his mind and would begin bashing himself and not what 's reviewing.
Posted 17:15 on 08 March 2009
Azmo's Avatar
Delete Post


I've just reviewed this game too, and I also gave it 6/10. How much is Nintendo paying you? Not that they'd have to pay you anything, this game will sell millions. But the controls are far worse than the ones in the original game, as well as the ones in Wii Sports.
Posted 21:55 on 05 March 2009
GlitcH's Avatar


sorry to be rude, but RUDE in YOUR FACE. Such an paradox of a statement.
Posted 08:56 on 05 March 2009
Azmo's Avatar


"and i can place the ball almost EVERYWHERE i want"

sorry for the mistake
Posted 20:55 on 04 March 2009
Azmo's Avatar


don't know if the reviewer bought the right game 'cause Mario tennis Wii it's absolutely the best tennis game landed on a console so far...

I can do every kind of shot everytime I want (except when you're under pressure by your opponent, but i think it happens to nadal and federer too ;) ) and i can place the ball almost anytime i want.

Sorry if i'm a little rude but if you can't play a videogame u can't review it. Worse if you didn't play it enough to understand this game has a learning curve...

true vote: 8/10----- 9 to controls, 7 to the fact it's not a brand new game.
Posted 20:54 on 04 March 2009
IxisNaugus's Avatar
Delete Post


Oh dear, oh... dear. I knew this was going to happen, the game has been ruined by its controls. I have the GC original so its all good, but i really wanted this to work so a few friends of mine who didn't get the original would have their own, but i highly doubt they'll enjoy this as much.

Hopefully when they make the proper Mario Tennis for Wii the controls will be handled with far more care... and have the ability to use the GC pad and Classic Controller
Posted 19:24 on 04 March 2009
Glitch's Avatar
Delete Post


releasing an old title with no changes is ok for the likes for RE4 .. but something like mario tennis that came with the console in a better format is a lazy cash in. If it makes any cash.
Posted 14:56 on 04 March 2009

Game Stats

Mario Power Tennis - New Play Control!
Out of 10
Mario Power Tennis - New Play Control!
  • Fun if you can overlook control issues
  • Four-player support
  • Gestures are misinterpreted
  • Fairly dull for a lone player
Agree? Disagree? Get Involved!
Release Date: 06/03/2009
Platforms: Wii , Cube
Developer: Nintendo
Publisher: Nintendo
Genre: Sports
No. Players: 1-4
Rating: PEGI 3+
Site Rank: 754 142
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