Mario Tennis: Power Tour
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Mario Tennis: Power Tour, known in Europe as Mario Power Tennis, and in Japan as Mario Tennis Advance (マリオテニスアドバンス Mario Tenisu Adobansu), is the fourth direct installment in the Mario Tennis series, and the Game Boy Advance counterpart of Mario Power Tennis for the Nintendo GameCube. This is also the final Mario release for the Game Boy Advance. It is very similar to Mario Tennis in gameplay and plot, though it has the addition of Power Shots. Though it is the counterpart of Mario Power Tennis, the two games cannot be connected in any way.
The game is compatible with the Game Boy Advance Wireless Adaptor.
The player, either Clay (Max in Europe) or Ace (Tina in Europe), is a student in the Royal Tennis Academy. During this time, masked challengers come to the academy and defeat the academy's champions, leaving everyone in disbelief as they have never lost before. Determined to find out who they are, Clay or Ace become a part of the Junior class, where they defeat everyone in it. They continue on to the Senior classes, and then to Varsity, where they learn that the top two ranking players or teams get to advance to the Island Open, where they would play against top students from the other three tennis schools.
Clay/Ace soon ensure their entry to the Island Open. They hear a rumour that the victors of the Open would get a chance to play against Mario. During the time at the Open, the player may wish to travel between the Academy and the area of the Open at any time. After winning the Open, Clay and Ace realise that they still have not discovered who the masked plays are. However, the very next day Mario comes to the Academy, and gives Clay/Ace the honour of playing with them. Thus begins the Peach Tournament, with Clay/Ace as players. In doubles, both are a team. Clay and Ace travel to the Mushroom Kingdom by the Toad Express, where the games are being held in the Peach Dome, owned by Princess Peach. During their stay, Clay/Ace are told that it is Mario and company that were the masked players in the academy, and that it is also them that introduced the concept of power shots to Earth. Piantas, Toads, and Nokis are present at the dome as part of the audience. Beating the game will unlock technical difficulty, which increases the skill level of the characters in story mode. Beating this mode will reward the player with a screen with all the characters Ace or Clay beat in their journey.
Mario Tennis: Power Tour features 36 playable characters when excluding Clay and Ace (the largest number seen in any Mario Tennis game), although only six are Mario characters with the rest (barring the two playable characters Clay and Ace) being opponents in the game's story mode, all 30 of which have to be unlocked by the player. This marks the only time Waluigi has appeared without Wario (although Wario's voice can be heard in the game's intro). It also marks this the only Mario Tennis game where Yoshi is not a playable character, nor appears at all. None of the unlockable characters are Mario characters, although star versions of them can be unlocked. Playable characters are classed by play style, listed below.
Each minigame consists of three levels and a "challenge" level. The first three levels award a set amount of PS Points per completion, while the challenge level gives PS Points based on completion time or a different factor, depending on the individual minigame.
Additionally, the Tennis Machine and Wall Practice minigames award EXP instead of PS Points. Both minigames have four levels: Beginner, Standard, Expert, and Master. After completing Master level, an alarm will sound and Alex and Nina will come over to congratulate the player.
There are 44 Power Shots in Mario Tennis: Power Tour, with half of them being Offensive and the other half being Defensive, although 12 of these are exclusive to the Mario characters. These first become first available after reaching Senior level, however only Varsity and Island Open opponents actually use them. To unlock a Power Shot, certain levels need to be reached in the PS Minigames. The Power Shots that Ace and Clay can use and the requirements for each are listed below. To use a Power Shot in the game, the Power Shot meter must be fully charged. When it is, a yellow-orange ring will appear around the players character. Hold and press for an Offensive Power Shot, and hold and press for a Defensive Power Shot.
The game received generally positive reviews, receiving an average review score of 81 based on 21 reviews. IGN gave the game a 90/100, praising it's gameplay, story mode and adaption from it's GameCube predecessor, Mario Power Tennis. IGN found that the problems from the GameCube game also carried over, such as the disruptive Power Shots, and also criticized the recycled music and lack of connectivity to Mario Power Tennis. The game was largely compared to and viewed as slightly inferior to Mario Golf: Advance Tour.
The game's executive producer was Satoru Iwata, and other producers include Shinji Hatano, Hiroyuki Takahashi and Shugo Takahashi. This game's music was made by Motoi Sakuraba. Shigeru Miyamoto, Shin Yamanouchi and Fumihide Aoki all worked on the character design.
In Instinct Drill, if the player were to complete a level at the same time that the time runs out, everything will act like the player failed, except that the results screen will have a "Cleared," instead of "Failed."
References to other games