Mario Power Tennis
Mario Power Tennis, known in Japan as Mario Tennis GC (マリオテニスGC Mario Tenisu Jī Shī), is a sports game for the Nintendo GameCube and a re-release for the Wii (via the New Play Control! series). It is the third direct installment in the Mario Tennis series, and the follow-up to Mario Tennis for the Nintendo 64. In this game, Mario and his various friends and enemies meet up to play tennis. Like the previous Mario sports titles, all the playable characters have incredibly powerful Power Shots. Additionally, there are courts in the game that have special effects and events during the game. For each court, there are also special games to play.
The game's opening begins with Mario and Luigi playing a match against Wario and Waluigi. The Mario Bros. win the match and celebrate as Wario and Waluigi complain about their loss. Bowser is seen surveying the match through hidden cameras. The next day, Wario and Waluigi see a picture of Mario and Luigi on the "Peach Dome Tournament" board and are furious to see that their opponents have knocked them out of the running. Wario and Waluigi vandalize the picture of Mario and Luigi, but the police pursue to arrest them. Wario and Waluigi escape into a janitor's closet, but they fall into what appears to be a training room. Bowser approaches them and offers an alliance to get revenge against the Mario Bros. After hours of training and seeing others playing their tennis matches, they carry out a plan to attack the final tournament later that evening at the Peach Dome.
As Mario and Luigi are about to play the final match of the tournament against Yoshi and Donkey Kong, Bowser shows up on an airship-shaped blimp and rigs the tournament so that Wario and Waluigi can have their rematch with the Mario Bros., shocking the tournament hosts, Princess Peach and Toadsworth. Everyone gets furious at Wario, Waluigi, and Bowser wanting them to leave, but Wario and Waluigi silence them by setting up a machine that fires Bob-ombs at the Mario Bros. Bowser in the meantime, throws Bob-ombs at them. However, Mario and Luigi deflect the incoming Bob-ombs back at them with their tennis rackets. Other characters, such as Diddy Kong and Koopa Troopa, are briefly seen helping the Mario Bros. fending off the Bob-ombs as the spectators evacuate from the stadium; running and screaming for their lives. As a last resort, Bowser launches a Bullet Bill from his blimp at them, and Mario knocks it back with his racket, which fires back and hits Wario's Bob-omb launcher. Waluigi is about to retrieve the launcher, but Wario falls and crushes him. The launcher, flipped from the explosion, accidentally fires a Bob-omb at Bowser's blimp, destroying it and revealing Bowser's stock of Bob-ombs below his blimp, shocking Peach, Toadsworth, Mario, and Luigi.
Bowser's blimp starts to descend out of control and falls toward Wario and Waluigi. Wario and Waluigi attempt to escape, but Bowser crashes to them with the Bob-ombs onboard, causing them to blow up on impact creating a large explosion.
Afterwards, the trio falls unconscious after the blast, and their plan to attack Mario and his friends has completely failed, despite the damage they have done to the stadium. Mario and Luigi are relieved and unharmed, and Mario breaks the fourth wall by saying "Mama mia" at the camera before the scene ends.
Players participate in a tennis game, just as its precedents in the Mario Tennis series. To win, the player must score points by hitting the ball into the other side of the court and not making the opponent rebound the ball, just as the traditional way of playing tennis. Players earn 15 points for every shot that is successful and can win the game by earning set, game, and match points by earning 60 points on each game. The amount of set and game points can be set by the player in exhibition mode, but not in tournament mode.
Menu screen controls
The controls here are assumed the normal control style. The control options are changed in the options menu and before the start of a match.
Up to four players can participate in this versus mode. The players can choose their characters, a court, and what type of game that they can play. The player can also adjust rules in versus match, such as turning power shots on and off, setting the numbers of games and sets, and choose which character to pair with when playing in doubles. Computer levels can also be set by the player, and they range from easiest to hardest: novice, intermediate, expert, pro, and the unlockable ace difficulty. There are three types of games that the player can play.
The content and number of the item boxes depends on the court being played on.
The player pits against simultaneous matches against computer opponents to win the trophy in a cup. The higher the cup level, the harder the computers will get. Once a character has completed Star Cup, the character receives a star ranking, strengthening hitting the ball. This rank also allows the character to participate in the Star Tournament, where the opponents also have the star ranking and are generally more difficult. The player can also participate in a Gimmick Tournament, which, as the name implies, enables the player to participate in Gimmick matches in courts against the computer. Although a Doubles Tournament is available, only one player can participate, forcing the player to be paired with an AI-controlled partner of their choice. Additionally, completing the World Open in Doubles does not grant the character a star ranking, so players must complete the Singles tournaments first to participate in Doubles Star Tournament.
These tournaments are held in the Peach Dome court.
Just like the World Open, these tournaments are held in the Peach Dome as well. However, as the tournament suggests, CPU opponents are all star characters.
Players have the option to play special games as an alternative to going in tournament or exhibition mode. Up to four players can participate in the special games except for Gooper Blooper Volley and Mecha-Bowser Mayhem, which are only for one player. All courts have specific special games that are unique from one another.
A total of 18 characters are playable in Mario Power Tennis, of which 14 are default and the other 4 need to be unlocked before they can be played as. Characters are divided into 6 different play styles, listed below.
Although their stats are not visible, each character has slightly different attributes from each other. For instance, Bowser has more power and reach compared to Wario, but Wario has better control, movement, and volleying.
"New Play Control!" series
For the Wii version of Mario Power Tennis (via the New Play Control! lineup), the game makes use of the Wii's motion controls instead of the Nintendo GameCube controller (which this specified version cannot be played using the latter). This version includes a tutorial movie to demonstrate how to use the Wii Remote in this game. It is also possible to play this game in 16:9 widescreen mode. Players can choose to play with the Wii Remote only, or with the Wii Remote/Nunchuk combination for advanced control of playable character participants. It also adds a new gauge pointing out the current Power Shot energy charge shown below character icons during matches.
Pre-release and unused content
In the intro of the game where Wario and Waluigi are checking out the tournament board, the player can see Toad and Toadette on the left. It is unknown if they were intended to be playable or if it is a simple cameo. Unused models found within the game's files include a Hammer Bro (with its filename implying that it was meant to be the linesman) and 3D sprites for a Spiny, a Shellcreeper, and a Fighter Fly. Presumably, the latter two models were to be used for the Mario Classic Court as either spectators or obstacles. In the final game, they use their sprites from the NES version of Mario Bros. During production, the game was called Mario Tennis.
References to other games
References in later games
This is the only Mario game so far that has blooper-reels in the credits. If the player wins the Star Cup or Thunder Cup, the player will see a blooper reel of the first half of the Opening Movie. These bloopers are as follows:
If the player wins the Planet Cup, a second set of bloopers will continue where the last set left off. These bloopers are as follows:
When a character wins a tournament in Singles mode, their celebration will be shown, with an event occuring for each one.
Offensive Power Shot Immunity
Mario or Luigi rebounding an Offensive Power Shot with their Offensive Power Shot may not push them back or reverse their controls. However, Mario or Luigi still slow down from Offensive Power Shots such as Petey Piranha's Sludge Racket.
Incorrect Wario Audio
Occasionally, when a player-controlled Wario uses his Offensive Power Shot, Wario will begin saying his Defensive Power Shot Audio instead of his Offensive Power Shot Audio. The Incorrect Wario Audio glitch has only been found on the Wii Version.
Inappropriate Match Animations
If a player or team earns the required amount of rings during a ring match before the opponent or the opponent's team does, but misses the ball or hits it out, it triggers their losing animation as though the player or team lost the match, while the opponent player acts as if the match is won. In the results screen, however, the animation and results are correct, meaning the Inappropriate Match Animations glitch does not prevent a recorded win.
This glitch requires good timing. In item battle mode, the server must hit the ball and activate the "fault" message. The opponent must have a banana item and after the "fault" message is activated, they must hit the ball while making sure it doesn't touch the ground before the ball is back to the server. If done correctly, the banana will still be seen on the ball with the server. However, it behaves normally.