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Game Profile
Game Boy
Camelot Software
GENRE: Sports
PLAYERS:   1-2
January 17, 2001
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More in this Series
 Written by Kevin Stapf  on January 22, 2001

Review: Bouncing Balls in your pocket...enough said.

How many of us have grown up watching tennis and dreaming about becoming a professional tennis star? Ok, not many of us have, but after you pick up Mario Tennis for the GBC you just may change your mind about the game.

You start the game as a promising new student entering the Royal Tennis Academy on a quest to make the varsity team. You start off the story mode as the newest student in the school, thus you start on the junior class. You must then face a series of opponents in the junior class to advance to the senior class, and then finally make the varsity team.

Also, when you first start off you are introduced to your doubles partner, who also happens to be your roommate, and at the start of each day you can choose if you want to go off to train by yourself, or head out for some doubles competition. You and your partner are also trying to make the varsity team as a doubles team, just as you are trying to make the team for singles. The addition of a doubles partner really adds to the overall game because after you gain some experience points, you are able to give them yourself, or share them with your partner. The idea of this is to help balance out your team to help you on your quest to make the varsity team.

Before you head off into the single player game, you have the opportunity to play a few exhibition games with the pre-made characters to help polish you go on your quest. There are also many mini games, which feature such characters as Baby Mario and Donkey Kong, to help add to the fun.

The graphics in this game are very similar to the graphics contained in Mario Golf, and also like Mario Golf this is a GBC only title. Each court is colored and shaded differently so you really know which surface you are playing on. This game has some of the best detail I have seen on a GBC game yet; it's so detailed you can even see the strings of the rackets. Each character is completely different, from their hairstyles, down to their facial features. Not only is it extremely detailed, but each character moves very fluidly and they are all created with their own victory and losing animations.

The sound in this game is very solid. All the music fits very well and helps you really get into the game, but the sound effects could use a little improvement. The sound of the racket hitting the ball and the occasional times when the ball will smack your opponent in the face could have been made a little more realistic, but other then that the sound effects are also very solid.

If any of you have played this game on N64 you no the game is downright fun and you can say the same for this GBC version. The controls are so easy that you will be dropping balls just over the net and lobbing them over people's heads in no time. The numerous amount of practice areas will also help you to improve your control over the ball. The rest of each match plays out almost exactly like the N64 version and what that means is that this game will be providing many hours of fun and eating up more spare time then you have.

The map in this game is very expansive and gives you the ability to travel to many different places, including the cafeteria and workout areas. In both these areas people tell you about how your diet and exercise could either help, or hinder how well you play, but unfortunately you are unable to eat or exercise. It seems that they are just trying to make you think that there is even more to this game then just tennis. This made me a little mad because I really think that these areas could have helped expand the game even more, but that is just a minor complaint and one that doesn't take anything away from the game.

Bottom Line
Camelot has once again taken a Mario sports title from the N64 and turned it into a masterpiece on the GBC. There are so many features in this game, that it will be hard to grow tired of this game and the added factor of being able to use the N64 transfer pack to gain secrets simply adds to the replay value. This game is not just a must buy for sports fans, but a must buy for all people that own a GBC.

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