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Mario's Tennis

System: Virtual Boy
Release Year: 1995
Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Nintendo
Players: 1


From the instruction manual: there has never been a tennis game like Mario's Tennis. Mario, Yoshi, and a whole cast of your favorite characters move freely around a completely three dimensional tennis court. If you move to the net, and your opponent lobs, the ball seems to actually fly over your head. There has never been a game that was able to so realistically create the feeling of depth on the court. You'll find yourself trying to turn around and check the line when your opponent slams a passing shot down the line. It's time to prove that you can serve, volley and rally with the best of them!


The first Virtual Boy title to feature Mario, and one of the system's best. I think we all know the history of the Virtual Boy, so I won't get into that. Mario's Tennis, in Nintendo tradition, was released packaged with the Virtual Boy system. Though this was a good all-around game, it really shines in it's look. This is one of the best games to ever capture a good 3rd person perspective in a sports title. None of that full-court view stuff in today's. And, surprisingly, this doesn't create problems seeing your opponents or the ball. The game also has good backgrounds, that actually capture the far-off scenery feel, where even Virtual Boy Wario Land doesn't. There is even a little action in the backgrounds, and objects such as birds, blimps, and boos fly across the screen every now and then. The music is generally quiet, and doesn't create the tension that Mario Tennis 64 does. The game plays rather smoothly. After selecting a character from the Mario Kart crew (Mario, Luigi, Princess, Toad, Yoshi, Koopa Troopa, and DKjr to be precise), the you are dropped into a predetermined area of the court. You can later move around to any part of the court you wish. In doubles mode, this is effective, as your partner will move to cover an area you leave open. The characters also have varying strengths and weaknesses. Toad and Princess, for instance, are fast on their feet, but have weak swings. Donkey Kong jr. is the opposite, being slow but having the strongest swing in the game. Each character is equipped with generic swinging types, so no variation in that area. Other than that, play ball!