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Systems: NES, Vs. Arcade, Game Boy
Release Years: 1985 (NES, Vs. Arcade), 1989 (Game Boy)
Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Nintendo
Players: 2 Simultaneously


The other of Mario's first sports appearances, this time as the ref. Like Golf, this game sprouted a Game Boy version and Mario's Tennis, a game featuring Mario and co. as playable characters. You control a nameless tennis player and play singles or doubles against competitors or play two-play and compete with someone else.

The graphics were average for there times. The court layout in this game was the first of what is now so common in tennis games today. Your player is in the foreground, with his back towards you, and your opponent on the far side of the court facing you. Not much need to elaborate here. The players in the NES version are just, well, anonymous tennis players seen from a distance view. Mario sits in his chair and if you or your oppenent hits the ball out, for example, the word out will appear in a bubble above his head. The Game Boy version has a more cartoonish look to it, with eyes on the players out of proportion, the same going for Mario's nose when the out screen appears. This time instead of just sitting and yelling a close-up of his face fills the screen when he makes a call.
The same design is true of music. The original has intro music and some music between rounds, I think. The Game Boy version does have light, repititious music that runs during the match. Sound effects are limited to hitting the ball and Mario making noises for various calls.
Gameplay is nothing extremely complicated. This is tennis, you hit the ball back and forth. I really shouldn't need to explain this in too much detail. In doubles, your partner (eather player or computer controlled) will play take the ball on their side and you are only responsible for one side of the court.

These are good tennis games and aren't lacking in any important areas. And, like Golf, are limited in graphics and sound only because they are simple games that don't benefit from flashiness.