New Play Control! Mario Power Tennis

After teasing us for years with Wii Sports, Nintendo has finally released a Wii tennis game... sorta. How does New Play Control! Mario Power Tennis handle the transition from the GameCube to Wii?

THE VERDICT by Dave Rudden Dave Rudden's Avatar New Play Control! Mario Power Tennis is contradictory to what the series should be doing. The game controls much worse on the Wii, and what's more, it wasn't a treasured title to begin with. You're better off going back to Wii Sports Tennis.

Wii Sports is cursed. As much as Nintendo loves their all-time best-seller, it's sure making it hard to issue standalone sports games. Mario Super Sluggers struck out, and the company hasn't even said word one about a golf or bowling game. Hopefully Punch-Out will turn the tide, because Nintendo's solution to creating a total tennis experience on the Wii ended up almost earning our love. And by love, I mean the tennis term for zero.

Launched alongside Pikmin, New Play Control! Mario Power Tennis updates a game from the GameCube, adding widescreen visuals and motion controls to introduce the game to a new audience. Unlike Pikmin, which adds more intuitive controls, Mario Power Tennis has been made all the worse for the Wii.

Lame, Set, Match

On the GameCube, Mario Power Tennis was a solid title. With a standard controller, it's pretty tough to make a bad tennis game. With a wealth of buttons to use, you can map tons of different shots and spins, making matches extremely competitive and strategic. Unfortunately, New Play Control! Mario Power Tennis tries to cram a bunch of moves into various Wii Remote motions. It would work if the controller was about twice as responsive, but the many matches we played were marred by mishaps made due to the wrong moves being performed.

Particularly, I often made weak lobs or drop shots when we wanted a forceful spike, due to the three moves sharing similar vertical movement. Things don't work all that better on the x-axis, as your character should perform a backhand or forehand depending on whether you swing away or from the body, but more often than not, you'll end up swinging the wrong way. Maybe I haven't had enough experience on Wii tennis courts yet, but figuring out which one to use when the ball was coming my way was a bit like chewing gum while walking.

Love? Not quite...

Unfortunately, this control malady bleeds into every mode outside of the standard one, too. Trying to hit balls through rings or paint a canvas with colored balls by accurately aiming your shot is now frustratingly impossible. And since playing a standard set is crazy enough with the new controls, adding turtle shells and banana peels to the mix makes the matches unmanageable.

While the game's graphics and visuals have held up well in the GameCube-to-Wii transition, New Play Control! Mario Power Tennis is a shining example of how to break a game with motion controls. Take a simple game with an easy control scheme and shoehorn in awkward, unresponsive substitute, and you've got a game that will have people dashing back towards Wii Sports.

PROS: The graphics have held up exceptionally well and the game is full of Nintendo's most charming characters.
CONS: The Wii controls work terribly with this game, make many modes nearly unplayable. And where are the Miis?

Comments [13]

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Toneman

ViciousSid wrote:

There's a NPC version of Metroid Prime? Gimme

Yeah man... both GC Primes are comin with Wii controls... hope they don't screw up those ones... MP3 controls were nothing short of brilliant :)

Toneman

Not only do the new controls SUCK BALLS, the fact that it doesn't even allow traditional controls with either GC or Classic Controller is even worse. WHAT were they thinking? How could Nintendo screw up their own great title? Someone needs to get FIRED for this one... and I feel sorry for anyone who buys this... do yourself a HUGE favor, and find an old GC copy.

TheMisfit138

New play control to me is just the lazy/easy way out. Would it kill them to try and make a brand new game? I'm suprised they made a new Mario Baseball game, yeah it sucked but at least they tried to make a new one. Make NEW games Nintendo..Please

DolFan21

Hey Misfit, its actually 30 bucks at Gamestop..better off wit Amazon...anyway i bought this game the day it came out n it COMPLETELY let me down...i totally agree with this review

donkeykong57

You know this game is going to sell well, which is all Nintendo cares about this gen.

donkeykong57

Son of a bitch Nintendo! You couldn't even touch up a full built game correctly!?

Whatever, I hear the Metroid Prime New Play is kickass.

DJKennethA

Lol. I still think this whole NPC thing is lame. Just put those efforts into new games. If you REALLY want to play it, pick up a cheap-o copy of the GC version

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