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Mario's Tennis (Virtual Boy) artwork

Mario's Tennis (Virtual Boy) review

"Mario's Tennis is Marioís Tennis. Itís what youíd expect. It's a basic tennis game featuring characters from the Mario series. Oddly, though, it's one of the better Virtual Boy games. "

Mario's Tennis is Marioís Tennis. Itís what youíd expect. It's a basic tennis game featuring characters from the Mario series. Oddly, though, it's one of the better Virtual Boy games.

The Virtual Boy infamously suffered from three crippling flaws: firstly, its Nintendo-acknowledged tendency to cause splitting headaches; secondly, a lack of games; and thirdly, questionable 'virtual' elements. There's no denying that the VB uses 3D, and it is arguably the closest thing to genuinely 3D games we've ever seen. Nonetheless, in most VB games, the 3D effect is cosmetic rather than integrated. Mario's Tennis is no exception to this pattern.

In essence, this is a Game Boy game. Very simple backgrounds, nicely drawn but simple character sprites, and irritating bleepy music. The 3D aspect of the game, as mentioned above, is cosmetic. It isnít integrated into the game and doesnít really have any effect on the way you play. The only consequence of the 3D element is that it initially makes the game harder to play than a normal tennis game. Thanks to the Virtual Boyís strange layering of visuals, it takes some practice to judge where the ball is in relation to your character. Once you get the hang of this after a few games, though, it becomes pretty much a straightforward tennis game. You use one of the two directional pads to move your chosen Mario character (including Toad, Yoshi, and the usual familiar faces), press a button to hit the ball, and keep doing this until you win (or lose). If you decide to venture into tournament mode rather than just single matches, itís the standard elimination malarkey. Be the last tennis star standing after a series of face-offs.

All in all, Marioís Tennis is one of the better Virtual Boy games simply because itís quite fun. It doesnít do anything startling with the 3D visuals, and the game itself is pretty simple and shallow. Itís certainly not an experience thatís unique to the Virtual Boy. Not worth getting a VB for, but if you happen to have one already this is probably one of the better investments for it.

SamildanachEmrys's avatar
Community review by SamildanachEmrys (April 24, 2010)

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If you enjoyed this Mario's Tennis review, you're encouraged to discuss it with the author and with other members of the site's community. If you don't already have an HonestGamers account, you can sign up for one in a snap. Thank you for reading!

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honestgamer posted April 24, 2010:

Short but very effective review for a game that not a lot of people are likely to ever review. Thanks for sharing!
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EmP posted April 24, 2010:

I liked this one; it really does feel like the review would have been bloated if it was any longer. We know what tennis is, so we don't need that drilled into our head, and a lot of information is offered without paragraphs of text.
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zippdementia posted April 24, 2010:

Hey, Samildanach! Good to see you on here, man!
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SamildanachEmrys posted April 24, 2010:

Thanks, Zipp. Good to be here.

And thanks to honestgamer and EmP for the feedback. I decided to focus on the things I thought I'd want to know if I was reading. The result was uncharacteristic brevity, but I'm glad people feel the review does its job.

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