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.
Community review by SamildanachEmrys (April 24, 2010)
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