Mario Tennis: Power Tour
|Mario Tennis: Power Tour, known as Mario Power Tennis in Europe and as Mario Tennis Advance (マリオテニスアドバンス Mario Tenisu Adobansu?) in Japan, is a sports game developed by Camelot Software Planning and published by Nintendo for the Game Boy Advance in 2005. It is the sequel to the Game Boy Color version of Mario Tennis. However, unlike Mario Tennis, players cannot hook their game up with the respective Nintendo GameCube version.|
The gameplay of Mario Tennis: Power Tour is similar to Mario Power Tennis’s gameplay. Players play tennis with other characters, in both doubles and singles, and there are several mechanics such as topspin, slice, and “Power Shots”. There are both Offensive Power Shots and Defensive Power Shots which are earned further into the game. Offensive Power Shots are very powerful attacks; they power-up the ball and when they make contact with another player, they put a side effect on him/her such as knocked back a little bit, running around dazed, etc. Defensive Power Shots can negate the secondary effects of Offensive Power Shots and they can reach balls which normally would be out of reach. There’s topspin and slice, and topspin has more power than slice, while slice spin exchanges a tiny bit of power for more curve in the character’s shot. As well as this, there are also a variety of shots, such as lobs or smashes. Interestingly, like other Mario Tennis video games, it is impossible for players to hit the ball out of bounds.
There are several characters in Mario Tennis: Power Tour. The two main characters to choose from are Clay (Max in the European version), a male power player; and Ace (Tina in the European version), a female technical player. The player can change the name of the character they choose to play as, and also choose the character’s dominant hand for playing tennis (right or left); the character the player didn’t choose will be their doubles partner and his/her name cannot be changed.
There’s also the Mario gang with Mario, Luigi, Peach, Donkey Kong, Bowser and Waluigi; they won’t appear until much later in the game. There’s players returning from the previous game such as Alex (normally as coaches), and there’s new faces such as Elroy, Tori, Whisker, and Paula.
The game starts as the main character wakes up in unfamiliar surroundings. His/her partner explains that the protagonist has enrolled at the Royal Tennis Academy, and he/she is the character’s doubles partner. Having passed out the previous day during the Welcome Workout, they decide to get some breakfast. When they arrive at the restaurant, it is deserted and he/she finds out that masked challengers have challenged the top academy students, including Alex, who is implied to be the top-ranked player at the academy. After hearing that the masked players defeated the school champions, he/she sets out to become the top ranked player, in order to enter the main tournament (The Island Open) and discover the masked players’ true identities.
After defeating the Junior and Senior classes, the player advances to the Varsity Level. Learning that only the two highest ranked doubles pairs can enter the tournament for sure, the main character defeats the entire Varsity class. The player, their partner, and two other players named Elroy (who is also the varsity captain) and Tori enter the Island Open.
After the winning the Island Open, the player has not yet discovered the identities of the masked players. However, the morning following their win, the two main characters are approached by Alex and led to a secret airport near the academy. Here, our hero meets Mario, who is implied to have been one of the masked players, and is taken to Peach’s Kingdom to participate in the Peach Tournament against the other characters in the game. Winning the tournament ends the doubles game.
Afterwards, the main character becomes the singles champion of the school and wins the Island Open on his/her own, again traveling to the Mushroom Kingdom to play in the Peach Tournament. Winning this Tournament effectively ends the Story Mode’s main plot line, and our hero presumably goes home the hero of the academy.