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Mario Tennis: rackets and retrogaming

Lovers of sports video games and retrogaming in general will surely remember Mario Tennis, a title that is back available thanks to the Nintendo Switch Online service

When it comes to retrogaming, our favorite plumber’s titles are galore, but why not take a look at sporty ones like Mario Tennis too? After the go – kart racing, golf and football it is time to go into the details of another one Nintendo sports adventure.

Released in the Land of the Rising Sun during the summer of 2000the title also arrived in Europe in early November of the same year towards the end of the life cycle of the Nintendo 64. It was a very particular period because even the dear Nintendone cartridges were about to give way to CDs, technology already in use with the first PlayStation, but the Kyoto house still wanted to publish its very personal title in collaboration with Camelot Software Planning (who have signed and continue to sign its sports chapters). But let’s start from the beginning.

Mario Tennis: rackets and retrogaming

In the beginning it was the Virtual Boy

A title with a very similar name had already been published a few years earlier, in 1995for that curious gaming peripheral that was the Virtual Boy. Indeed, to be even more precise, he was included in the bundle of the console and it was also the first title where our favorite mustachioed plumber held a racket.

The title in question had mixed reviewsbut the few characters available (only seven) combined with a certain intrinsic inconvenience of the game peripheral and a color palette limited to two (red and black so best wishes for a headache) they certainly did not play in his favor. On the other hand, however, the style of the characters on the “screen” perfectly followed that present in the guides and illustrations since then. But now we come to the result of the Nintendo 64 version, that is the “pixellated” graphics that all fans of the sector have come to love over the years.

Mario Tennis: rackets and retrogaming

Story and Game Modes – Retrogaming: Mario Tennis

An airship plows through the blue skies bringing back a mega screen on its side announces the “Star Tournament” to all the inhabitants of the Mushroom Kingdom. The colorful and funny Nintendo characters are in fact more than ready to do battle on the playing field to the sound of rackets and balls, complete with Toad as a reporter, but there are some characters who seem to have been excluded from the game.

In fact, they sprout from a corner Wario e Waluigi (the latter does his here debut in the videogame world branded Grande N) rather disappointed that they begin to argue with the two iconic hydraulic brothers. The characters therefore exchange a series of hateful looks, almost touching the brawl on the pitch, until the light of a spotlight leads the way for two other participants in the tournament, that is Bowser e Boo.

Mario Tennis: rackets and retrogaming

The tension is sky high, but in the end everyone laughs and prepares to play until the moment a Bob-omb enters the scene which explodes and carries the player to the screen “Press Start”. A really good start, no doubt about it! A more than interesting soundtrack will therefore keep the players company for the duration of the title, making them decide whether to face the various challenges alone, therefore against the CPU, or in company by connecting up to four controllers to the console.

The title shows up with “relatively simplified” commands where, in addition to the type of shot and the slide, the use of objects in certain ways will also be allowed, but let’s proceed in order. First of all it should be remembered that of course here we are not dealing with a simulatoras you go more towards the arcade, but the gaming experience that follows is really fun, especially if you play in company (a bit like the Party series or Super Smash Bros. in short).

In addition to the classic tournament modewhich does not need explanations, you can decide how to proceed in the following ways:

  • Exhibition: a sort of friendly match, but which will be very challenging especially for beginners
  • Ring Shot: the goal here will be to collect as many rings as possible by passing the ball through them
  • Piranha Match: double challenge at double the difficulty where you will have to face an opponent who, behind him, has three Piranha Plants that will not skimp on the field
  • Bowser Match: set in Bowser’s castle, the field is swaying and in addition to the balls you can also throw power ups at your opponent (a bit like a certain series of karts)

Mario Tennis: rackets and retrogaming

The playable (and unlockable) characters – Retrogaming: Mario Tennis

In addition to introducing Waluigi to the general public for the first time, as mentioned above, the title offers players a series of characters with much more personality and made unique thanks also to their exclamations and interactions during the highlights. In short, it won’t feel like you’re always playing with the same character, but with different outfits! In this way, players will be able to better calibrate their style of play and increase the fun.

In addition to the characters available, which we report below, there are also two unlockables (Donkey Kong Jr. and Shy Guy) and all fall into types which, however, do not need to be explained as they are very intuitive.

  • Versatile: Mario and Luigi
  • Technician: Peach, Daisy, Waluigi, Toad and Shy Guy
  • Rapid: Baby Mario, Yoshi and Strutzi
  • Powerful: Donkey Kong, Donkey Kong Jr., Bowser e Wario
  • Crafty: Boo e Paratroopa

But wait because it’s not over yet! Indeed, connecting the Nintendone to the Game Boy Colorit was possible to unlock four other charactersall of type technicianquali Alex, Harry, Kate and Nina.

Mario Tennis: rackets and retrogaming

Another great, sporty legacy of our trusted plumber – Retrogaming: Mario Tennis

Following this particular type of sporting adventures it would end up on all Nintendo consolesincluding the portable, enriching each time with a few more elements than in the previous chapter. From the Game Boy Color to the Nintendo 3DS, obviously passing through the Advance, up to the GameCube and the Wii, the title has keep company with entire generations of players and always evolve upward.

This is well demonstrated by the recent Aces released on Nintendo Switch in the summer of 2018now four years ago, who managed to expand the brand by adding even more challenges and even a more solid history to this sports title.

Also, for lovers of nostalgia, we remind you that this title for the Nintendo 64 was also made available on the Wii and Wii U Virtual Console as well as on the legendary console of the nineties. And if you like sports titles, but they are also light-hearted and perfect for an evening with friends, then you could consider buying Nintendo Switch Sports (here you can find our in-depth review).

Mario Tennis: rackets and retrogaming

A title to play until the last set

In conclusion, where can you find this title to make your collection even more complete? You can still find Mario Tennis on eBay or in the catalog of the various shops retrogaming, both online and offline, starting from € 20 upwardsbut always pay attention to the condition of the cartridge and the shipping costs!

And if you want to play it safe and enjoy it both in portability and with friends, you can always play some games on Nintendo Switch Online in the section dedicated to Nintendo 64. A catalog that is slowly expanding, but which we would prefer to add more games in one go instead of with the dropper. Let’s hope for the best anyway.

If you then want recover other titles from the Grande N, and more, at the best price ever, then we advise you to click here, while, to be constantly updated on the great world of video games of yesterday and today, we are waiting for you on!