It�s tough to find fault in anything Camelot
does. I mean, I tried to make a list, but…the only thing I could think of is that ugly font
they use in their Mario sports games. It�s like Comic Sans� pale Scandinavian cousin,
Comic Hans. Boom! Take that, Camelot. I�m coming for you. So there I was, playing Mario Tennis: Power
Tour for the first time, expecting another typically great Mario sports game from Camelot.
Expecting to have nothing to complain about. But…that�s not what I got. Now, don�t
get me wrong. Mario Tennis: Power Tour is a perfectly good tennis game, but…well,
let�s just say its shot�s a lot different than you might expect. So Mario Tennis: Power Tour came about a year
after Mario Power Tennis for the GameCube. Back then, Mario sports games were among the
best multiplayer games Nintendo had to offer. Fast-paced, accessible…and Power Tennis
was no exception. But when the time came for this GBA follow-up, Camelot tried something
different. They tried to make a single-player Mario tennis
game. And I would argue…that�s just inherently
less appealing. See, rather than just throwing you into tournaments
and having the gameplay right up front, like most Mario sports games, Power Tour tries
something different. It�s actually a tennis RPG, in a way. You play as a student at this
tennis school, and if you want to be the top-ranked player on campus, well…you have to level
up. And walk around. And talk to people. So much for fast-paced and accessible. I guess it�s all a matter of tastes and
expectations, but…personally, the single-player mode bored the hell out of me. There�s just
so much down-time between your tennis matches. So much wandering around and reading dialogue.
And that would be fine, were this some kind of interesting adventure game or something. But it�s not. It�s a tennis game. And
I just want to play tennis. But again, if you�re into a slower, more
RPG-like approach to a tennis game, you�re probably going to love this. But I do appreciate
Camelot�s effort. Rather than just make a portable Power Tennis, they did something
completely different. And that�s awesome. Fortunately, you can just jump into the tennis
through exhibition play. There�s also multiplayer support, if you have those ridiculous link
cables. I mean, Power Tour is a really nice package on the GBA. My only problem is…its
approach bored me, and its roster is, like, mostly generic characters from the story.
I mean, when I play Mario Tennis, I want to play as Mario. Not freaking…Mason. Camelot�s Mario sports games were tremendous
on the GameCube. That�s partially because they didn�t over-think things. I appreciate
them trying something new on the GBA, but in this case, they did over-think things. That makes Mario Tennis: Power Tour a good
game, but not a great one. Big thanks to our pal Sean from Wisconsin
for sending it in.

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Dennis Veasley

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