and friends took to the tennis court
's 2000 release of Mario Tennis
. Two versions were released: one for the Nintendo 64
and one for the Game Boy Color
. While both games featured plenty of tennis
action, they are different in their approaches to the game.
The Nintendo 64 version features classic Mario characters as they play in a tennis tournament. Standard tennis rules apply (and the game will explain how to play if you are lacking in that department). Players can play singles, doubles, battle mode, or in a series of challenge games (such as "hit the ball through the rings" or "return every serve"). Characters, including the hidden secret ones, include...
The game supports multiplayer so that players can duke it out on the courts in either traditional tennis (playing alternative singles or mixed doubles) or in battle mode which utilizes Mario Kart-style items as well as interactive courts. Speaking of courts, there are a variety of them available each with their own distinctive theme. Most courts feature remixed music of past Nintendo games.
The Game Boy Color version of the game plays more like an RPG. You play an anonymous human player at a tennis academy. You're job is to train and become the best tennis player at the school by challenging other students to matches so that you can build up your skills and abilities. In this version the Mario characters only make the occasional cameo in the main game as opponents. However, their influence can be seen everywhere, from location names to items. The GBC version can be linked to the N64 version with the Transfer Pak to unlock hidden secrets in both cartridges.
Mario Tennis was created in tandem with the first set of Mario Golf games. Both versions of the game should be easy to find as they are somewhat recent releases, and if you can't locate a copy then never fear - a Nintendo GameCube sequel, Mario Power Tennis, has been released.