Mario Tennis: Power Tour (entitled Mario Power Tennis in Europe and Mario Tennis Advance in Japan) is the fifth installment in the Mario Tennis series, and the third to hit a handheld system (including Mario's Tennis on Virtual Boy). It is also the final Mario game on the Game Boy Advance. It is very similar to the Game Boy Color version of Mario Tennis in gameplay and plot, though it has the addition of Power Shots. Though it is the counterpart of Mario Power Tennis, the two games cannot be connected in any way. The game is compatible with the Game Boy Advance Wireless Adaptor.
The player, either Clay (Max in British English) or Ace (Tina in British English), is a student in the Royal Tennis Academy. During this time, masked challengers come to the academy and defeat the academy's champions, leaving everyone in disbelief as they have never lost before. Determined to find out who they are, Clay or Ace become a part of the Junior class, where they defeat everyone in it. They continue on to the Senior classes, and then to Varsity, where they learn that the top two ranking players or teams get to advance to the Island Open, where they would play against top students from the other three tennis schools.
Clay/Ace soon ensure their entry to the Island Open. They hear a rumor that the victors of the Open would get a chance to play against Mario. During the time at the Open, the player may wish to travel between the Academy and the area of the Open at any time. After winning the Open, Clay and Ace realize that they still have not discovered who the masked plays are. However, the very next day Mario comes to the Academy, and gives Clay/Ace the honor of playing with them. Thus begins the Peach Tournament, with Clay/Ace as players. In doubles, both are a team. Clay and Ace travel to the Mushroom Kingdom by the Toad Express, where the games are being held in the Peach Dome, owned by Princess Peach. During their stay, Clay/Ace are told that it is Mario and company that were the masked players in the academy, and that it is also them that introduced the concept of power shots to Earth. Piantas, Toads, and Nokis are present at the dome as part of the audience. Beating the game will unlock technical difficulty, which increases the skill level of the characters in story mode. Beating this mode will reward the player with a screen with all the characters Ace or Clay beat in their journey.
Mario Tennis: Power Tour features 36 playable characters when excluding Clay and Ace (the largest number seen in any Mario Tennis game), although only six are Mario characters with the rest (barring the two playable characters Clay and Ace) being opponents in the game's story mode, all 30 of which have to be unlocked by the player. This marks the only time Waluigi has appeared without Wario (although Wario's voice can be heard in the game's intro). It also marks this the only Mario Tennis game where Yoshi is not a playable character, nor appears at all. None of the unlockable characters are Mario characters, although star versions of them can be unlocked. Playable characters are classed by play style, listed below.
- All-Around characters have well-rounded stats. They can fit in any position, but they do not excel at any stat in particular.
- Speedy characters have high agility and move around place to place quickly.
- Technique characters focus on accuracy and control.
- Defense characters have high reach that allow them to reach balls with greater ease.
- Power characters emphasize on strong shots that can shoot balls at higher top speeds.
- Tactical characters are essentially the male equivalent of technique characters, having very similar attributes. They have slightly increased power at the expense of slightly lower ball control.
Other Human Characters
The game received generally positive reviews, receiving an average review score of 81 based on 21 reviews. IGN gave the game a 90/100, praising it's gameplay, story mode and adaption from it's GameCube predecessor, Mario Power Tennis. IGN found that the problems from the GameCube game also carried over, such as the disruptive Power Shots, and also criticized the recycled music and lack of connectivity to Mario Power Tennis. The game was largely compared to and viewed as slightly inferior to Mario Golf: Advance Tour.
- This game marks the first and only time that Waluigi makes an appearance without Wario.
- Some of the playable characters' voice clips and animations were recycled from Mario Power Tennis.
- This game is one of the few Mario games before the Nintendo Switch where the American version allows players to select other European languages.