Waluigi serves up more trouble.
Nintendo is being quiet about Camelot’s plans lately, but Mario Tennis for the GBA is on the showroom floor.
The story mode is locked for E3, with good reason, but they have exhibition mode playable with Mario, Peach, Waluigi, and DK. Unsurprisingly, the game is almost identical to its GameCube counterpart. A performs top spin, B performs side spin, B+A triggers a drop shot, and A+B signals a lob shot. Tapping L makes the character dive, and holding R signals a power move (when the racquet is charged). The playable character has similar stats and identical power moves. Since people tend to push the wrong power combination when flinching for the power save move, Camelot has changed the controls so that both R+A and R+B perform a long-distance save when far away from the ball. The three-tier control complexity also returns. The computer players seem as hard on expert as I remember from Mario Power Tennis.
I had trouble judging distances properly on the GBA, though I could adjust if I play longer. More of an issue is my unintentional holding of the R and L buttons on the GBA SP, causing me to dive and power-attack inadvertently. This is probably a personal issue with the SP, though. The music seems early as well, borrowing every song from Mario Golf: Advance Tour except the tennis match background music, which sounds like an original, standard Sakuraba composition.
I find it difficult to evaluate this game without a playable story mode, but those who want Mario Power Tennis battles on the go should be satisfied.