My 12-year-old cousin and I broke out the old Gamecube this weekend and played some Mario Tennis which is an awesome game. I’m not sure where it falls on the spectrum of sports video games since all of the characters are purely Nintendo creations and Gooper Blooper court is by no means regulation, but tennis is a sport so Mario Tennis is one of the more underrated sports video games of all-time.
My cousin and I only played a total of three matches so I can’t account for all characters, but what I did quickly figure out is that Waluigi is all kinds of terrible and it’s sooooooooooo much easier to play when you are on the close court to the screen:
Match #1: Mario vs. Waluigi
My cousin likes to play with Mario because unsurprisingly the game made him pretty decent. He’s deemed an “all-around” player who uses a hammer to hit a nice fireball power shot (doesn’t seem fair, but whatever) and has good mobility.
On the other hand, Waluigi f*cking blows. I didn’t know who to pick in my return to Mario Tennis and my cousin was yelling at me so I just said, “whatever, I’ll take Waluigi.” He just started laughing. It turned out that this was a terrible mistake. He’s tabbed as a “defense” player which pretty much just means he can prolong the agony of getting points scored on him. Waluigi is essentially just some tall, lanky goofball with terrible power moves that makes stupid noises and just gets sh*t on by the rest of the characters. He’s basically Mario Tennis Shawn Bradley.
The only time I scored a point was when my cousin couldn’t stop laughing at all of Waluigi’s stupid shenanigans. He literally isn’t strong enough to hit it past anybody nor is he fast enough to get to anything. All you can do is rush up to the net and hope his Larry Sanders-like wingspan that pretty much covers the entire width of the court is enough to get one past the opponent. All you have to do is throw a lob shot up there and Waluigi is f*cked.
Every so often, your tennis racket will light up which means you can perform a special move. If you can’t get to the ball, then the character will perform his “save” move and if he can get there then he will perform his “power” move. Either way, Waluigi’s move is a disaster. His save move involves him cleaning out his ears, making a dumb sound, and then swimming across the court to get to the ball (the court turns into water). He then hits a little floater that always resulted in my cousin hitting a fireball winner cross-court. As for his “power” move, I don’t think I once hit a winner with it. It’s essentially a normal shot with some extra added animation. I didn’t even see half the characters play and can guarantee that Waluigi is the worst in the game.
Result: Lost 6-0
Match #2: Mario vs. Boo
Match #2 started off a lot like Match #1….a complete disaster. Boo is really short with no reach at all and can’t handle serves very well. I just kept missing the ball and my cousin is really good at getting the “Nice!” serve. However, Boo is able to disappear and then reappear to where the ball is which takes a while to get used to, but it works out well and his special moves are pretty decent.
Also, Boo is a trickster. He’s a “tricky” player so his blue slice shot is all kinds of frustrating and curves all over the place. It left my cousin baffled most of the time and I went on a ferocious run that had me on the verge of winning. I was actually up five games to four before completely collapsing in epic fashion. In the end, the fire serves of Mario were just too much for little Boo too handle.
Result: Lost 6-5
Match #3: Bowser Jr. vs. Daisy
This was an instant classic. They should really make a 30 for 30 about this one. My cousin decided to go with Bowser Jr. who according to him is “the best player in the game.” I went with Daisy although I had no idea what “technique” meant, but she looked like a tennis player so it seemed like a good choice.
Let’s start with Bowser Jr. My cousin was right. He’s damn good. He’s considered a “tricky” player, but is also really fast and surprisingly powerful and does somersaults to get to the ball. He’s kind of short and doesn’t have good reach, but that’s his only drawback. He’s kind of like Maurice Jones-Drew, that’s the best way to describe him. He’s got a paintball power move that you can’t even f*cking see and is nearly untouchable. I held my own though with Daisy who had really good “technique” I suppose….I don’t know, she was just good at everything really and had a pretty decent power move in which she hit the ball with a big flower racket.
Once again, I had this match won. I was killing it with Daisy, even beat him when he was serving and when I was in the far court. I got up four games to three in what was an extremely competitive seven games. Then he just turned it up with baby Bowser and I just cracked under the pressure again. Ace upon ace upon ace. He took three straight games and it was all over before I knew it. I swear some of those paintballs were out though. It ended 6-4, but it was way more competitive than that.
Result: Lost 6-4
In conclusion, I failed to get a win in Mario Tennis against my 12-year-old cousin, but it’s still one of the better sports games around. Just never pick Waluigi if you want to win. He’s a bastion of athletic incompetence.
It should be noted that I did beat the sh*t out of my cousin in Super Smash Bros. though because I’m a boss at that game and all he knows how to do is the very overrated Kirby block move.