You read that correctly. The now illustrious Mario Tennis series began on the Virtual Boy. It’s as shocking to many people as learning that the Aliens vs. Predator fps series began on the Atari Jaguar. Mario’s Tennis is also now simply “Mario Tennis” and I’m sure nobody would like to forget the Virtual Boy edition more than Nintendo, so perhaps the change signifies an attempt to break with the past.
Mario’s Tennis was actually the pack-in game for the Virtual Boy. It makes sense. The mode 7 field and the way depth perception adds to a game like tennis does a lot to sell the concept of the Virtual Boy. But a sports game? As a pack in? Really? No Mario? No Tetris?
It’s solidly made though, and plenty of fun. I can’t really fault it except that it’s not what most people wanted out of a pack-in title. It was one of the scant few Virtual Boy games to support link cable play as well, though the necessary cable was never actually released.
I give Mario’s Tennis a 7/10. This isn’t indicative of the quality or polish so much as the simplicity and non-sequitorial inclusion as a Virtual Boy pack-in title. It’s well made, but it’s just tennis. Many VB games had this problem, of being overly simplistic. Sort of like the first generation of modern VR games, come to think of it.
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