Adding motion control is the major change in the New Play Control version of Mario Power Tennis. We’re not getting it until March, but since Japan gets it next week Nintendo outlined the new control scheme on the Wii de Asobu Mario Tennis GC page.
Let’s take a look at the motions.
Serve – Swing the remote downwards then swing it forward to serve the ball.
Top Spin – Swing the remote diagonally from bottom right to top left.
Slice Spin – Swing the remote diagonally from top right to bottom left.
Smash – First you have to move Mario or whoever your controlling to a spot marked with a star. When you’re standing on the star swing the remote up to down smash the ball.
Drop Shot – This uses same up to down motion as the smash move, but you don’t need to stand on a star.
Lob – The opposite of the drop shot motion. You swing the remote down to up to lob the ball.
Flat Shot – Swing the remote horizontally left to right. Backhand swings are done by doing the reverse motion. For example, you can do a backhand flat shot by swinging the remote horizontally left to right.
One thing I wonder about the new play control set up is how accurate the Wii remote is going to be at picking up these motions. Even though Mario Power Tennis is set in the Mushroom Kingdom the game demands a surprising amount of precision. This wasn’t an issue with the Gamecube controls because you only need to worry about two buttons and the order you press them.
Another potential issue for Nintendo is their growing casual audience might not be interested in New Play Control Mario Power Tennis. First, they already have a motion controlled tennis game in Wii Sports. Second, this control scheme is awfully complicated compared to Wii Sports. Shaking the remote wildly here won’t be effective since there are so many kinds of different shots. On top of mastering these motions you have to remember to move your character too.
New Play Control Mario Power Tennis seems to walk a fine line between inaccurate controls (something core gamers care about) and accessibility (something the new casual crowd cares about).
Images courtesy of Nintendo.