The gameplay of Mario Tennis: Power Tour is similar to Mario Power Tennis’ gameplay. Players play tennis with other characters, in both doubles and singles, and there are several mechanics such as topspin, slice, and “Power Shots” (Special Shot in the Japanese version). There are both Offensive Power Shots and Defensive Power Shots which are earned further into the game. Offensive Power Shots are very powerful attacks; they power-up the ball and when they make contact with another player, they put a side effect on him/her such as knocked back a little bit, running around dazed, etc. Defensive Power Shots can negate the secondary effects of Offensive Power Shots and they can reach balls which normally would be out of reach. There’s topspin and slice, and topspin has more power than slice, while slice spin exchanges a tiny bit of power for more curve in the character’s shot. As well as this, there is also a variety of shots, such as lobs or smashes.
Main article: List of Mario sports games § Mario Tennis series
There are several characters in Mario Tennis: Power Tour. The two main characters to choose from are Clay (Max in the European version; Norty in the Japanese version), a male power player; and Ace (Tina in the European version; Tabby in the Japanese version), a female technical player. The player can change the name of the character they choose to play as, and also choose the character’s dominant hand for playing tennis (right or left); the character the player didn’t choose will be their doubles partner and his/her name cannot be changed.
It is also worth noting that the game features a variety of characters from the Mario Tennis game for Game Boy color, who return as coaches. This includes Alex, the male protagonist from the first game. His varsity teammates are featured as coaches at the various levels of play.
There’s also the Mario gang with Mario, Luigi, Peach, Donkey Kong, Bowser and Waluigi; they won’t appear until much later in the game. There’s players returning from the previous game such as Alex (normally as coaches), and there’s new faces such as Elroy, Tori, Whisker, and Paula. Playable previous human players are not available. Also, this is the only time where Waluigi appears without Wario.