Nintendo UK has published its latest round of release dates for Wii and DS, including its upcoming pedometer-based walking game (20th February), and the first two GameCube-to-Wii adaptations in the series known here as "New Play Control!"
Nintendo UK has told Eurogamer that Wii reworkings of GameCube titles Pikmin 1 and 2, Metroid Prime 1 and 2 and Mario Tennis will all be released in Europe next year.
Tennis games are tennis games are tennis games, right? Well, not exactly. There's Virtua Tennis and Top Spin and a whole load of also-rans that most vaguely sane gamers steer well clear of. But Nintendo might have something to say about that, especially with the release of another charmingly quirky sports title featuring the ubiquitous tubby plumber.
As with every Nintendo sports title ever, the multi-talented cast of the Mario games makes its cheery appearance, but their role in this re-jigged GBA version has been diminished somewhat - and it's a much better, deeper game because of it. Although the game shares the same name as 2004's GameCube-exclusive, the structure's entirely different, featuring a much greater emphasis on the single player offering than the Cube version ever did.
Given that most of your handheld hours will be spent playing alone, the decision to include the Power Tour mode is a master-stroke, and becomes as compelling an addition to the tennis genre as we can remember. In what amounts to a Tennis RPG, you start off as a newcomer to the Royal Tennis Academy, with the basic idea to work your way up the singles and doubles ranks, with an eventual goal of becoming king of all you survey (much like the long-forgotten Game Boy Color Mario Tennis, in fact).
It seems improbable, but here we are in the first week of Wimbledon and there's barely a cloud in the sky over London, we're four days in and two Brits are still in the men's tournament, and the BBC Breakfast News has only mentioned Henman Hill 47 times this week. Just you wait until Andrew Murray starts knocking out the big guns; it'll be the 'Murray Mound' before you know it. But the prospect of 'Tiger' Tim's fey clenched fist of triumph pales into the background once you realise Nintendo is bringing an almost pixel-perfect handheld version of Mario Power Tennis to the GBA.