Developed by Camelot Software Planning and published by Nintendo, Mario Golf: Super Rush is the latest addition to the long-running series. Sporting a charming Golf Adventure and some new frenetic gameplay, it makes for quite an exciting golfing experience. However, while it does a fair bit right, it does fall a bit short in other aspects.
Mario Golf: Super Rush has a story of sorts and it can be found in Golf Adventure, the game’s campaign. This will see you taking control of a golfing rookie in the hopes of turning them into a pro-golf player. This rookie just happens to be the Mii associated with your profile, so it’ll be a version of yourself you’ll be helping to rise through the ranks. Your rookie, and a bunch of other aspiring golf pros, stays in a shared accommodation run by Birdo. You then complete tasks around a particular golf course and also take part in tournaments. The tasks you’ll encounter essentially teach you the basics of the game, preparing you for tournaments.The story here also starts off pretty tame, but being a Mario game, it turns up the silly quite a bit and it’s pretty enjoyable.
Golf Adventure’s presentation is quite charming, but it’s also the best place to learn everything you need to know about the game before diving any deeper. It teaches you all of the basics such as how to make the best and most accurate shots, reading the course and changing your approach for both uphill and downhill obstacles. It actually does such a good job of showing you the ropes since you get to physically test your knowledge by putting it into practice on the course. It definitely beats reading tutorial slides with no real chance to try out what you’ve just learned.
The gameplay is fairly simple and for the most part, is pretty easy to pick up and play. All of the general rules and terminologies of golf apply here, but are presented in more of an arcade style than that of a simulator. Starting up a shot simply takes a press of the A button and the direction of the shot can be changed by using the left stick. When starting up a shot, you’ll be greeted by a shot meter, which will determine just how hard you hit the ball and how accurate the shot will be. Pressing the A button again after starting the shot will stop the bar on the meter at a certain point and knowing when to stop the bar is important. Hitting too hard can result in your ball veering off course.
As you make your way through Golf Adventure, you gain experience points and with each level gained, you earn Skill Points. These can be sunk into a number of different categories, ranging from power to control. However, when points are put into one category, they might go down in another, so the game is constantly balancing your skills so that you don’t peak too early. Depending on how well you play, you’ll be able to develop your character into a pretty decent golfer.
The “Rush” part of Mario Golf: Super Rush is based on how the game adds a chaotic element to a game of golf, making it quite an exciting experience. Once you hit your ball, you have to quickly rush after it in order to line up and take your next shot. The catch is that all players make this mad dash at the same time. Speed is essential here but managing your stamina is equally important. You also have access to a special dash which increases your speed tremendously for a short time but also uses a big chunk of stamina. Speed Golf can be played with two different sets of rules: one that awards players with a certain amount of points based on who sunk their ball first or racing to sink your ball first, with each stroke adding 30 seconds to your time. The player with the most points and shortest amount of time, respectively, will emerge victorious. It’s a nice way to spice the core offering up a bit and can make for some entertaining situations.
Battle Golf is another mode that can be played right off the bat and takes place on one large course with a number of holes. Players can attempt holes in whichever order they like and the first one to score a set amount of holes wins. It’s quite an interesting one as many times the same hole will be targeted by one or more players, making it a race to sink your ball as fast as you can.
Finally, there’s XC Golf or Cross-Country Golf. This mode sees players playing on a course with varying altitudes where your tee off takes place at the last hole you completed. You only have 40 strokes to complete all 9 holes and choosing which one to go for next takes a bit of strategy. It can be quite a unique round of golf, but at the same time, weirdly frustrating. It only appears in Golf Adventure though and doesn’t feature as a standalone mode outside of the campaign.
Golf Adventure possibly provides the biggest part of the experience, however, it can be a little short, clocking in at under 10 hours. Also, it tends to stagger the challenge when it comes to qualifiers. You’ll start off by playing 3 holes, then another set of six and finally, the full course. It’s great for honing you for the challenge ahead but it also felt like it was lacking a little creativity. Additionally, there are only 6 courses available in the game, which was somewhat disappointing.
When it comes to multiplayer, Mario Golf: Super Rush is ready to go the very first time you start it up. There are 3 modes to play, each with various rule sets, for up to 4 players. Additionally there’s a great roster of 16 different characters, 17 if you count your own Mii, and they all have individual stats and special moves.
Visually, Mario Golf: Super Rush looks great and runs just as well. The environments feature some cute, colourful simplistic graphics but the character models look quite polished. It also runs at a very smooth 60 fps. A lot of the audio sounded a tad generic, however, I did manage to catch a few tracks that were old Mario themes but made to sound like something you’d hear on a sports talk show.
Mario Golf: Super Rush is a decent entry in the series. The Golf Adventure is quite a charming affair, even if it feels like some of it lacks a little creativity. It’s also incredibly easy to pick up and play with the new chaotic element adding a fair amount of hilarity to the gameplay. XC Golf is also an interesting new mode, which is surprisingly not available outside of Golf Adventure, even if it can be a little frustrating. However, despite its shortfalls, Mario Golf: Super Rush should be an enjoyable romp for both new and returning players.
You can purchase Mario Golf: Super Rush here direct on the Nintendo Switch Store for £49.99.
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