Fore!!…The cold long winter has finally given way to warm sunny days. For some people like myself it’s time to pull the bag out of storage, clean off the clubs, and buy some tees and balls in preparation for a day on the course. For others, who may have a mild interest in golf, but hate bugs and the sun, there is Mario Golf: World Tour.
For me, what has made Mario Sports games so amusing, if we take out the Mario’ness of the games, is that the games themselves are a very solid sports simulator. I don’t think I would expect much more from a Tiger Woods handheld version.
With the game broken into two different sections, Mario Golf: World tour offers a little something for every level of golf fan.
Mario Golf (Quick Play)
Mario Golf, also called quick play, offers the typical game modes we have grown to expect from Mario Sports games, with a mixture of single and multiplayer modes. For those who played Mario Tennis, most of the single player games will be familiar to you. There is the normal play mode that allows players to choose between 3, 9 or 18 hole rounds. Mini-games are back that allow players to gain play coins (I will talk more about this later) in a variety of games like target practice, coin collecting and a variation on time trial.
There is also Mario Golf versus mode that allows players to challenge friends through local play, online vs. friends and random opponents.
Probably the heartiest part of Mario Golf: World Tour is Castle Club. This is where the sports simulator aspect goes beyond just play mechanics. In this mode, the player takes control of their Mii while being introduced to the prestigious Castle Golf Club.
There is a lot to do in Castle Club. Players can interact in a semi-open world with a plethora of other Nintendo characters, share tips secrets/rumors, and more. Players can use their collected coins at the golf shop to purchase different clubs, balls and golf clothing that can help advance the Mii’s golfing potential. There’s the practice area were golfers can learn a few tips or hit a few balls to work on their game.
At the start, the club is open to three courses; Forest, Seaside and Mountain. Each of these courses offers their own unique challenges. The Forest course could simply be stated as the standard course. This course is mostly flat with typical ball affecting winds. The Seaside course, being near the sea, offers a mostly flat course but has high winds that can drastically change a shot. The Mountain course has a little higher wind than the Forest but the changing terrain is what makes this course challenging. Other courses do become available, but I will leave those for you to discover.
Basically there are two types of controls, easy and hard. The easy option is a one button swing to guide the ball on a predetermined trajectory displayed on the screen. In a perfect situation, the ball follows the path on the screen. Adjustments will need to be made for the wind and the slope of the ground. The advanced option gives players more control but offers more room for error. During the swing the player controls the full motion of the swing, from the backswing to the follow through. The player can also manipulate where the club strikes the ball, which can cause the ball to slice, curve or even have a backspin. Used properly, these options come in very handy when manipulating the course but it could go horribly wrong quickly.
During this review online play wasn’t fully functional as promised. Once up and running, Mario Golf will offer very strong online play. Both Mario Sports and Castle Club offer online modes. Mario Sports allows golfers to not only play online against friends but join up for tournaments to challenge the very best golfers.
Mario Golf: World Tour ended up being more enjoyable than I expected. The charm of Mario games mixes perfectly with the aggravation of Golf. Mario Golf: World Tour’s local play is a little short (there are some DLC packs and a Season Pass available to extend the experience), but it’s the online matches and tournaments that will keep Mario Golf fans playing for years to come.
PN Review – Mario Golf: World Tour