Mario Golf returns to Nintendo Switch for a new opus full of good ideas and more complex gameplay than one might imagine, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
After tennis with Mario Tennis Aces and still waiting for a new Mario Football like the messiah, it’s golf’s turn to be entitled to its Mario-labeled sports game for the Switch. As we do not change a winning team, it is still the Camelot studio which takes care of the development, as is the case since “Mario Golf” released on Nintendo 64 in 1991. So we start with know-how that has lasted for several decades to give us a Mario Golf with a precise, interesting and well thought out gameplay, but also with some innovations and that is exactly what this Mario Golf: Super Rush offers.
As is often the case with sports games marked Mario, we start by telling ourselves that it is going to be something fairly simple. And doing the adventure mode which will serve as a giant tutorial, we quickly realize that the game is full of subtleties. Of course, we find the classic golf mechanics such as wind direction, terrain relief, effects on balls and the use of different clubs. The top spins and back spins are obviously present, as are the lobed shots or the half-swings, as well as the special attacks specific to each character. In short, all the paraphernalia of the game of golf is present and very well calibrated, already making the game a real pleasure.
The extra layer of complexity lies in the effect that one can give to his ball. The shot power gauge can be divided into several segments and each portion will be an opportunity to give more or less effect to his ball. What to rectify a trajectory throughout its course and even to gauge the power of the effect. All the same it takes some time to master and if it is possible to have fun without mastering all that, there is an expert learning dimension that we do not necessarily imagine in a Mario Golf and which is nevertheless very present.
It’s not just a story of holes
Beyond the classic mode, this Mario Golf: Super Rush also offers a time-based game mode as well as the big novelty of this opus: run to his ball after a shot to continue, giving the opportunity to smash the face of other golfers at the same time. We will therefore be able to collect coins to have our special attack faster, hearts to fill our endurance bar and run longer, get behind other golfers to have aspiration and run even faster and of course, smash them to stop them in their course. It’s super funny and it’s messy downtime between two shots.
I fell asleep at the 2nd hole
In story mode, our endurance will also depend on the number of clubs we wear, since the game will allow us to compose our own set of clubs to be ready in any situation. Unfortunately, this is the only really interesting thing about this anecdotal story mode in which we will embody our Mii on our way to the summits of the golf game. As said above, the story mode is mainly used as giant tutorial to master the game very well more than anything else. The progression is as redundant as possible and the scenario very uninteresting despite the presence of boss fights.
RIP my eyes
As long as we are in the faults of the game, let’s talk about the graphics of this Mario Golf: Super Rush. Graphically it’s terribly difficult for our eyes. If some characters were entitled to a minimum of care, some were clearly not respected, but the worst remains the scenery. So yes, we can say that the most important thing for a game of golf is the gameplay and it is true, but we would not have said no to a little more beautiful decorations. The different terrains are stylish from a gameplay point of view but the textures are really dated.
The main issue
The real sinews of war in this Mario Golf is of course its free / multiplayer mode. The configuration of courses and game modes is complete and perfect to adapt if you don’t have enough time to do an 18 hole course. The AI is a real challenge before launching into multiplayer online. As often with Nintendo, we put a big question mark about server stability since in 30min of online play, we still had a serious loss of connection which forced a new salon creation. Hopefully things will be more stable for the official release. We also regret a little that not all special moves are created equal and some are shockingly strong.
Is it worth it ?
The Camelot’s know-how is no longer to be proven when it comes to offering a Mario Golf and this new opus is no exception to the rule. A very well done gameplay which is actually much more subtle than you might think, accompanied by some very fun innovations make it a good game of golf for amateurs of the genre as well as for novices. And luckily the game mechanics are solid, because the graphic side is clearly not up to the task and even if we close our eyes to this aspect (as well as to the anecdotal adventure mode), it’s still a shame to see the game shine only through its gameplay. Now all that remains is to hope that Nintendo’s servers are up to the task of popping out holes in one of the space against other players before slamming them in between shots.