They should have called it a “Birdo”.
Hey Mario Golf, you get me! Taking Nintendo’s vibrant cast of characters for 18 holes is just as much fun as it should be. Developer Camelot has managed to craft a surprisingly deep game of golf that can also be played by anyone. Everything in the latest version of Mario Golf is honed to perfection. The courses are flawlessly designed, the swing modes can be as simple or complex as I desire, and the addition of unlockable courses and characters keep things moving at a brisk pace. Anyone who enjoys the likes of this style of arcade golf should not hesitate. Grab a copy of Mario Golf: World Tour now.
There is so much to love about Mario Golf, I will try not to miss anything. From the start I wanted to play through underwater courses using Donkey Kong, but World Tour had other ideas for me. The game funnels players into hitting the country club mode first. Here there are three courses with varying degrees of difficulty. The forest course is calm and void of much wind or obstacles. The seaside course brings the element of a breeze blowing, while the mountain course tosses in obstacles. It doesn’t sound like much, but the subtlety that each course taught me went a long way in creating the master golfer I am now.
Multiplayer: Online, Local, Tournaments
Demo Availability: Yes on the eShop
Length: 10-20 hours to unlock everything
If that was all that World Tour offered, it might feel a bit bare, but there are also challenge courses that ended up being the highlight of the game. Obscure courses that toss in things like bounce pads and barrel cannons, all modeled after familiar Nintendo franchises. There is even an underwater course that is loads of fun. There are also power-ups ala Mario Kart that create plenty of insane shots. The challenge mode is where the bulk of my time was spent.
Hitting the ball is also handled extremely well. The game offers up an automatic mode akin to Hot Shots Golf, where there is a meter, and it is all about stopping it at the precise time. Once I got used to that, I turned on the manual mode that allows for more precise control, including putting spin on the ball for more difficult shots. The challenge is great and the learning curve just right. Once I got the hang of it all, I was really enjoying the challenge maps even more.
Multiplayer is also finally implemented extremely well. I was in and out of games with ease, and the modes available are addictive and the reason to play this game.
Not all is rosy in the land of Mario Golf though…
While the country club is great for getting the swing of things, navigating it is a chore. The map isn’t helpful and until I memorized all the locations, I had to stop and check everything to see where places were. There are also items that are unlocked in this mode to customize my golfer. Sadly, they rarely offered much incentive outside of cosmetic properties.
Another issue I had was the putting camera. While the course camera offered up great angles, when I got on the green, things became more complicated. I could never get the right angle to see how to best putt. I ended up relying more on my gut instinct than the camera; it was that bad.
There is a lot to love about Mario Golf: World Tour. For those that really enjoy the more light-hearted approach to golf that games like this and Hot Shots provide, this is a no-brainer. World Tour does so much right and mixing it with the familiar Nintendo universe seals the deal. Anyone with a 3DS has yet another must-own title to pick up for the handheld.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.