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Mario Golf Review

It feels like Mario has never been busier, not only saving princesses but hosting grand prix, parties, the occasional spot of football, royal rumbles and now, a few rounds of golf. Following on from the fantastic Gamecube and Gameboy Advance iterations, this long overdue return to the tee brings back all that was great about those games and this time you can take your clubs on the road with Mario Golf World Tour on the 3DS.

Mastering the finer points of console golf a while ago, Mario Golf World Tour plays as perfectly as ever, granting beginners and expert’s fun but challenging gameplay that we all come to expect with Nintendo games. Playing could not be any easier with the classic three tap approach to swinging your club, with the first tap setting the swinging motion, tapping again at the desired power and then a final tap for draw or fade; for newcomers this is simplified with an automatic third press, making all of the shots go relatively in a straight line and for extra ball control you can add a little top or bottom to the ball to add a little spin when landing a shot; however you play, Mario Golf has it covered.

Even with the perfect gameplay it means little without content and though quite strong, Mario Golf World Tour feels initially a little light to what we have experienced in the past. That’s not saying there is not plenty to do, but it is surprising just how quick the main solo tournament is completed. The Princess Tournament is set over three courses of 18 holes with each first place unlocking the next course along with a handicapped tournament. Playing as either a classic Mario character or your own Mii you slowly unlock new gear, from clubs to gloves, each adding new stats to your player as well a swanky new look. It is hard to tell if it is just pure skill on my behalf or if it’s a little easier but the three tournaments offered little challenge, however if you are new to the game or just up for an extra challenge there is an assortment of target style training missions for putting and approaches to further develop your skills.

Away from the "real" golf there are a couple of more novelty based courses, full of classic power-ups to help or hinder your game like tornados that send your ball flying into the air or fire flower power ball that produce coins as it fly’s through the air; again these open up even more as you progress. Each fantasy course adds plenty of extra dimensions, surprises and challenges to the classic gameplay with you collecting coins, hitting speed boosts or taking on one on, one in challenges.

Though a little limited in its scope the single player is still enjoyable whilst it lasts and for devoted players looking to improve their handicap there is enough to keep you occupied. Away from solo play there is also an extensive online mode, which after a brief download you can play against friends or anyone else who fancies a few holes. Aside from the regular tournaments there are also challenges put up by Nintendo, earning even more items for participating and if you are skilled enough to come in top place, a huge pile of coins to purchase more items. This is easily the better part of the game as the addition of real competitors adds more challenge however this also picks a fatal flaw on the 3DS with its lack of mobile internet capability.

What was unexpected was the DLC, something I am not really used to on a Nintendo game; with quite a few more courses and characters available for a fee of £5.39 for each pack or a discount price of £10.79 for all three packs; it is a reasonable price and certain to offer value for money but why these were not available on the retail release is a little worrying for the future, especially as it will seriously affect online quality with a mixed selection who players not all owning the same courses.

Mario golf plays perfectly but is hindered by a lack of single player courses, but for those looking for online play this is a great golf game. Those looking for the course heavy golf games like EA's franchise should splash some extra cash for the DLC courses, it’s a frustrating extra cost but well worth it.

Words by Ash Buchanan.

(Version Tested: 3DS)


+ Lots of customizing for your Mii.
+ Great online challenges.


- Limited solo player mode

Edited On 13 May, 2014

( 7 )
SquareSofty's avatar
SquareSofty 2 years ago
Nintendo charging for extra content? That threw me off a little there, it's very unusual for me to see in game transactions from a Mario title. It's nice that it's a simple pick up and play game without chucking you in the deep end. Challenges sound nice. Good review.
Dead's avatar
Dead 2 years ago
It's not unprecedented, New Super Mario Bros 2 has paid DLC.
growkin's avatar
growkin 2 years ago
Wonder if this will get a Wii U platform release in desperation
Paddy_1's avatar
Paddy_1 2 years ago
The online challenges sound fun, despite the limited solo player mode. Il try and get this on my next week off work
Akemi no Zero's avatar
Akemi no Zero 2 years ago
Not an fan of golf at all but this looks pretty decent for people who are & like mario also. I mite try it but i don't know as of yet nice review.
Dead's avatar
Dead 2 years ago
There's a demo on the eshop, give it a go, I can't stand golf personally, but loved the demo enough to buy the game.
Akemi no Zero's avatar
Akemi no Zero 2 years ago
I see hrm ill have to give the demo an whirl later then. Thanks Gloria for the info.

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