Mario Golf: Super Rush
Developer: Camelot Software Planning
Genre(s): Sports, Multiplayer
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Age Rating: PEGI 3
Release Date: 25/06/2021
A code was provided for review purposes
When it comes to professions that cheeky Nintendo mascot Mario, and his band of chums seem to have done it all. From Kart racing, playing Doctor, and even dabbling with DIY – Mario has been there, done that, and gotten the t-shirt. Now it’s over to golf with the recent release of Mario Golf: Super Rush. But does this all-star sequel head straight to the green? Or does it flounder in the fairway? Come with me as I find out.
Mario Golf: Super Rush is the sixth instalment within the Mario Golf franchise and is the latest release since 2014’s Mario Golf: World Tour. The last time I played a Mario Golf title was way back on the Gameboy when it was just called “Golf” and had a picture of Mario driving a ball onto the green. It was simple, relaxing, and overall quite fun. Even with the Gameboy’s limitations. So fast forward a good few years, and I was very eager to get my hands on this latest version.
Upon loading into the game you are greeted with a typical Mario style menu. The options we can choose from range from various single-player and multiplayer modes. Normally I would rush straight into any story mode, but considering everything (aside from courses) is already unlocked, it seemed a little pointless. So for my first game, I went straight into a Vs. battle against Wario & Rosalina – of course, I was Bowser…
The gameplay is pretty standard to any other Mario Golf title. You tap the A button to increase power, then tap it again to lock this power in place. You’re also able to apply various amounts of spin too, just by rotating the right analogue stick. It’s incredibly basic, but considering Nintendo’s target audience then it’s unsurprising. Regardless, as matches progress, each player takes their turn and shots are tallied at the end. On a lot of the earlier courses, it’s quite easy to get at least par. On the odd few I was able to get a birdie or even an eagle. At the time of writing, I’ve still not gotten a hole-in-one – but have come extremely close. Nevertheless whilst these modes are simple and offer a lot of accessibility, they’re not particularly fun or engaging.
Golf But Turned Up To 11!
Speed Golf is a breath of fresh air for any golf title, especially Mario Golf. The name says it all as each player races to pot their ball the fastest. Aside from placing your shots to then appear next to the ball, Speed Golf adds somewhat of a Battle Royale to the in-between. Once you’ve driven your ball down the fairway, it’s a literal sprint to its landing spot. You’ll race your fellow players as they too attempt to get to their ball first. Along the way, you’re able to collect hearts that refill your stamina, and those staple Mario coins that will charge your power shot.
These power shots can particularly change the pace of the game with each character having a unique ability. Luigi can utilise an ice flower to create an area effect that makes the opponent’s balls more slippery. Whilst Bowser can blast his opponents away from his ball by creating a seismic slam. It’s knowing when to use these moves that can get the joy-cons throwing. Someone about to take a winning putt? Oh, wait, Yoshi has turned your golf ball into a giant egg.
Each shot you take also adds 30 seconds to your overall time. See, the beauty of Speed Golf is that victory is measured on time rather than shots. Whilst slow and methodical usually wins the race, with Speed Golf, it’s all about buzzing that tower in an F-14 Super Tomcat – if Top Gun was golf. If this wasn’t fast enough. Each character also has their special dash move which sees them moving at almost light speed across the course. Whilst they aren’t as fun as the special shots, they can still shave a few precious seconds off your time.
Another somewhat fun addition to the monotony is Battle Golf. Battle Golf takes place inside a walled stadium as each player battles to capture three flags. There’s a choice of nine flags to go for with each disappearing once an opponent has claimed it. It sounds incredibly frantic, yet with nine holes to go for there isn’t too much confrontation.
Mario Golf: Super Rush features an almost golfing parody to any Pokémon title. Your chosen Mii character wakes up in a dream world to then be ushered onto a grand golfing adventure to prove your club swinging prowess. Naturally, with any good adventure, it isn’t long before a larger threat emerges. For Mario Golf this is…climate change?! Yes, climate change is quite a hot topic, but for Mario, it seems a little too hot (if that makes sense?)
Granted, the story mode acts as a somewhat quasi tutorial, yet it’s a pretty forgettable experience. What semblance of the story we receive isn’t filled with much exposition so it’s not conveyed over to you as to what’s going on. We also get some questionable equipment such as a club that allows you to skim across the water – yet we only use it once. There’s also a challenge to complete an 18-hole course in under 40 shots, yet by the time this came around I was waiting for Thanos to turn up to snap me out of existence. There are a fair few boss battles throughout the story, however, these soon become a war of attrition as you blindly hammer golf balls into the bosses direction.
This isn’t to say that the story mode is inherently bad, it’s just not worth your time or effort. Aside from learning the fundamentals – which you can pick up as you play anyway – there isn’t anything that makes this mode tempting. If anything, the story mode is here to level up your Mii character to a God-like level. Which in doing so really puts you ahead of the pack when it comes to both Online play and local multiplayer.
Golf Has Never Looked So Pretty
In terms of visuals, Mario Golf: Super Rush is a gorgeous game to look at. Each character has its recognisable traits and quirks and all look pretty snazzy in their threads. There are some questionable character choices such as King Bob-omb and Chargin’ Chuck, yet it does make a nice choice from the tried and tested Mario characters. Regardless of how you play Mario Golf: Super Rush, the Nintendo Switch handles the software well. The majority of my game time was spent in docked mode. While there is the odd slowdown, it’s not noticeable and doesn’t impact gameplay. The same can be said for handheld mode. Naturally, we lose some fidelity and fps, yet the game plays rather well.
There are 6-courses to choose from, which are unlocked via playing the game. Each offers some variety to the gameplay, yet these mechanics wear thin. For example, Ridgerock Lake features clouds that periodically blow a gust of wind. Unfortunately, these clouds are placed in obscure locations that don’t affect the course. It’s a shame really, as Mario has some pretty crazy locations and some of these would translate incredibly well onto the golf template. Nintendo has mentioned that we will be receiving additional courses via future DLC, so here’s hoping they go a little crazy rather than play it safe.
Mario Golf: Super Rush is a bit of a mixed bag. On one hand, it’s a great party game that offers plenty of modes to keep things feeling fresh. Speed Golf is arguably the greatest addition which fuses golf with Mario Kart and opens the room up to all kinds of shouting and screaming. However on the other hand, as a single-player game, Mario Golf is extremely lacking. The courses just aren’t fun playing on your own and with characters already unlocked there isn’t much to fill you with a sense of achievement. The story mode will take between 5-6 hours to finish, yet it’s so lacklustre it’s not worth playing – unless you want a super-powered Mii character.
Rapid Reviews Rating
4 out of 5
Mario Golf: Super Rush is available now and can be purchased on the Nintendo Switch eShop by clicking here.
You can find and read our reviews on OpenCritic.