Mario Golf: Super Rush Review — VDGMS (2022)

In the first 48 minutes of a game, you should be able to know enough about the visuals of the game, the story, the mechanics, the gameplay loop and many other things. Even better, within the first 48 hours, you will know if the game has done enough to get its hooks into you whether or not you are going to come back, because we both know that if we don’t return or want to return to the game in the first two days, we likely aren’t coming back after that

After spending enough time with Mario Golf: Super Rush, I am left wanting more, but instead of wanting more Mario Golf, the desire is for Everybody's Golf on the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5.

Missed the Green

With all of the speculation of a new and improved Switch, many think that new hardware isn’t required until its needed for a title like Breath of the Wild 2 or Metroid Prime 4. However, it’s clear that we don’t need a huge flagship Nintendo title to fully display the power of new hardware as Mario Golf feels almost outclassed in every aspect compared to Everybody’s Golf, a game that was released 4 years ago on hardware that was released almost 10 years ago

From the lack of tournaments in game, the poor UI, lack of depth with characters, courses feeling empty, no in game achievement system, outdated visuals, audio and even the smallest detail including why is the flag always in the hole even when putting.

All of these lacking areas is somewhat strange because Mario Golf: Super Rush is developed by Camelot Software who created the original Everybody’s Golf or Hot Shots on the original PlayStation back in 1997 before development shifted to Clap Hanz and Camelot moved onto Mario Golf. Mario Golf on the N64 had more characters to unlock out of the box, Advance Tour on the 3DS had online tournaments, Toadstool Tour on the GameCube had seven courses which is one more than Super Rush has at launch.

Mario Golf: Super Rush isn’t a bad game, its just not the one that fans were likely hoping for. After nearly twenty five years of developing golf games, basically creating the arcade golf genre, creating five Golf titles featuring Mario in the title across five different generations of hardware, expectations were higher than what was delivered even when compared to some previous Mario Golf titles.

It feels like too many decisions were made in the interest of adding something new to the formula rather than to deliver a product akin to Mario Kart 8 Deluxe or Super Smash Brothers Ultimate. Give us all the characters, give us all the course in all of the other five Mario Golf games, give us characters that feel markedly different outside of their super power. Instead of making it a celebration of Mario Golf across four decades which has a pattern of working with some of their high profile franchises, it seems like another misstep in a Mario Sports franchise.

No Tee Time For One

One of the worst things about Mario Golf: Super Rush is that in solo play, the game is boring and largely confusing. There are a couple different modes but the game doesn’t explain which one will benefit you the most, instead it just explains slightly what the mode is.

There is no offline tournament mode to unlock new clubs, balls and other gear. You have only the option to play adventure mode where you play with your Mii and level them up until the story is over, which feels more like lessons as opposed to a story and a basic standard golf mode, which feels lifeless. The game is built for playing with friends using either local split screen or online in a variety of modes.

Sadly, the story mode is extremely boring, you are a rookie who needs to improve your skills, you leave your boarding house, follow a red arrow and talk to boring NPC’s along the way who offer nothing of value and trying to find your way using an unhelpful map can feel like Nintendo is hiding the fun

When not playing adventure mode, you can select from the 16 characters who have different traits but are all mainly focused for battle and speed golf and all have less pure golf traits. Most of the characters are very similar archetypes, for example Bowser, Wario and Donkey Kong are identical.

If you want to use someone who has high control and spin you would need to level your Mii. One decision that could have been made with solo play in mind would to be to offer XP gains for playing outside of adventure mode, instead you get zero experience which forces you to grind challenges for incremental gains.

If It’s Not Broke Don’t Fix It

Why is the default elevation indicator just one to three arrows up or down instead of actual numbers. To determine the definitive elevation, you need to open up your binoculars and try to pin point the hole to figure it out, which adds a very unnecessary step between you and having fun, even the N64 version has actual numbers indicating elevation on the main screen.

The shot bar also doesn’t make complete sense as when there is perfect impact on the shot it can still pull to the left or right because it was in the risk zone. The risk should be just that, a risk zone, but if perfect contact is made, why penalize the player.

One of the best things about Everybody's Golf is after a long day, you don’t have time to actually go and golf the natural sounds from a golf course can be zen like. Grass cutting, wind blowing, birds chirping, and the sound of your club hitting the grass and connecting with the ball. In Mario Golf Super Rush, you don’t even have the option to turn off the music, so either it drives you up the wall or you play the game on mute.

More is More

Mario Golf: Super Rush should have scrapped the story mode and just focused on making this the ultimate Mario Gold Package. Story is not necessary for a golf title because for the most part players are happy min maxing or grinding for the best equipment and trying to beat their previous records. It would have been a nice inclusion if Super Rush had some type of in game achievement system for milestones that are hard including Hole In One, Albatross, Eagles, putts over 50 feet, chip-in from a certain distance and other tough feats you can achieve on the links.

During the E3 2021 Nintendo Direct, they did come out ahead of the release of this game to say that free updates are on the way such as new characters, courses. Just adding an online tournament to climb your way up the leaderboards would be a good start.

If Nintendo updated Super Mario Party nearly two years later with meaningful features, then there is still hope for Mario Golf: Super Rush, but as of right now, if I am in the mode for a golf game, I will turn on the PlayStation and play Everybody’s Golf.

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