Tech News on G4
Mario Golf, a hole-in-one
May 2, 2014
By John Powell - G4 Canada
Whether it be Tiger Woods or John Daly on the box, whacking a white ball around a perfectly manicured lawn hasn't been my style. Over the years, the only exception for me has been Leaderboard Golf and now my obsession with Mario Golf World Tour.
Surprisingly, Mario Golf and Leaderboard have a lot in coming despite being published 28 years apart. They both have the same deceptively simple approach that slowly but surely reels you in, even if you have no idea what a birdie, bogey or a pitching wedge are. It is all about the drive, the approach and putting. Whack the ball down the course. Smack it onto the green and then putt the ball in. Nothing can be simpler than that…or so it would seem. There is far more strategy than you would think as slopes, wind direction, speed and the type of club you employ can make a world a difference between those pars and bogies. Even then you can let the game coach you along setting up your shots, choosing your clubs or you can override things at any time and use your own grey cells, skills to see you through.
The ability to size-up your next shot from every conceivable angle before you ever swing or select a club adds to the challenge and if you want a break from the campaign and throw down the gauntlet with a human foe, you can do so in multiplayer mode and challenge players from all over the world.
Mario Golf's real hooks though are the little details. How the crowd cheers when you make a fantastic shot and how the game itself recognizes your small victories here and there with complimentary commentary and celebratory cut-scenes. It may sound trite but these shrewd digital pats on the back encourage you on.
Knowing the game of golf is all about momentum for some, the developers (Camelot Software Planning) have made it easy to skip past everything and anything so you can immediately get to your next shot. In this way, rounds go by with rapid-fire regularity, if a leisurely game isn't your thing.
Of course, it wouldn't be a Mario sports game without special power-ups or items but those are left for certain unique courses or challenges so the focus, for the most part, stays on the core, uncomplicated gameplay which works much better here. Plus, the statistical differences between many of the accessories you can purchase aren't all that noticeable, to be honest. They are mostly for show and bragging rights.
The game's handicaps are very, very minor. The Mario voice given to your Mii is really irritating at times and there are no indentifiers on the club house map, so you have to wander around aimlessly until you find your bearings. Still, these faults can sunk without a thought.
Take it from this veteran hater, even if you're not a golf fan, Mario Golf will hook you faster than half price chili congas nights at Esmeralda's Hideaway. It's fun. It's addictive. It's-a Mario.
Mario Golf: World Tour
Rating: 8.5 / 10
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