From the masterclass that is Mario Golf on the Nintendo 64 to the groundbreaking golf RPG that is Mario Golf on the Game Boy, Nintendo knows how to make a great golf game. Unfortunately, incredible golf games don’t necessarily translate to mass appeal. Prior to the release of Mario Golf: Super Rush, the franchise has only sold about six million units across decades worth of games. That’s roughly half of what their tennis games sell and less than a quarter of what Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games has sold in far less time.
For many, a lack of interest in the sport is a hurdle not worth overcoming to try a video game adaptation. Even for the few that give golf games a shot, the seemingly glacial pace of video game golf may be too much for newcomers to bear.
Enter Mario Golf: Super Rush. As a means of picking up the pace, Super Rush goes all-in on the concept of speed golf. On top of that, the running parts of the game a few fantastical elements akin to Mario Kart. Does this foundational shift towards speed make for a better and more accessible game?
Some of the shots that my fellow golfers and I hit during this Mario Golf: Super Rush session were absolutely nuts! I also go into detail about my history with the Mario Golf franchise and why I have such mixed feelings about this latest entry.
Click through for the full video, highlights, and shoutouts!
When it comes to video game golf, I tend to prefer games that are a bit more fantastical rather than realistic. However, I do have my limits. Mario Golf on the Nintendo 64 finds my perfect blend of realism vs. fantasy, but its sequel on the GameCube was completely off-putting for its overly fantastical courses and power shots.
What the Golf? pushes the fantastical elements so far into the realm of silly that it’s only a golf game in the broadest of senses. Though the game bills itself as being a golf game for those that like golf, does it have any appeal for those that do?
Taking a quick detour into this Neo Geo arcade golf game!
I am a sucker for golf games. Despite my general apathy towards the sport, I have been a fan of it in video game form since Golf on the NES. Since I’m also starving for different types of gaming experiences to try on the Switch, Neo Turf Masters fit perfectly in the middle of my personal Venn diagram. It has its quirks, but my experience with it was fairly positive.
While I couldn’t care less about the real-life sport, Mario Golf has been a passion of mine ever since it’s debut on the Nintendo 64 in the 90s. With the perfect mix of fantasy elements and a rock-solid gameplay engine that is easy to grasp with a ton of depth for hardcore players to master. I actually played so much of that game that I was able to score birdies on every single hole.
Mario Golf: World Tour marks the long-awaited return of Nintendo’s iconic characters to the links. It’s also the first in the series to introduce online functionality. Should you be booking your next tee time in the Mushroom Kingdom?