Judging from the name itself, players already know they are in for a different kind of golfing experience when they boot up Mario Golf: Super Rush, Nintendo’s latest foray into the sporting world of golf. Unlike Mario Kart or Mario Tennis, this is not just the activity adorned with a coat of Mario paint as Mario Golf: Super Rush essentially turns golf on its head and into a frenetic race full of battles, special abilities, and chaotic fun.
The fundamental basics of golf are still there, and it allows Mario Golf: Super Rush to expand beyond the imagination of the gentleman’s game. Be it lining up your drives to the green, approaching your putt with an understanding of the lie, or utilising the many tools at your disposal to give yourself the best opportunity for success, the core golfing entertainment is front and centre. Simple button presses will make most shots a clinch, and perfect timing will give you the edge against tougher competition.
There are also plenty of tricks thrown into the mix, with experts being able to shape their shots to overcome obstacles in their way. Nothing feels as satisfying as wrapping the ball around a tree, landing just slightly behind the hole, but see your topspin carry the ball straight in for a hole in one. Nailing the perfect shot is a tough prospect, but Mario Golf: Super Rush gives you all the tools and techniques you need to do so.
While the fun is almost always when things go well, even landing yourself in tough spots can be a worthwhile quandary to test your understanding of the game. The roughs, bunkers, and sand traps present different challenges, changing how one would approach hitting the ball while considering the wind speed, your swinging power, or even the slope.
A Tale Not Worth Telling
Mario Golf: Super Rush has carefully balanced the need for enjoyment while maintaining the intricacies of golf, and the moment-to-moment experience of enjoying the many courses is still immensely enjoyable whether it is your first time on the greens or the hundredth.
For newcomers and even veterans of the series, Mario Golf: Super Rush’s offering of Golf Adventure is where you might want to start off. Functioning as a tutorial and a limited story mode, you can cut your teeth here polishing up the basics and mastering the advanced moves.
Unfortunately, the novelty of seeing your Mii get better at golf wears off fast, especially when the focus falls into repetitive content and frustratingly mission design. It is made worse when the supposed story mode has a narrative that is barebones and uninteresting.
This is ultimately disappointing for fans who have been yearning for a return to the deep and engaging adventures provided by Camelot with the older games. However, if you find yourself in need of an adrenaline boost, the Speed Golf and Battle Golf modes should do nicely to invigorate the golfing scene in Nintendo’s universe, especially when played online.
Amping Up Mario Golf: Super Rush
The former is all about getting where you need to go fast. Teeing off against three other opponents, you will be hitting balls and racing off to get the advantage. There is no waiting to take your turn here, and with every stroke adding 30 seconds to your time, the sooner you land the putt, the better your standings.
It is not just the hitting you need to worry about. Navigating the different courses requires players to suss out the best route, manage stamina, and avoid obstacles like giant Thwmops. To make things even more interesting, every character has special shots and dashes to mess with other players.
Bowser’s Meteor Strike will blast away all balls on impact, while King Bob-omb’s ability spawns bombs wherever his ball lands. Although most special shots involve interference by ruining your opponents’ positioning aside from some of the more unique interactions, it is still satisfying to enjoy the madness.
As for special dashes, players can expect to move at high speeds to get across difficult terrain, while also knocking other players over and breaking through obstacles. The variety on show is a visual treat, whether it be Waluigi pirouetting and leaping to victory, or Boo summoning more of its brethren to do some crowd-controlling bashing. Golf has never been more intense than a round of Speed Golf with experienced players.
Yet, Mario Golf: Super Rush slightly falters in the sense that outside of these special dashes, moving from ball to ball can be a little uneventful. If you are spending a lot of time in the mode, it can also start to feel frustratingly like filler content rather than a meaningful spending of time. Thankfully, the chaos and enjoyment are ratcheted up a notch with Battle Golf.
Unleashing players into a no-holds-barred golfing free-for-all, the arena is your battlefield as you attempt to sink three balls first. Instead of your standard golfing courses, there are a variety of environmental hazards and weapons to look out for. Holes will vanish once a player sinks it, so strategy comes into play on the path to victory.
Rather than a tease like Speed Golf, Battle Golf is all about the insane formula of golfing under pressure, constant interference, and the charm of Nintendo shenanigans like imprecise Yoshi eggs replacing balls or hungry Chain-Chomps looking to bite your head off.
As a package, Mario Golf: Super Rush is certainly more hit than miss. Aside from the uninspired Golf Adventure, both Speed Golf and Battle Golf are excellent avenues for golfing enthusiasts to get their fill of Nintendo’s perspective on the sport. You do not even need to care about golf, the Nintendo magic remains prominent with a solid foundation that lends itself to great variations that will entertain for hours on end.
GEEK REVIEW SCORE
A fun addition to the series, Mario Golf: Super Rush is let down by a subpar story mode that fails to build on the history of the franchise.
Gameplay - 8/10
Story - 6/10
Presentation - 7/10
Value - 8/10