Gaming

Review Mario Golf: Super Rush

Can you believe it’s 18 years between the all-new Mario Golf: Super Rush and the last home console release in the series, Toadstool Tour on Gamecube? Although the one on 3DS was excellent, we missed the fun that only the couch co-op can procure. We were therefore looking forward to this new version on Switch. Does it succeed in meeting expectations?

Mario Golf: Super Rush has surprising but optional depth

Mario Golf has always been accessible to all audiences thanks to its easy handling. Its greatest quality is that it still contains a layer of additional mechanics giving more control to players who want to take things a little further, beyond the selection of the stick and the adjustment of the direction of the stroke.

As in most golf games, the button is pressed to start the power gauge. You must then press at the right time to try to maximize your strike force.

First twist : the top of the gauge contains a red area that widens. The more powerful the blow, the greater the risk of deflection. It is as if there is a roll of the dice which determines whether the ball will curve to one side or the other. A risk-reward dimension is therefore put forward. This addition is quite brilliant, since it prevents us from simply hitting at maximum power each shot by reflex, without giving it much thought.

Second twist : Instead of pressing “A” to select power, you can also use a combination of buttons to rotate the ball. When it touches the ground, it will then receive an acceleration (A + A), a small braking (B) or a big braking (B + B)

Third twist : after pressing the button of your choice, the gauge fills up again. You can just look at it and take it as confirmation of your shot, but also change the trajectory of it using the joystick. If your character allows it, you can modulate the trajectory up to 4 times in the same shot to make it zigzag or go around an obstacle.

That’s a lot of control for an “arcade” type game, and that’s its genius. A child can simply press A once, while a regular can finely manipulate the outcome of each of their moves.

The option to use the joy-con as Wii controllers is present, but as is often the case, it lacks precision and the immersion is not there (especially when you have a headset). VR not far).

So much for control. Satisfying and as deep as one could wish for a Mario Golf. All that’s missing now is content.

Mario Golf: Super Rush is lean in content

A big downside of this Mario Golf: Super Rush is that it contains only 6 courses. For comparison, the 3DS version had 16 (including DLC). Really a shame, considering that they are the ones who determine the time we spend enjoying the experience (because replaying the same 6 courses ends up being boring). Why not take a dip in the existing game library and include some remastered retro courts?

As with Mario Tennis Aces, we expect more characters and new courts to be added later as free DLC, but for now, that remains a promise that leaves us hungry for more.

First image of the New Donk City DLC due out later this year

Who says adventure says… tutorial?

As for the game modes in Mario Golf: Super Rush, there is an adventure mode as we used to see on the portable versions.

This has two advantages. It extends the life of the game with hours of missions, dialogues and interactions with the characters. It is also a way to learn the many mechanics of the game in a progressive way.

Otherwise, it’s just negative.

Because in the end, it’s just a long tutorial spread over several hours. The events are varied, yes, but rarely standard rounds of golf. It is often Speed ​​Golf and XC, which are not always pleasant (more below).

We are far from the enchanting world of Mushroom Kingdom. No Mario or Luigi on the horizon: we must embody our Mii, and all the characters that we meet are the enemies that we are used to trampling without asking a question. Toads, Koopas, and Goombas as far as the eye can see.

Our playing partners: Chargin ‘Chuck (yes yes, the Koopa football player from Super mario world), a standard Boo, and a Yoshi Rose. It feels like a film with a tight budget, which chooses the actors who accept the lowest salary. I’m still happy for them though, maybe it’ll allow them to pay off their debts and drop their second part-time job as extras in Mario Party.

Mario Golf’s new star Chargin ‘Chuck, it seems

All kidding aside, it’s far from majestic or Disney-esque like Nintendo games often can be. Small sections open world containing chalets and shops are no more dreamy. The decors are small, rather bland and lacking in style.

This is also the case for land. They contain very few references to the Mushroom Kingdom, other than an enemy or two scattered here and there. We are far from the enchanting circuits of Mario Kart, or even from the beauty of the courses of the 3DS version.

Speed ​​Golf, ideal for multiplayer

Big news: a dynamic mode that changes everything, Speed ​​Golf! Once the players hit their ball, they all start running at once! An endurance gauge is empty when you run, while if it is full enough, you can use our dash, which allows us to tackle enemies and make them lose their coins, but above all, TIME!

Because in this mode the number of strokes does not count: you have to put the ball in the hole in the shortest time possible. The usual precision and calmness of golf is replaced by stress and racing at top speed. A sort of apocalyptic future in which Golf would have become a contact sport sponsored by Red Bull.

You might think that the “race” portion is a waste of time, but it’s quite the opposite. Remember that in the old games, we passed the levers and we had to wait until everyone had made their move to finally be able to replay, not to mention the time that we observed the course of the ball in a passive way.

Speed ​​Golf cleverly adjusts local multiplayer timeouts. Note that it is possible to play in split screen simultaneously, but with only two players.

But it’s not all good. Sport itself takes a hit. Since you have to hurry at all times, you often press the button as quickly as possible, without looking too much at the wind, power or direction. A perfect putting? To hell! Two short strokes is shorter than a long precise putt.

Even running to your ball can be problematic. Lands like that in the desert are sometimes a series of platforms connected by small bridges. Reality: the pressure got the better of me. I arrive on the green and I dash towards my ball to save time, but since it is not completely stopped, my Mii continues its unstoppable movement, and launches itself down the mountain. I can’t go back in time since the bridges start at the start of the route. I am instantly disqualified and have to start the entire course over again.

On my second try: clubs are limited to 7 otherwise each additional stick reduces running speed. I have to land on a small platform, but I am forced to use too powerful a wood and estimate the necessary power. Obviously, I miss my shot (because I couldn’t add a marker to his power gauge as Mario Golf Toadstool Tour allowed, then the pressure of the time that elapsed). Out of bound, we put the ball back at the foot of a mountain, I have a wall in front of me. I cannot do anything to catch up, I am again disqualified.

On another ground: I am caught under a tree, I absolutely have to use a specific stick to get out of it, but at high power, I will be electrocuted by thunder, at low power the ball will fall into the water. I was on the last hole, I’m getting penalty shots, so I have to start the whole course over again.

Three frustrating sessions directly caused by deliberate design choices: pressure to play fast, dash long and uncontrollable, levels on several floors, limit of sticks, powerful blow prohibited …

XC Golf, the open world mode that nobody asked for

Speed ​​Golf mode is therefore not always fun, but it gets worse. XC Golf is what happens when the fashion for gaming open world invites itself into genres that did not need it at all.

We let you go on an open ground with several holes. You must, in a limited number of moves, complete each of them in the order you want. Please note: for each successful hole, this green becomes the new starting point. You must therefore plan your path optimally, otherwise you will run out of moves or time.

It is painful and frustrating. A terrible idea. Especially when it takes place on a terrain with multiple floors and you have to use tornadoes to reach the next level.

The best mode is standard golf, but as we said earlier, the lack of courses may shorten the experience, especially when you’ve seen them up and down with adventure mode. It breaks our hearts, since the basics of the game are excellent. We feel a lack of budget, time, or interest in making a product that would be more than just “another Mario Golf”.

Verdict

Most

  • Surprising depth and optional at the controls
  • Lots of characters
  • Speed ​​Golf is a good idea for multiplayer

The lessers

  • Only 6 courses
  • Mario’s universe is barely present
  • Adventure mode is just a long tutorial
  • The XC Golf is frustrating and painful

Final note

6 / 10

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