Mario Golf: World Tour review: a solid swing

By Robert Workman, Apr 29, 2014 12:00pm PDT

The Mario Golf series has successfully blended sim gameplay with elements of the Mario universe for years. The latest release in the series, Mario Golf: World Tour for Nintendo 3DS, carries on that fine tradition. While it may not swing for the stars, it's definitely par for the course.

A Quick Play mode lets you jump right into the game as Mario and his friends. However, Castle Club returns players to an RPG-like mode where you unlock new content using your Mii. It can be a bit daunting to explore, however. While it's colorful and provides decor you've come to expect from Mario's world, there's barely any indication to show where you need to go to unlock your next tournament.

Playing the game showcases World Tour's accessible depth. Easy settings allow novices to drive the ball with a well-timed press of a button. However, golf experts will want to stick with the Manual settings. Here, you can adjust power and accuracy, as well as any top or back spin you want to apply to the ball. You can also survey the course through a multitude of camera angles: one tap of the button shows you a zoomed-in perspective on the course; another shows you an overhead view, in case there's a sandtrap or water hazard you might be missing. You'll be strategically prepared at all times.

While these offerings are standard fare for most golf sims, you can also boost your shot with some secondary aids. You can turn on a power shot adds a few extra yards to your swing, for example. There are also unlockable Item Shots that give your ball a fighting chance on the green, including one that activates music notes to bounce on (perfect for getting over huge water areas) and a Bullet Bill extender that tacks on a few extra yards. These add the Mario twist to the golf, but don't feel so overpowered that your friends will feel cheated by them. The courses also add some variety to the sport, including a new underwater course, which offers a fresh (although largely cosmetic) twist.

Multiplayer offers the expected slate of features, both online and off. However, there are some interesting new modes for World Tour. A three-hole mode lets you try to blaze through all of them in the quickest time possible, beating your opponents to finish the hole first. There are also a variety of tournaments to take part in, where you can prove your worth against fellow players and see if you live up to the championship potential. As a bonus, online sessions don't take long to start at all--and you can play locally against others to boot.

Between the varied courses that are available, the multiplayer options and the excellent gameplay dynamic, Mario Golf: World Tour offers a little something to everyone, both pro and casual players alike. What it lacks in innovation (and in some cases, quality audio- your Mii sounds too much like a doofus), it more than makes up for with a swinging good time. [7]


This review is based upon a Nintendo 3DS review code provided by the publisher. Mario Golf: World Tour will release on May 2nd for Nintendo 3DS. The game is rated E.

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