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Mario Golf: World Tour
Mario Golf: World Tour
Is it enough to make golf interesting?
Published by AlloftheAbove
Author review
Average N/A%
Smilie Waluigi Mario Golf: World Tour

It doesn’t feel like it, but there hasn’t been a Mario Golf title in almost a decade and in that time, the gaming world has become a completely different beast. Mario Golf World Tour feels like the same Mario Golf we know and love but the addition of the online, social game and yes even downloadable content.
Mario Golf on portable consoles has always felt different to the same game on home consoles. The portable games were more personal with deep RPG modes while the console versions focused on multiplayer and fun with others. World Tour attempts for the first time to do both of these and does so admirably but not perfectly.

Right off the tee, World Tour offers you up two choices; a Quick Round of golf or a chance to delve in the Mii Castle Club where most of the ‘game’ is. The game brings Peach’s Castle to life with tons of people to talk to, strangely most of them are normally your enemy in other Mario titles. The castle is mainly a superficial way to hide things in-game and you’ll soon uncover most of its secrets and facilities within in a few minutes – there’s not much of a challenge in that department. During the Castle Club mode you’ll be playing as your Mii only, the ‘Mario’ part of this golf game, like most portable Mario Golf entries comes in the quick play modes. Your first task is to go for a practice round on the Forest Course and soon after that the game will make you play another round on the course to set your handicap. This handicap works just like a real golfing handicap and allows players of different skill levels to play together. You’ll have shots added or removed depending on your handicap (remember in golf you’re after the lowest score (or shots)).

From there you’ll be thrust into the game’s first tournament where you take on (but don’t see) other characters from the Mario universe. The first tournament should be a breeze but the next two ramp up difficulty if you’re not on top of your game. The first course is mostly flat and calm, the second adds a few more obstacles and the last one can wreck your entire round if you mess up some big shots. Plus there’s the wind to deal with.
I’m happy to report that the golfing mechanics of World Tour are up to par compared to other golfing games and even previous Mario Golf titles. There’s some new tools to help the more inexperienced players and conversely, you can open the game up to be fully manual for those precise controls.

Auto mode is new to the series and that means you only have to worry about the shots line and set the power. The computer will control the draw or fade. Manual mode is just like the Mario Golf you know and love. You’ll need the intricacy of manual mode to get the low scores, auto will get you some of the way but on later courses the wind, the lay of the land will require this precise control. If you just wanna play some golf? Slap it on auto and don’t worry about it – just don’t expect to rank highly.
Over the course of the Castle Club (and everywhere else in the game for that matter) there’s a ton of customisation to unlock to apply to your Mii. After every round and even during you’ll collect coins which will allow you to buy stat-altering clothes, clubs and even hats. The general rule is, the uglier the clothes, the better. We’ve had the game over a week now and are no where near unlocking everything. The castle club also has a range of challenges and training to partake in and there’s the Mario world themed courses to play, even if they’re only 9 holes long. Beating the main part of the Castle Club isn’t hard but it’s the content outside of the Castle that will have you coming back.

While you’ll use your Mii the entire time during the Castle Club under the Quick Round mode, anyone is a go. Standard Golfing games like Stroke Play, Match Play, Speed Golf and Point Play are here but also a range of challenges which mix it up a bit. The standard modes can be played in anyway you like too, fancy only playing 3 or 6 holes at a time? Want some crazy wind? Go for it; everything is customisable. The game also has several items you can use in the game, for the most part you can mostly ignore them. Using the mushroom to shoot further is great but is usually given to you when you need to replay a course and collect coins or the fire flower to burst through trees but again probably never need to do this. The game’s single player challenges are likely where you will spend most of your time outside of the standard golf experience. These challenges range from finishing within a time limit, collecting coins on the course or going one on one with a star character.

World Tour‘s multiplayer modes take the game to further heights and just complete the package. Standard multiplayer is here both locally and online, play a round of golf on any of the game’s courses simultaneously with another player. It’s rock solid, it just works – great. The real fun though is the game’s tournaments, not only the ones Nintendo has set up but also the ones you can create yourself. Unlike the standard multiplayer (which all requires a game cart each) the tournaments are played asynchronously with other player’s shots and ball placements appearing as ‘ghosts’ on the course.

There are multiple tournaments running at the moment and Nintendo will refresh them every couple of weeks. We Australians get lumped with the Europeans and there’s the World Tournament to take a crack at if you think you’re at all good. There’s unique prizes for even simply just entering, at the moment one tournament will net you a Game Boy themed outfit.
You can even make your own tournaments as well. Keep it private or make it public it is up to you, like the rest of the game the customisation doesn’t stop there. You can limit character selection, pick the courses to play on or mix up the weather. Like Mario Kart 7 you can even make a community and have people join it. Accessing the online modes was slow even before the game was officially released and even after you’ve played in a tournament and uploaded your score you then have to dig back into the menus to find out where you play. There’s also only one leaderboard and not a separate one for friends or by region. If you want that, you’ll need to make your own tournament with your friends.

Mario Golf World Tour looks great on the Nintendo 3DS screen, characters are big and colourful, courses look alive and outside the Castle Club there’s some inspired course designs. This isn’t just how they look but in fact how they play. There are some downsides though, firstly the 3D effect doesn’t really help at all, sure your character stands out but after that the world looks just as flat as if you didn’t even have the 3D on. Secondly putting it on can be troublesome with the low resolution of the 3DS making it hard to line up shots some times. The game’s soundtrack is classic Camelot however it feels like there’s only a couple of character voice tracks here as you’ll be hearing the same phrases over and over again.

Mario Golf World Tour is a great golfing experience but only a good Mario Golf experience. The Castle Club isn’t the RPG mode you have been clamoring for but at the same time still adds a lot of character to the game. There’s a lot of content in the game but the single player portion of it just feel very vanilla at times. The game’s saving grace though is the in-depth multiplayer and online modes. Tournaments and the sheer amount of unlockables will ensure you keep coming back for months to try and top that leaderboard. Then there’s the game’s DLC which will add even more great content, even if you do have to pay for it.
If you can play it online and like a competition, you’ll get the most out of Mario Golf World Tour but there’s still enough fun for everyone else.
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By Mable on 05-16-2014, 03:18 AM
Great review! Unfortunately I don't think I'll be picking this up, as I'll be saving for Mario Kart 8.
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