If you’re new to the world of sports-based Mario titles, allow me to give you a quick rundown. The popular plumber has dabbled in tennis, football, baseball, basketball, and many more competitive sports. Mario’s version of each tends to have a quirk that sets it apart from its real-life counterpart, including bizarre, colourful power-ups and unique rules that help keep things fresh.
Mario Golf: Super Rush sticks to that formula, but also manages to keep things interesting with its fast-paced game modes and surprisingly in-depth story. Whether you want to play solo to learn the ropes and become a golf champion, or if you just want to take to the green with a friend for a casual hole or two, it definitely scratches the itch, though maybe only for an hour or two.
I dove right into the deep end with Super Rush and played a few rounds of speed golf with my partner. For some reason, we decided against reading the instructions, but luckily this wasn’t to our detriment. It’s surprisingly easy to get a grasp on the basics: take aim, choose the amount of power behind a shot, then run for your dear life after the tiny dimpled ball.
After I got a hold of the basics, and when I was feeling particularly brazen or competitive, I enjoyed being able to ram into my opponent at full speed in order to knock them off balance. As someone who doesn’t follow golf due to its generally slow pace, speed golf was definitely the mode for me. Unfortunately, after a few rounds, it does feel slightly repetitive, luckily, there’s plenty of other modes to delve into from there.
Outside of the story, I had the most fun playing battle golf. Taking to a large arena full of bright lights and a roaring crowd to whack a ball around willy nilly is more fun than it has any right to be. I would happily invite a group of friends over for a wholesome, yet undoubtedly competitive evening full of battle golf.
When all your mates have gone home, but your thirst for golf is yet to be quenched, the solo adventure is the place to be. I love RPGs and I love Mario, so being able to customise a Mii to venture through some whimsical Mario-inspired areas, speak to my favourite Mario character, Monty Mole, and then play a few rounds of golf in order to become the champion is right up my alley.
I really wish I could continue my praise, but sadly, cross country - or XC - golf exists.
As an avid Pokémon fan, I did find the general formula of adventure mode quite familiar. You wake up, go downstairs, and say goodbye to the motherly figure of the household, Birdo, then head off to get your first set of clubs. The initial village you travel through is eerily similar to Sword and Shield, and you even have a group of rivals who you must defeat in golf-based combat. This weird set of coincidences helps make adventure mode my favourite and grabbed my attention from the get go.
Now, I really wish I could continue my praise, but sadly, cross country – or XC – golf exists. This style of golf tasks you with hitting your ball into numerous holes within a certain amount of strokes. Why is this a bad thing? Well, the holes are on different levels that you can only reach by whacking your ball into a whirlwind. Every single time I attempted to reach another level, my ball would fly up high before rolling back down off a cliff into the least convenient location possible, meaning I had to repeat shots four or five times before reaching the desired result.
The second area in adventure mode forces you to complete numerous rounds of XC golf, and this neverending tedium highlights how repetitive every character is. Your Mii lets out a high-pitched screech with every hit, and when you speak to Toad in order to register for XC golf for the thousandth time, his condescending squawk made me want to throw my controller against a wall. If this section hadn’t been so close to the start of the game I would have rage quit and never looked back. Super Rush is lucky that it has so many other entertaining modes to make the whole ordeal worthwhile.
Despite my distaste for XC golf, all in all, Mario Golf: Super Rush is a fairly solid game to play on your own or with friends. For those of you who are considering picking up the game, Nintendo has confirmed that the game will receive free updates in the future that will include new characters and courses, meaning there’s lots to look forward to.