Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour GameCube Review
The Mario Sports franchise is like sports covered in chocolate. They remain with traits that make a game follow a sport, but they add a certain type of wackiness and have been dunked into the beaker of fun; something only accomplished by the Mario Sports, and Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour doesn’t fall short of that. Following with other Mario franchises such as Mario Kart and Mario Tennis, it’s just as fun, if not better. It’s like Tiger Woods with the traits of Mario. Camelot has done an excellent job in combining the sport of golf and Mario and his pals into one of the best golf experiences on a console.
When the game starts, fans are delighted to see a beautiful cinematic of the characters enjoying their golfing experience. Sure one could skip this masterpiece, but when first starting the game, it’s good for a laugh. This cinematic feature presents Wario and Waluigi as the main characters, and they have entered into a golfing event. They have their hearts set to win it all and claim the glory, but keep getting put down and defeated by their opponents. They study the opponent’s moves, the way they hit the ball, and eventually end up angering Bowser. Well, we all know how this one will turn out, so off to explaining the works of the game.
Mario Golf: TT offers a fairly easy game mode. A character can choose how hard they want to hit it, zoom in to make their shot as accurate as possible, and after/during the classic accuracy test (pressing A at a bar), a player can quickly press AA, AB, BB, or BA to do a front spin, super front spin, back spin, or super back spin, respectively. Some might pass this off as “too easy” or “auto-win”, however that’s quite the opposite. The current system does allow players to try and get a shot right, but there is one factor that doesn’t let a player make a hole-in-one for each hole. The wind. Yes, something as simple as the wind can mess up anyone’s shot. The wind can be blowing in any direction, and is indicated by an arrow in the top right of the screen. It also has a strength which is usually changing. A player must take everything into account. Oh, and not every hole is a flat surface. In fact, very few happen to be flat surfaces where most others have a slope of some sort or another. Sure it may seem impossible to make that shot go in, but it can be done which is the beauty of it all.
Putting. Putting may be one of the hardest objectives in the game. The odds are nearly always against the player, and the player must pull off an amazing, jaw-dropping putt to win. Imagine those slopes mentioned earlier. Now imagine them multiplied by a factor of ten. While shooting for the green, the slopes only mattered if a player hoped for a hole in one, but now, those slopes are comparable to Bowser eating your ball and making you shoot. Well, they aren’t that bad, but they are a pain in the butt to execute perfectly. If the ball is close enough to the hole, then all that should be in mind is how hard you shoot it.
The long 18-hole game isn’t the only mode. However, as there are several different courses to play on, players can play in many other mini-games for precious unlockables. One that is quite challenging is shooting the ball through a ring. After completing some tasks, a player will earn the star character for the character they used. In addition to the tournament and ring games, there’s a birdie challenge (the player shoots to get as many birdies as possible), limited clubs challenge, time golf, coins, practice, and much more to participate in.
The graphics of Mario Golf are nothing new, but enhanced. They really bring in a homely, knowing feeling to the game. They aren’t hard on the eyes as some games are, and objects such as the ball are easily seen. There are different views from which a player can set up a shot. The player can follow along the line where the shot may go with ease. The graphics are again, nothing new, but an enhanced version of the graphics on the Nintendo 64 version of Mario Golf. They are nothing distracting, and definitely won’t be something that the player will say “Wow” about while playing the game.
MG: TT sports original music that accompanies the player as they play. It brings in many of the elements heard on a real golf course such as birds, the sound of the club hitting the ball, and the taunts of other players as you try to play. There aren’t any outrageous, jaw-dropping, ear-coaxers for this golf title, but it’s very unnoticeable.
Being a multiplayer title MG: TT has an unlimited amount of lifespan. The single player mode only offers so much fun until it becomes boring and you pop in a different game. Each 18-hole game in single player will take somewhere between half an hour to one and a half hours. Multiplayer can last substantially longer depending on how many players are swinging clubs.
All in all, Mario Gold: Toadstool Tour isn’t anything new or out-of-the-ordinary, but it’s still a title to consider when lost in searching for a game to play on your uneventful Friday nights. Although some shots may be so annoying, and the wind blows your ball into the bunker or water, it still doesn’t lose its enjoyment level. It’s possible to get a hole-in-one, but highly unlikely as to the magnitude of things that can go wrong -even with the great way to line up a shot. As said earlier, it’s far more fun playing multiplayer than single player. This is mainly because you can rub that eagle shot in your pal’s face as they wipe tears from their eyes from that disgraceful bogey shot. For fans of the N64 version of Mario Golf, hang on to your hats because this game is for you!
7.7 out of 10