Mario Golf: World Tour
Grab your clubs and get ready to hit the course – Mario Golf: World Tour is coming for 3DS and 2DS! Mario and his pals are returning to the game for the first time since 2004 and they’re promising a whole new wacky world for Nintendo fans and golf fanatics alike.
I’m just going to come clean about this now – I don’t really care about watching or playing real golf! It seems like something only middle aged men enjoy. Why is it called a birdie? When do you use a five iron? I don’t know. That said, I don’t care about racing but I like Mario Kart. I don’t like many board games but I like Mario Party. If anything can make me enjoy golf, it’s a Nintendo party title.
Not many details have been released about gameplay thus far but it isn’t too hard to guess the object of the game when it has always centred on a real life game. Hit the ball with a golf club to complete the course in the lowest number of strokes; it’s pretty simple. But this is a Mario game and of course it’s going to be less than serious about the whole affair. There are 13 confirmed playable characters (boo to no Dry Bones!) and this includes playing as your Mii. Will there be any advantage to playing Bowser instead of Peach or Yoshi instead of Mario? That’s yet to be seen but it would add another dimension to the game if it mattered significantly. If you decide to play as your Mii, you’ll be able to customise your clothing and accessories, which will have different effects in-game.
The courses will apparently be a mix of realistic golf courses and Super Mario themed environments. Players will deal with obstacles like wind, water, and a variety of sand traps that may or may not actually feature sand. One course that is being promoted heavily is entirely underwater, not that this seems to affect the physics at all. Personally, I would find it more interesting if the ball behaved differently. It doesn’t have to be realistic but it seems important to acknowledge the different environment. There are other ways to handle it, though, and the previews are a little light on the possibilities with this. I’m not writing that whole area off yet; it could still be great.
Golf is a social game and World Tour promises a whole host of online multiplayer features and an emphasis on community play. This is where the true value of the title is because, much like Mario Kart, people will have a reason to keep the cartridge in the console after they have already mastered the single player sections. If you really dig the competition, you will be able to jump into online tournaments organised by players from all over the world to test your skills. Maybe I’m too used to laughing at outrageous cheating videos of Mario Kart online but I’d like to think that the Mario Golf series offers an even playing field.
For a game that’s coming out in May of this year and was actually slated to be released last year, there is a surprising lack of specific information around about it. Of course, it doesn’t feature a storyline so this isn’t the deal-breaker it might be if sales depended on it. Like most of the casual titles in the Mario collection, people will go for it based on the history of each franchise and if you’re ever after a decent game for a handheld, it’s hard to go wrong with Mario. Regardless, it’s not long to go now before we can all try our hand at it and, if you’re like me, fail to understand the rules spectacularly and more than likely have Mario digging holes in the green! Oops!