I’ve never been a huge fan of Golf, but I was totally hooked by Mario Golf on the Game Boy Colour. Camelot crammed in an easy to get to grips with control scheme alongside some RPG elements to create the perfect way to whittle away at a long journey. Can Mario Golf: World Tour on the 3DS recreate that magic? We grabbed our Golfing sticks and headed out to take a look.
On the surface, Mario Golf: World Tour seems like it could be an absolute time-sink. The main menu provides two options; the first being “Quick Round”. In this you’ll be presented with the chance to play a singles match, tournament or a verses match, either via local or online play, though at the time of writing the online servers haven’t yet been activated.
Fear not though, as there is plenty of offline content to get stuck into. The “Castle Club” option is where you’ll be spending a lot of your time. Rather than playing as a Nintendo character, Castle Club has you playing as your Mii. Upon entering the castle you are greeted with a lobby and a number of options. Heading outside will take you to the courses, but you will first need to play a full 18 holes so your handicap can be assessed.
Inside the castle is where you can access the online tournaments, as well as a place to buy new clothes and accessories. These items don’t just change the appearance of your Mii, but alter your stats as well.
It won’t challenge the likes of Skyrim, it’s not as easy as simply picking the latest gear that becomes available to you, as although some stats might increase, others may take a drop. It all depends on how you want to play – power or finesse? By the looks of the number of greyed out boxes there will be plenty of apparel to choose from, providing you’ve got the skill to unlock it.
Out on the green, it’s business as usual when it comes to how the game controls. In brief, you can choose either automatic or manual controls, where automatic is a much more streamlined affair and manual gives you greater control over ball spin and the like. So far I’ve been using automatic a lot, but intend to dabble with the manual controls during the course of our review.
It does take a couple of goes to get a feel for how everything comes together. At first you will most likely be over/under hitting putts or sending balls into the rough due to adverse weather conditions, but then it suddenly clicks. You’ll know just how much curve that sloping bit of ground will add to a putt, or how much you’ll need to alter the ball trajectory in order to take into account the wind. It’s at this point where the game really becomes great.
In terms of visuals, World Tour is exactly what you would expect from a Mario game. Everything is nice and colourful – unless it’s tipping down with rain – and looks great. The 3D adds enough depth without creating blinding headaches, too.
One thing I really dislikes though is the character sound effects. Obviously this is quite a subjective thing, but I think they are terrible and are far too frequent. I’ve never hated Luigi so much than after playing a single round as him. If I have to hear “Yay-weegiii!” one more time I’ll… well, I’ll most likely cry.
Tears aside, after a few hours play, I’ve become totally hooked on Mario Golf: World Tour. I’m hoping it maintains this level of quality in the hours to follow, as we head to our review in due course (pun intended).
- Developer:Camelot Sofware Planning
- Release Date:02/05/14