Mario Golf: Super Rush is a disappointing bogey across the board. As someone who was very much looking forward to hitting the links in this game since its announcement, I could not believe how thin, and uninspired, this Mario sports title turned out to be. While its mechanics are on par with comparable golf games, Super Rush lacks even the bare minimum features to entice gamers to keep coming back for more.
The shallow nature of Mario Golf Super Rush makes itself visible pretty early on in the story mode. Titled 'Golf Adventure,' the lite RPG mode has you create a Mii (yes, like on the Nintendo Wii) and embark across various courses with different themes, all while increasing your character’s attributes. Ranking up tends to be a bit mindless, and you soon learn this journey is just an excuse to expose you to each side mode and course. Near the tail-end, 'Golf Adventure' randomly introduces boss battles, but they are hardly memorable.
Sprinkled in between each course are mini-hub worlds with familiar characters to interact with, but few have anything interesting to say besides a cliche golf tip. There’s so little to do in these areas that I eventually began to walk from one course to the next, ignoring every koopa and goomba in sight.
Speed Golf & Battle Golf
There is no basic tournament mode to be found in Mario Golf: Super Rush, a fact that just baffles me. After rolling credits on 'Golf Adventure,' you can either replay one of the six available courses, or try the two side modes. There is ‘Speed Golf,’ which is a frantic race to each hole while trying to sabotage other players’ positioning on the course. It’s sort of a running version of Mario Kart with golf clubs. ‘Battle Golf’ is the other mode. This is won when one player claims three flag poles on a 9-hole arena. These alternatives could be fun in a couch co-op setting, but when playing solo against the computer, victory is rarely difficult to achieve.
The one saving grace this game has is in an online mode, though this has already presented me with some woes in my time playing. After creating and ranking up my character, I wanted to show off my style to other players, but finding a match that allows Miis has proven to be a tough feat. Hopefully in the coming weeks when more players have gone through the story-mode this will change. I have had decent success finding matches that allow the regular cast of characters to choose from though and those games had minimal internet connection issues.
Is the golf fun at least?
When just solely focusing on the golfing, Mario Golf: Super Rush is solid. Connecting with the ball on a long drive, or chipping in a shot from the bunker is still fun. I enjoyed being able to choose which clubs go in my bag and replaying a course to beat my own score. There are motion controls, but they feel clunky and made me yearn for the days of Wii sports.
Not all golf games are created equal, but most contain the essentials to make me want to keep working on my skills. Games like Everybody’s Golf, Desert Golf, What the Golf, and Golf With Your Friends are much more fully-realized modern titles that are worthy of your time. When it comes to Mario Golf: Super Rush, the lack of a tournament mode, mini-golf, deep character customization, and leaderboards leaves the game feeling like a swing-and-a-miss, rather than a hole-in-one.
Review code provided by publisher
For more game reviews, follow Joey Greaber on Twitter.