Mario Golf: World Tour is the latest entry in the Mario Golf series, which sees characters from the Mario series of games take a break from adventures in the Mushroom Kingdom and pick up some clubs and hit the links for some golf action. But this being a Mario game, there’s of course some Mario themed hijinks thrown in. For the first time in the series, you can now use items before you take a swing. Items function somewhat similarly to how they do in the Mario Kart series. Mushrooms speed your ball up after it lands, Fire Flowers let you “burn” things (i.e. you can pass through the leaves of trees with no detriment to your drive distance), Bullet Bills rocket you ahead (this particular item makes your drive around 100 yards longer than it normally would be), etc. Of course you don’t get unlimited items because that wouldn’t make for much challenge. Items are limited and one time use only unless you happen to collect multiples of them. The items themselves appear on the ground or in the air of each hole usually in sets of 2-4 item boxes and you have to hit your ball through the item box to pick up the item. Power shots return as well, and like previous entries in the series, these too are limited with a set number per course (shared among all holes of that course).
Mario Golf: World Tour features Castle Club Courses and Mario World Courses. There’s also a clubhouse which is connected to an overworld of sorts which serves as the hub for single player. You can talk to various NPCs to find out about the game, shop for new unlocked gear, switch out gear, and walk to the Castle Club Courses to play through those. The Club features are similar to previous handheld Mario Golf titles and add in some light RPG-type elements. It’s one of the more enjoyable aspects of the game to me. My only complaint about it is that I wish there were more of it. I think the courses should’ve been divided more evenly in number instead of favoring the Mario themed ones.
Mario Golf: World Tour is also the first game in the series to feature DLC and one of a handful of Nintendo published titles to support this feature. I did not purchase the DLC for the purposes of this review as I was more concerned with the main game overall. The DLC adds in additional characters and courses which gives you even more to do in the game.
All-in-all though, Mario Golf: World Tour is a pretty fun game if you like golf or more specifically the Mario Golf games at all. It’s best played in pick up and play type of sessions in my opinion. This is probably not a game you will be playing for 10 hours straight like an MMORPG or anything like that, but it’s not that type of game of course, but there’s still plenty of content to unlock. The game features several unlockable characters and courses. I didn’t particularly like the unlocking method in Mario Golf: World Tour. Why? Because in previous games like Toadstool Tour for example, you could unlock things through several different modes. In Mario Golf: World Tour it appears Camelot decided to make pretty much everything unlocked from within the Challenge Mode of the game. This would be fine if you there were more variety of challenges, but as there’s only 7 different types offered it limits the appeal of this method in my opinion. Then when you consider the fact that there are around 10 challenges per course with 5 courses to unlock and 4 characters to unlock through Challenge Mode only you can see why it might become tedious. You don’t unlock them by completing certain challenges. Instead you unlock them by collecting Star Coins, which you get from completing challenges. It might seem like a minor thing, but it seems like it makes unlocking things much more time consuming than it was in previous games. There’s also unlockable gear, difficulties, Star versions of characters, and more. So there’s plenty to do, it just gets kind of repetitive after a while in my opinion. Don’t get me wrong, the main game is fun, but the Challenge Mode leaves something to be desired. I’d rather have characters unlocked through 9 or 18 holes of Match Play against said character for example. That would be more fun to me. As far as the breakdown about different aspects of the game, read on to find out what I thought about all of that after the jump.
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