Turns out Mario plays a great game of golf.
Mario Golf: World Tour is the latest instalment of the Mario Golf series of games that stretches back to the NES with NES Open Tournament. World Tour contains a vast amount of content and modes to sink your teeth into, along with a good selection of characters to choose from. Whilst this game lacks the RPG mode so well loved by fans of the Gameboy Advance edition it has enough going for it to be easily recommendable.
Whilst there may not be an RPG mode for people to sink their teeth into, there is plenty to do in World Tour, including a small mode where you play as your Mii called “Castle Club”. Castle Club is the main single-player aspect of the game, and it involves taking your Mii through the ranks and winning all the cups. There is more to Castle Club than just taking parts in tournaments however, as you can take lessons to improve your technique, practice, and take part in challenges. You can also upgrade your Mii by purchasing “Gear” which is unlocked by playing the game. Castle Club also contains a pretty nifty online mode where you go up against other Miis in order to take the top spot either based in your region, or worldwide.
Whilst there is an impressive amount of content in Castle Club, it doesn’t take very long to play through, and there is only a limited amount of challenge involved. For me, Castle Club is a nice addition to what is already a jam-packed game, where you can hone your skills and use and improve your Mii for use in any mode you want. I’d advise starting the game by playing through Castle Club and taking the lessons, as it sets you up very well for playing the game easily in the future.
Believe it or not, there is a lot of skill involved in playing World Tour. You can press buttons to hit the golf ball, but this is surely for chumps, as it eliminates any spin or inconsistencies in your strikes – it takes the challenge away. The other way is to use the touch screen, and where you tap the ball is suddenly important, beyond just the power or line – and the physics of the ball and ground are really rather impressive. In short, World Tour plays a great game of golf.
However, when items are turned on, the game changes. Because this is a Mario sports game, it has to have something “Mario” about it, as such; you can play as a great variety of characters from the series, and play golf on a variety of courses with Mario-style gimmicks. As said above, you can choose to use items or not, and the items (a selection of things from the Mario series, no less) manipulate the ball, mid-shot, or after it lands. Personally, I prefer World Tour without the items, but they do add a layer of uncertainty to proceedings that some people would love. Unfortunately, I don’t think the items add enough to justify them fully, despite shaking things up a bit.
In general, World Tour is a great golf game, even if the items don’t excite. The amount of content is great and the replay value is brilliant thanks to great multiplayer, both online and off. You will keep coming back to play World Tour as well, even if to just see it in motion one more time as it is a particularly nice-looking game to boot.
Mario Golf: World Tour is my favourite golf game, and one of the best Mario sports games. With a large amount of content, clever gameplay, fun multiplayer and fantastic graphics. World Tour comes easily recommendable despite being less wacky then other Mario sports games.
Be a good sport and buy this.