Mario Golf: Super Rush has landed on the Nintendo Switch. It’s hard to believe, but Nintendo has been producing sports titles since 1987 and their golf franchise has been one of their most successful. With 7 titles spanning more than 3 decades, Nintendo knows a thing or two about producing a fun, golf experience.
Developer Camelot knows how to create a successful title and began their work on the Mario Golf franchise in 1999 with the launch of Mario Golf on the Nintendo 64. Since then, they have released more successful golf adventures, including Mario Golf Toadstool Tour on the Nintendo GameCube in 2003 and Mario Golf: World Tour on the Nintendo 3DS in 2014.
It’s been a long 7 years since the last Mario Golf outing, but Camelot and Nintendo are back with Mario Golf: Super Rush on Nintendo Switch.
Mario Golf Super Rush Details
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Modes: Single player, multiplayer
ESRB Rating: E (Everyone)
Hitting the Links Has Never Been Easier
Mario Golf: Super Rush allows players to either use standard button controls to play, or motion controls using the Joy-Con controllers. Both gameplay modes have their place: I personally used button controls when playing alone, while using motion controls when playing with my family.
Motion controls have you swinging your Joy-Con like a real golf club. The game measures the speed of your motion to indicate how far you’ll hit the ball. It works surprisingly well and likely will be the ideal way to play in a casual setting.
Button controls, however, will give you much more control over how you play. Camelot has brought back the traditional 3 button system—hit a button to initiate the swing, hit a button to determine power and finally hit for the third time to determine accuracy. Of course, you can bend the ball, add some spin and lots more. However, for all intents and purposes, it’s a fairly simple concept that everyone will be able to pick up within minutes.
A Solo Adventure….
Nintendo has realized that many of their fans play the majority of their Nintendo Switch titles alone and while Mario Tennis Aces provided a fun and adequate single player experience, Camelot and Nintendo took the criticisms from that release to create something substantially better. Adventure Mode in Mario Golf: Super Rush is almost everything you would want from a single player Mario Golf experience. You begin your time as a Rookie at Bonny Greens, attempting to qualify for your first tournament to earn your very first badge.
As you progress through the story mode, you move from course-to-course, completing objectives in each area, leveling up your tour badge and making your golfer better and better. While you cannot play adventure mode as one of the 16 included golfers, you do get to use your very own Mii, upgrading them as you go. As you complete tournaments and objectives, you are rewarded with experience points and ultimately skill points that can be used to upgrade a variety of traits, including ball control, ball spin, driving distance and more.
The single player adventure does a great job of showing players the variety of game modes available, most of which can also be done in multiplayer. Not only is this a great place to learn the ropes of Mario Golf, Adventure Mode is also a great way to introduce you to regular golf, speed golf, cross-country golf and more. If this is your first crack at a Mario Golf title, I cannot recommend playing through Adventure Mode enough.
…Or Multiplayer Fun
Although Camelot has done a fabulous job of creating a robust single player experience, the multiplayer offerings are almost just as good. There are plenty of ways to enjoy Mario Golf, whether locally or online. Let’s take a quick look!
Standard Golf is, well, standard golf. After deciding whether you want to play with buttons or motion controls, you are given the option to choose stroke play or points play. Stroke play keeps track of the number of shots you take and the lowest amount of shots wins.
Points play awards one point per hole. You can also set whether you will take turns hitting shots – which allows up to four players to use one controller—or whether you will hit at the same time. Choosing the second option limits the number of local players to 2. Players can then choose any of the 16 available golfers, or any Mii characters that have been used in Adventure Mode. Finally, select your course, how many holes you wish to play, how severe the wind will be and you are all set.
Most of the setup that we previously touched on above is the same here. The difference is that Speed Golf on a single console is limited to two human players. Everyone tees off at the same time, and players will use the control stick and B button to run and dash from the tee-off box to the pin, collecting coins and stamina hearts along the way.
Players do compete to finish the hole first, but each shot adds additional time to your score, so balancing accuracy and precision with speed is key to winning. Like in Standard Golf, players can compete to either have the most points—points awarded after each hole depending on how you finish—or have the best time across a set number of holes.
When thinking of Battle Golf, think about a game of capture-the-flag. Players will compete to win as many holes as possible, as quickly as possible. Games are played inside a stadium and are all accessible by simply using irons. There are two ways to play Battle Golf: Strategic or Technical. In Strategic play, the course is pretty simple, with very few obstacles to contend with. Here, players will be challenged to plan their shots accordingly to score as many holes as possible. When playing a Technical match, the terrain is much more difficult to maneuver, requiring precise shots to find success. Either mode can be played with optional Rush moments, which happen every minute and vastly change the landscape of Battle Golf.
All of these modes can be done via Network play, either locally, Nintendo Switch-to-Nintendo Switch, or online. Whether you choose to play these modes alone against AI controlled characters, or online or locally with friends, if you use any of the 16 included golfers you will earn Character Points. Character Points add up and over time you will unlock new club sets for the various characters that will allow them to drive farther and more accurately and provide a number of other bonuses. Unlocking these sets for each golfer will take some time, but for those looking for a ton of content, doing so for each character will take significant amounts of time. This actually highlights a few of the game’s downsides.
Not Everything is “Under Par”
Mario Golf: Super Rush could use more courses. While I understand the number of courses in Super Rush are on par with previous Console Mario Golf titles, I think Camelot and Nintendo could have done a bit more here. Although they did promise free updates coming at E3 2021, the initial offerings are somewhat disappointing. Take away the “Rookie Course”, which is bland and uninspired and you really only have 5 courses.
On top of that, it would have been nice to have more golfers, especially since some Mario Golf staples are missing entirely. Gone are Birdo, Koopa Troopa and Diddy Kong. While there are a few new additions like Pauline and Chargin’ Chuck, you can’t help but miss what is not here.
Adventure Mode also could have used a few tweaks. While the entirety of the adventure is pretty solid, each of the areas you explore can feel empty. Sure, they are full of NPCs to talk to, but they don’t really do anything but spout lines of text. It would have been more interesting if these characters provided you different tasks to complete, like getting 3 straight Birdies on Bonny Greens, or finishing a round on Ridgerock Lake without a Bogey.
Mario Golf Super Rush will keep golf and Mario fans happy for a long time
Mario Golf: Super Rush is presented beautifully and is yet another example of the fine work Camelot and Nintendo do when it comes to sports titles. The courses are bright and vibrant, characters are varied and the various modes extend the gameplay further than in previous Mario Golf adventures.
While there are a few things I would have liked to see changed, the overall package is one worth getting and one that will keep both golf fans and Mario fans happy for a very long time.
+ Easy to learn controls makes it fun for everyone
+ Plenty for completionists to do
+ Single Player Adventure Mode
+ Online and Local Play
– Missing some key Mario Kingdom characters
– More courses would have been ideal
OVERALL ASSESSMENT OF MARIO GOLF SUPER RUSH
Lasting Appeal/Replayability: 4.5/5