The Mario Golf series debuted back in 1999 on the Nintendo 64 and Game Boy Color from developer Camelot. As a partner with Nintendo, Camelot has released a number of Mario related sports games, along with the fan favorite Golden Sun series. The Mario Golf series continued in 2003 and 2004 with releases on the Gamecube and Game Boy Advance that were once again very well received. However, since 2004 we haven’t heard a peep out of the franchise, with Wii Sports Golf taking the forefront for awhile, until Mario Golf: World Tour was announced for the Nintendo 3DS.
When you first load up the game, you will notice two options for you to choose from, Mario Golf and Castle Club. Mario Golf is your basic quick play game mode where you can jump right into the action. Within this area, you have the choice of Single Player, Vs., and Tournament. Single Player features five different play types for us to tackle with our favorite Mario related characters.
The first of these is Stroke Play, where you will play a vanilla round of golf, with the lowest overall score winning. Match Play pits you against a specific opponent on each hole, with the winner being the one who takes the most holes. Speed Golf is a time trial to see who can complete a course the fastest. Point Tourney finds you competing against others for the most points, which is earned based on your stroke count for each hole. Each of these provide a different take on the game for the most part and are a good way to jump into the game
Then, we mix it up quite a bit with Challenges, which was one of my favorite parts of the game. While most of the other modes can take you awhile to complete, even with lesser hole counts. Challenges range from simple tasks to ones that are much more involved. Early ones will find you just doing things like collecting star coins and shooting through rings while achieving par, while some are a lot more involved, such as challenging a specific character to nine holes of Match Play. Some of the challenges can be completed in a minute, so they are perfect for those that only have a few minutes to play between other tasks. This was easily one of my favorite features of the game, especially with more being unlocked by completing various tournaments and collecting star coins.
Mario Golf: World Tour boasts a number of different official tournaments to choose from that will keep bringing you back to the game in the future. These tournaments are held at certain times and feature specific rules based around items, characters, and more. Beyond the official tournaments hosted by Nintendo, you can create your own tournaments that others can choose to join as well. With the ability to create up to two tournaments at one time, you have plenty of customization options at your fingertips, including the duration, start date, characters allowed, and items allowed. The options are pretty much what you would find from the official Nintendo tournaments, just with your own personal touches, such as the name.
Beyond the Mario Golf mode, we have what is known as the Castle Club, where you take control of a Mii through a single player campaign. Past Mario Golf handheld titles have featured a quite deep RPG type experience with the single player campaign, but sadly Mario Golf: World Tour regresses a little bit in this department. While you get to walk around the Castle Club and part of an overworld with your Mii to move from various locations, most of it felt entirely superfluous. Games like Diddy Kong Racing did this well in a game that didn’t really need it, but made it a fun experience with hidden secrets.Mario Golf: World Tour Review,