Like many other gamers around the world I too have been waiting rather impatiently for Mario Golf to launch with its next installment on the Nintendo Switch. The entire premise of golf games for me is a fantastic thing, and I enjoy various golfing titles that there are on offer. Nintendo peaked my interest with Mario Golf: Super Rush which looked amazing from the trailers, so I had to get stuck in as soon as I could.
Mario swings into action
Super Rush is another arcade-spin on a classic sport, introducing power-ups, speed golf, battle golf and multiple multiplayer options available on a single Switch, multiple consoles or online play. The game looks quirky, vibrantly bright and like all Nintendo titles visibly engaging. But this is where the level of intrigue stops. Loading Super Rush the first time as a single player I jumped straight into the standard mode. A simple 18-hole course was available and more to unlock down the route of my play through. I played my first course quick enough and was felt underwhelmed from the start. I know it is a golf game, but it is literally just a golf game. Yes you have a couple of power-ups – but they aren’t too impressive.
For example, Mario can use a Super Star upon swinging his club, which makes the ball travel the exact same distance with no bouncing. Now it looks amazing, but I realised that the power up is only useful in multiplayer games as it knocks other balls away from it. So it is pointless as a single, lonely player. The other power up of sorts is only available in speed mode (and possibly battle mode) when running to the ball to take your next shot. A sweet little jump, skip and flip and you get a small speed boost at the cost of half a stamina bar. And that is it for the power-ups.
Does it move beyond a sports sim?
So I decided to focus more on the actual golf simulation element of the game. Other Nintendo sports stimulators try to move beyond that of a standard simulation, with games such as Mario Kart and Super Strikers, but Super Rush was letting me down on that front so a different perspective was needed. And my verdict off the bat (or club) is that it is appalling. I hate to say it as I am a massive Nintendo fan, but there is minimal accuracy available to a player to even make the game worthwhile as a standard golf game with Mario characters. Seriously, PGA 2K21 is a much better experience all round on the Nintendo Switch – and that game can be very boring at times, especially with the lack of a crowd watching.
The courses are mediocre, with some strange obstacles expected from a Super Mario game, but not nearly as quirky enough. The graphics are appealing but Nintendo rarely fall short here. The music is on par (excuse the pun) with other Nintendo titles, but with the lack of engaging gameplay even this seems forced and false at times.
Multiplayer can save any title, surely?
The next trial was to play multiplayer, which I did with my son. My son is eight years old in October and was bored after around 20 minutes. We both agreed that the game itself is too difficult in a technical sense, where as you can get much more accuracy on other titles. This means it seems more like trial and error upon trying to reach the hole as quick as possible. The “Rush” mode was more of the same too.
Super Rush‘s Rush Mode (or Speed Mode as it is actually titled) is literally more of the same, but with running. Hit a ball, run to it, hit it, run, hit it, next hole. Even though there is more of a competitive feel to this, the courses are so large that there is not a lot of player interactivity, especially as the loser of the last hole has a huge head-start in the next. Battle mode is much of the same, but it is first to win three holes in an arena setting. Again, hitting the ball and running to it is the name of the game. There is minimal skill involved and even the odd Bomb-Omb that appears for you to hit the other player is so few and far between that it is boring.
I don’t like the fact that I dislike this game, but after less than three hours playing it in all different modes I can honestly say that it has not gripped me or the family enough to warrant any further time on the title. When a seven-year old asks to put in PGA 2K21 instead of a “quirky” Nintendo variant with his favourite characters it pretty much sums up the rating all by itself.