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April 9, 2014 / Jett

Looking Back At Mario Golf


When Mario’s not busy saving the princess from the clutches of Bowser, he and his friends know how to have a good time. Whether they’re racing go-karts, making the rounds on a giant board game or just beating each other up, they sure have no shortage of things to do. Mario Golf on the Nintendo 64 was their first foray on the links. In my opinion, Nintendo hit a hole-in-one with this one.

This game finds the perfect balance between accessibility and depth. Learning the basics for hitting the ball the way you want to is a process that can be understood in seconds. If you want to enjoy it at a base level, this is more than enough to get you going. Over time, I grew to love the game conveyed the intricacies of golf while keeping the controls simple. At first, you start compensating for wind direction. Then you want to be more picky about your club selection so that you’re hitting it with the right tool. Before you know it, you’re manipulating the spin on your ball to get that roll back chip-in just right.

Mario Golf has a number of courses to keep you busy for a very long time. While I felt that its sequel went way too far with its fantastical course design, this had the right balance of fantasy and reality for me. Even though I was playing a Mario game, I felt like I was experiencing a golf simulator that was as serious as anything else on the market, which I truly appreciated. You could take these courses on in a myriad of modes against the computer or your friends. After I had beaten every course, I made it my mission to get all of the medals by scoring birdies on every single hole. This kept me busy for months, though reaching that milestone is one I’ll forever cherish. When I was in need of something a little lighter, a round of mini golf fit the bill. Even though it was simpler mechanically than the real deal, there was no shortage of nuance to master when it came to hitting the perfect shot.

To this day, Mario Golf is my all-time favourite sports game and quite possibly my favourite Mario side game as well. Despite my perception of the sporting being boring, this game’s approach to the sport captivated me in a way that very few games ever have. Since Toadstool Tour on the Gamecube did little to satisfy my thirst, I’ve been waiting a long time for a quality Mario golfing experience. Hopefully Mario Golf: World Tour on the 3DS will finally be the successor I’ve been yearning for.


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