Mario Golf Advance - what do I need to know?

I recently bought this game and have put about 3 hours into it. Like several posters here I’m enjoying it quite a bit but I have to say I’m enjoying the game despite the RPG aspects. A couple things have me confused:

  • When I gain experience points do I want to spend them on just my character or on both he and his girl partner? I’ve been spending them just on the little boy character so far but I’m worried I’m going to regret this later.

  • Of the different stats which should I be focusing on? I’m guessing drive will become very important so I’ve been putting a lot there. Other priorities or suggestions?

  • For a game called Mario Golf I’m surprised by the absence of Mario. I know I can play him in a quick game but should I eventually be playing as Mario or is he a boss that I have to beat at some point? What about all the other Nintendo characters?

  • I’ve basically just been walking around talking to people and gradually a couple courses have opened up. The Dunes is the newest one. Am I on the right track? Are there things I MUST do at the earlier courses or when a new one opens up am I basically done with the old ones?

  • Is there any way to turn off the annoying noise characters make when they are talking? I turned off the repetitive music but I cannot find a setting to switch off the talking sound.

That’s all for now. I’m sure I’ll have more questions as I get into this further.

You should probably keep the girl like 2-3 levels behind your guy, because you need her for doubles matches (obviously). The more doubles you play, the more you need to level her.

  • Of the different stats which should I be focusing on? I’m guessing drive will become very important so I’ve been putting a lot there. Other priorities or suggestions?

It’s up to you. Drive is the one I like the best.

  • For a game called Mario Golf I’m surprised by the absence of Mario. I know I can play him in a quick game but should I eventually be playing as Mario or is he a boss that I have to beat at some point? What about all the other Nintendo characters?

I believe Mario, Yoshi, DK, and Peach all make “boss” type appearances. You can also play as them in the multiplayer modes and non-story quick games.

  • I’ve basically just been walking around talking to people and gradually a couple courses have opened up. The Dunes is the newest one. Am I on the right track? Are there things I MUST do at the earlier courses or when a new one opens up am I basically done with the old ones?

Erm… I thought you got a new course whenver you placed in the top 3 in the newest tournament you already have. Also, Dunes is hard.

Yeah, it’s a pretty good idea to keep the other character relatively close to you levelwise; if you don’t, they will most assuredly fubar any doubles match you play. I tended to just evenly divide experience.

Drive is good, though I invested a lot into impact control simply because of the small screen+tiny swing bar+bad eyes equation.

Mario and the merry gang show up after you place in the top 3 of the four regular courses in a fifth tourney/course.

The bulk of the rpgish stuff is simply a non-issue (aside from the experience-spending) now that you’re out of the (excruciatingly interminable; I’d like to know who the fuck thought that whole intro sequence was a good idea and insert a 9-iron in one eye socket and out the other, but I digress) opening twenty minutes or so. You can find various little challenges about the “world map” by wandering into pretty obvious places.

I completely forgot about the girl. I back tracked to her and found out I can talk to her and she can play doubles with me. I’m not sure how I missed that but now I’m level 11 or so and she’s level 3. I need to work on her a bit.

And extarbags I didn’t explain myself quite right. I have placed in the top 3 on a couple courses - that’s how I got the Dunes opened up. I tried the Dunes tonight and got smacked around. Placed 11th I think. Ouch.

The intro was horrendous. I really put the game down once I got to the first save point and didn’t pick it up for a couple weeks. I blame that on the crap intro that wasn’t skippable.

One more question: what’s Club Exchange? Am I going to find new clubs somewhere during the gameplay? If so, will they have better stats? Like a +5 Driver of Smiting or something?