Mario Golf, anyone hitting the links?

Mario Golf on Game Boy Color was a previous love affair of mine several years back, probably the absolute best game available on the little system among a decade of games. Creating your little golfer and running them through the gauntlet of stat-boosting mini-challenges and club tournaments was tremendously addicting.

I haven’t played a Golf videogame really since(I used to enjoy Access’ Software Links series, albeit the earliest renditions of it which were more eye candy than solid golf gaming. Remember when virtual 3D tours through the course clubhouses actually became a leading feature?)

Anyway Hot Shots Golf on PS2 I had considered looking at for awhile, but never really got around to it, and now a new Mario Golf is on the Cube. I’ve never tried the N64 rendition or Mario Golf or Hot Shots which so many reviews compare it to. Any comments? Hot Shots Golf 3 is budget priced now and I’m curious as to what unique features each may provide as I decide. Probably going out on a limb asking it here, but I know some of you have to had played these? (To be honest, the more surreal the golf experience the more I’ll likely enjoy it.)

Don’t get Tom started on this Mario Golf thing.

What about the Twinkie Ray?

Sadly, it is more of an update to the N64 Mario Golf than the pure genius “Golfing RPG” that was the GBC Mario Golf. I believe they are releasing a Mario Golf Advance that is the update to the handheld line.

Toadstool Tour (the GC Mario Golf) is a fine golf game with Mario paint. You have to beat the first two more normal-ish courses before the cooler stuff starts to become available.

I just love gold games. I have had Hot shots golf 3 for about a year now. it is a great golf game with many features (ie. gaining new golfers, better clubs, balls, and other goodies.) there are 5 unique courses in the game as well as a par 3 9 hole course. i would definently recommend it, it cant be over $20 by now.

Mario gold N64 was another passion of mine, i saw it for sale about a week ago at a used video game stor for almost $20 without box or instructions, was suprised. As far as mario gold for GC, it seems ok. i have played it a few times at a local Comp USA, but nothing to exciting.

I totally dig Mario Golf, but I haven’t played the RPG-styled Gameboy version or the more conventional N64 version. A few points:

  • It’s just golf. After the sheer amount of stuff in Super Smash Brothers, Mario Golf is a bit disappointing. There are some great variations on the golf theme – I love the ring challenges, in which you have to make par by way of a getting the ball through one or more rings, often in inconvenient places; and the slot machine golf mode is a great multiplayer balancing act that varies the clubs you get for each hole, as well as throwing you a wildcard variable – but it all comes down to mere golf.

  • I like the AI. There was another discussion here about AI in golf games and it comes through much clearer for me in Mario Golf, where Wario just whales the hell out of the ball, but Princess Peach is a bit more cautious. So far, it’s been challenging beating the individual characters rather than frustrating. They seem believably fallible.

  • Great interface for a clicking power bar. I liked the analog swing in the last Tiger Woods, so I thought I’d be disappointed to go back to this. I’m not. It still feels gratifying to put spin on the ball, or to draw or fade around a mushroom or into a pipe. Some of the wacky courses afford a lot more shot creativity than you’ll get playing those boring old real world courses.

  • The kiddie characters would absolutely drive Mark Asher up the wall. He would be blinded by the color and cheer. Yoshi’s cute little squeal of delight at making a birdie would send Asher screaming from the room, madly lunging for any M-rated game he could find.

Also, if Rywill ever comes back to Shoot Club, I will force him, Clockwork Orange-style, to play Mario Golf.

 -Tom

I agree that it’s a great golf game,but it’s nowhere near the heights of SSBM.I didn’t play the N64 version either,so I can’t say how it compares.I do wish there was more wacky and zany and wigged out stuff,as in Smash Brothers.

The clicking swing interface works fine for me,except for the whole idea of aiming for the ‘impact marker’ with one of the joysticks in the middle of your swing.It’s so annoying that I intend to never,ever use it.Ever.Why not allow the player to set the impact point before the shot,period?

Would you use it more if they mapped the impact marker to the spacebar?

Well, curiosity got the best of me and I forwent waiting for any responses (sorry everyone) and rented the thing this afternoon, been playing the hell out of it and I am really, REALLY considering a full blown purchase.

I dig the Auto/manual interface Camelot has going for shot control. I find it nicely comfortable to not have to concern myself too much with impact zone timing or spin control everytime I step up to the plate when I just need to push myself down the wide fairway lanes.

The manual spin interface gives a pleasureable amount of freedom and precision. Nothing like blasting one just past the pin with some Super Topspin and watching the ball immediately curtail into the hole. Magically delicious!

I’m not quite following what the problem with the impact marker is, as far as I can tell you set it using the d-pad long before starting your backswing allowing total concentration on the power and accuracy meter.

I’ve only reached the 4th Tournament course so far(no zany Mario themed obstacles quite yet), and while the first two courses went for generic authenticity, Blooper Bay and the Sand Desert one are just phenomenally designed stuff.

My only real complaint so far is that it’s been hellishly easy. I goofed a few holes in the 3rd tourney pitting me 5 strokes behind the leader, but alas only 2 holes later I was back in first place without even attaining a birdy. The CPU opponents just really goofed on that Par 3 and 4 I suppose. Unfortunately I can’t figure out a way to alter the challenge level so I’m not playing with a bunch of boobs that finish a round +3-10 shots over par.

I do miss the adventurous questing mode the GBC game offered, but the video golf experience to be had here is legitimately addictive.

Oh and I’m quite surprised to see so many SSBM fans come out of the woodwork here, loved that game tremendously.

That would make the most sense,but as I understand it you have to use one joysticks to move the solid red dot onto the empty dot(the one you set prior to the swing with the D pad) in the middle of your backswing to determine the impact point.Incredibly clumsy.This is also spelled out in the training lesson on the ‘impact marker’.

My only real complaint so far is that it’s been hellishly easy. I goofed a few holes in the 3rd tourney pitting me 5 strokes behind the leader, but alas only 2 holes later I was back in first place without even attaining a birdy. The CPU opponents just really goofed on that Par 3 and 4 I suppose. Unfortunately I can’t figure out a way to alter the challenge level so I’m not playing with a bunch of boobs that finish a round +3-10 shots over par.

Yeah,it seems pretty easy to me also.I haven’t played more than a few hours,but I thought you could set the opponent’s difficulty before a match…?You may be stuck with lousy competition in a tournament.

I’m a bit disappointed in the music so far–most of the course themes sound more like variations of ‘The Price is Right’ music than what one would expect in a Mario game.Perhaps it gets better later on,though.

Oh and I’m quite surprised to see so many SSBM fans come out of the woodwork here, loved that game tremendously.

Best console game ever,at least for multiplayer.

Hmm…I haven’t watched the tutorials yet, but I’ve been doing the ‘impact marker’ thing by setting and forgetting with the d-pad. Are you saying I’m still just whacking the ball dead-on despite moving that little red cursor pre-shot? The shot marker definately gets updated as I position the impact zone, so it just defaults to center if I don’t manual re-aim it with the stick? That is pretty rough if so…

As far as the music is concerned I actually kind of dig it, the few tracks I do seem to recall from memory so far. Lots of steel-drum renditions of classic Mario themes, though what’s the deal with Mario’s voice on the character selection…frightening.

Oh and damn straight SSBM is a multiplayer beast!

I love Mario Golf. It’s one of the finest games for newbies and kids I’ve ever played. Works well for golf afficionados too. I also love SSBM, but I don’t see how they’re comparable really. Unless you’re expecting Tiger Woods 2004 to be like Soul Calibur 2 or something…

As Tom put it, it’s Golf. More importantly, it’s good golf. A nice exaggeration of the game. I love the Donkey Kong treetop course and the slot machine concept is so cool, it makes me consider challenging my brother in law to a similar system when we hit the links for real…

Nah. The old ladies inevitably behind us would kill us.

If you guys haven’t gotten to Peach’s Castle Grounds, you really haven’t even scratched the surface yet. I went through each course up to that point on my first try, but Peach’s Castle Grounds immediately changes all that. I’ve come up short with rounds of +2 a few times already and can’t open the next one. I’ve read that one is even better.

You also need to spend some time playing the character matches. They make the courses a lot more interesting because you’ve got to find ways to get birdies. You’ll also open up the “star” characters and some other things that way. Like all great games, it kind of sets up a play style and then busts that with the change in character abilities later. The courses look completely different when you’ve got a character that can drive 300yds consistently instead of 200-230 yds. Those Fast Fairways that were so helpful actually can become very dangerous in that situation.

There’s so many great ways to play this game. It keeps on giving. It may not have the massive amount of trophies and game types like SSBM, but it’s pretty darn close. It’s a lot like that game in the sense that SSBM is about platform style fighting and this is all about golf. I love it and can’t get enough of it.

–Dave

I just completed the 18 hole ‘birdie challenge’ which unlocked one of the few secret characters. Won’t say who it is, but I feel as if I dropped a loads in my dockers as I neared hole 16, what a devious mini-challenge!

I haven’t reached the Peach Invitational yet, I’m ready to eat some crow after finishing with a +3 and 6th place overall on Blooper Bay. Yea, they beat me good.

Meanwhile I have about 7 ‘Star characters’ unlocked none of which have really stepped up to bat yet. I did notice that you can choose a difficulty level for characters that aren’t actively challenging you with an invitation. I’m hoping the invitational matches ramp up the scale a bit soon.

Oh and it does seem as if the game forces you to move the stick in the desired direction to apply impact point on the ball during a stroke. Kinda makes things unnecessarily more complex, but it’s not all that difficult to adjust especially seeing as how it kinda snaps into the expected location you previously set.

I love this game very much.

Yeah,tell me about it.I got Daisy to shoot that course at even par,but Strollin’ fucking Stu picked that day to shot the best round of his life,and finished 5 under.That course is flat out tough.

I love this game very much.

It’s growing on me the more I play it.I do kinda wish the different characters had more distinctive abilities,but still a keeper for any Mario and/or golf fans.

What are you looking for? The character challenges open up “Star” versions of the original characters that certainly play differently than their normal counterparts. The characters also hit the ball differently, have large variations in their control over the ball, etc. I’m really not sure what you’re looking for that isn’t already in the game?

Yea, I’ve been thinking about that the more I play myself. The characters don’t seem to vary all that much. Well drive distances aside, any real variation in loft, impact zones, control, fade or hook, etc… are generally very easy to compensate for given the freedom one has over the shot control system. As far as I can tell, the Star versions of each charatcer sacrifice a teeny bit of impact zone range for a good deal of added yard distance off the tee, charatcer selection still feels quite static. I suppose the most noticeable aspect to charatcer selection is having a wide variety of Nintendo themed players for the gamer to select from complete with unique taunts and animation sets, something the young ones probably get more of a kick out of than myself.

It would have been keen had they thrown in a special quirk, innate talent, or optional special wildcard now and again to give each player a more expressive talent to call their own. Similar to how the Power Shot system works, these innate effects can only be used sparingly in the round similarly.

For instance, maybe Peach or Koopa being the control freaks, can opt to have a ‘glue ball’ which makes her next shot stick the moment it lands. Or possibly a shot that requires zero use of the shot gauge(automatic perfect aim and accuracy when chosen) Or maybe, they can disregard the wind and weather factor for a shot giving them an advantage in rough wind conditions and rain?

Yoshi can maybe choose to give his ball a ‘double jump’ effect that simulates his awkward jumping scheme in the platform titles, wherein for risky shots that may land him in a bunker or water hazard will actually get a huge second wind and bounce back out for a minimal second chance at safety. (It would certainly make the gameplay strategy a lot more interesting using this charatcer on several holes in Peach’s course)

Maybe Wario or DK being power hitters can put an extra amount of force on the ball beyond even a Power shot? Nearly hitting the green on a par 5 hole, but at the cost of extreme impact zone timing or tremendously awful fade.

Just brainstorming ideas out of my ass right now, and certainly if Camelot did see fit to do something along these lines, avoiding the uber-broken character syndrome would be a difficult feat. Nevertheless, I’d rather that than having unique emotive responses and swing animations be the major decisive factor behind character selection(well aside from the drive distances). Of course an option to turn this stuff off would be included for the whiners.

Just kind of curious, but did Hot Shots Golf experiement with anything of this nature? I know that game gave a variety of avatar choices for the gamer, but were they quite as aesthetic as it seems to be here?

How much stuff have you opened up? There’s certainly a lot more strategy with each character than you’re giving credit for here. That’s especially true when you get to the later courses. I’d be careful how much analysis you do before seeing all the game has to offer in this case.

Well I just unlocked the Peach Invitational last night, I’ve earned all the Star characters up to and including Mario, leaving about 4 more to go until that challenge ends. I’ve got two secret characters unlocked and a couple blank spaces left to go.

Seems to me that the Pirahna fellow is the only major standout with his huge drive distance and ultra low impact zone making those manual timed shots a risky endeavor(but rewarding with sheer power).

I’m not implying the game is faulty for not throwing extra gimmicks at us, but aside from the few extremes, character selection is something I can flip a coin to(or maybe roll a 20 sided die…ok that was lame) Just think it could have been spiced up considering the theme.

In practice I suppose the balancing act given to the player choices is a nice gesture not to segregate fans of a particular icon.

BDGE,some good ideas there,the sort of stuff I was alluding to.I haven’t unlocked much yet,though,so maybe some of this stuff is included,as Boss says.