Mario Golf: Super Rush Preview: A Compelling Take on the Sport

Later this month, Mario Golf: Super Rush will release on Nintendo Switch, offering a new take on [...]

Later this month, Mario Golf: Super Rush will release on Nintendo Switch, offering a new take on the beloved sports franchise. Last week, had the opportunity to take part in a guided preview of the upcoming game, which showcased a number of modes and options that players will have the opportunity to check out on June 25th. So far, it looks like Super Rush will have a lot to offer for those that want a faithful take on the sport, as well as those that enjoy more casual sports offerings.

Our preview event began with a look at Standard Golf, which offers the most faithful take on the sport. It's also the mode most similar to previous entries in the Mario Golf series. Here, players will immediately discover a wealth of options to tailor their experience. Players can choose their preferred shot order, which allows everyone to take turns, or tee off at the same time. There are also options for the character's dominant hand, the number of holes played (3, 6, 9, or 18), and whether or not the game's Special Shots are enabled.

In Super Rush, players can select from 16 characters spanning the history of the Mario franchise. The majority of these characters have gotten new looks to match the golf theme, and there are three newcomers to Mario Golf: King Bob-omb, Pauline, and Chargin' Chuck. All 16 characters will be unlocked from the start. During our preview event, we did ask Nintendo about the possibility of amiibo based on these designs. Unfortunately, there was nothing to reveal on the possibility, at this time. In addition to the 16 playable characters, players will also have the option of using a Mii character in Standard Golf and Speed Golf, but only after creating one in the Golf Adventure mode.

Mario Golf Super Rush curve
(Photo: Nintendo)

Golf Adventure seems like the mode that should appeal most to longtime fans of the series. Seemingly based on the Story mode from Mario Golf on Game Boy Color, Golf Adventure mixes golf with RPG elements. In this mode, players explore different locations, taking on challenges, and speaking to the NPCs that inhabit each location. By completing different challenges, players will level up, which then allows them to update their Mii character's attributes, such as power and stamina. Players can also customize their Mii with gear and outfits obtained while playing.

One of the locations in our guided preview featured a very overcast area. According to Nintendo, weather patterns will have an impact on shots, including rain, wind, and lightning. In this area, our Nintendo rep had to pull off certain tasks before getting to the Lightning Knight, the game's first boss battle. To defeat him, the player had to avoid energy blasts, and then lob shots at him. The energy blasts don't actually injure the player (there's no HP gauge), but they can be briefly stunned. The boss fight is timed, so getting stunned means losing time. Boss fights seem like a very strange addition, but one that could give Golf Adventure more of an epic feel. After taking down the Lightning Knight, the player character was confronted by Wario and Waluigi, who are after some kind of treasure. According to Nintendo, they will play "a pretty important part in the story and the adventure."

In Golf Adventure, players will have the option of keeping multiple save files. Nintendo was ambiguous about the amount of time players should expect to spend with this mode, but the high levels of some of the Mii characters associated with the save files we saw suggest that players will have a lot to do here.

Mario Golf Rush
(Photo: Nintendo)

Finally, our preview event ended with a look at the game's new Speed Golf mode. In this mode, players are graded on getting to the hole as fast as they can. However, every time the player hits the ball, there is a 30-second penalty, which forces players to take accuracy into account, as well. Each character has their own Special Dash move, which allows them to get a burst of speed when moving between the holes. When using the game's motion controls, this can be performed by using a motion similar to jogging in place. Special Dash moves are specifically tailored for each character. In our demo, we got to see King Bob-omb use his Kaboom Dash, which sees him carried along at great speed by dozens of smaller Bob-omb minions.

Mario fans that are less knowledgeable about the sport will be happy to know that the game includes sections specifically for teaching players about Golf Lingo and other elements of the sport. These options can be found in the game's menu, and should make the title more inviting to casual fans.

With three very different modes and a wealth of options to choose from, Mario Golf: Super Rush looks like the most substantial offering the series has ever had. The diversity in modes seems very promising, and it could give players an excuse to stick with the game whether they're playing with multiple players, or solo. Players will be able to find out more for themselves when Mario Golf: Super Rush releases on June 25th for the Nintendo Switch.