The Mario Golf series has a proud history on Nintendo consoles, dating back to the days of the Nintendo 64. Mario Golf: Super Rush on Nintendo Switch continues in that tradition, bringing in a number of new elements as well as returning options from across the series. The result just might be the definitive Mario Golf game. That isn't to say there aren't some hiccups along the way, but it's an enjoyable game that should delight fans of the real sport and those that simply enjoy the Mario version of golf. No matter what your preference is, there's something for you in Super Rush.
The first thing players will notice when they start up the game is the fact that they have multiple ways to play. "Play Golf" is broken up into three modes: Standard Golf, Speed Golf, and Battle Golf. True to its name, Standard Golf is basically what Mario Golf fans have come to expect from the series. Speed Golf is a new mode and the one that gives Super Rush its name. When playing in Standard Golf, players simply appear where their ball landed. However, in Speed Golf, they must race to the ball after each shot. Every player has a stamina gauge, which limits how much the player can run. When the bar is green, the player can also use a Special Dash, which is themed for each of the game's 16 playable characters.
Speed Golf is a lot of fun. Adding a racing aspect to the game makes things all the more competitive, and using a Special Dash at the right moment to knock an opponent flying out of the way is extremely satisfying. Purists will be happy that Standard Golf is still a thing, but Speed Golf is a great way to make Mario Golf: Super Rush a faster, more competitive experience. It's worth noting that accuracy is still important, as there are time penalties for extra strokes.
Prior to this review, Nintendo gave ComicBook.com the opportunity to try out the game's online multiplayer with members of the Treehouse staff and other reviewers. During the event, Speed Golf seemed to handle just as smoothly as it does in the main game, with a little slowdown when teeing off, and a couple of minor framerate drops; neither proved detrimental to the overall experience. We were also given the opportunity to check out Battle Golf. Battle Golf features a very small course, where players compete to be the first player to get three flags, which disappear after they've been claimed. The course is also filled with enemies and obstacles, including Thwomps, Chain Chomps, and more. The mode is fast and frantic, and will likely prove to be a fan favorite.
In addition to those three modes, Mario Golf: Super Rush also offers Golf Adventure. Golf Adventure is basically a Golf RPG that players take part in with an existing Mii or one created with the game. Your character starts out as a novice, knowing little about the sport, and as you compete at different locations for badges, your character levels up, allowing you to improve their stats. As players visit different locations, they'll also encounter a number of NPCs they can interact with, and coins can be used to upgrade the Mii character's gear.
Golf Adventure is mostly an enjoyable experience, but the nature of golf makes some challenges a bit of a chore; there's nothing worse than spending an hour taking on an 18-hole challenge and blowing it during the last hole or two. At one point during the game, I got stuck on a Cross-Country Golf challenge. This particular challenge forces players to figure out the correct order to tackle nine holes on the Ridgerock Lake course while completing it in 40 strokes or less. The course is quite large, and figuring out the best strategy takes a bit of planning, given the cliffs found in the location. It took several tries to figure out the best path to handle the course, and when I did finally complete the challenge, it was on my 40th stroke. It's not hard to imagine some players getting frustrated about having to repeat these kinds of tasks during the adventure.
For those less familiar with the sport, Golf Adventure is a cool way to learn about the ins and outs of the game's various clubs, and the different options available in Super Rush. Completing different courses in Golf Adventure then unlocks them for play in the game's other modes. Fortunately, those less interested in Golf Adventure can also unlock these courses by completing tasks in Play Golf.
That ability to tailor your experience and ignore the modes and options you don't care about really feels like a selling point for Super Rush. Nintendo has gone above and beyond to make this Mario Golf game whatever players want it to be. Players that want a traditional golf experience can turn off Special Shots and take turns. Players that want a zanier, Mario-inspired experience can keep them on and have every player tee off at the same time. Players that like some holes on a course over others can even choose their starting point. Last but not least, there's the option of using standard controls or motion controls. Both worked just fine, but I personally preferred the standard option. Still, for players that love games like Wii Sports, it's nice to see that this was included.
As far as presentation is concerned, Mario Golf: Super Rush offers a vibrant take on the Mushroom Kingdom. The characters and their golf-inspired outfits are awesome to look at, and the courses are just as well-conceived. The music and sound effects are strong, though the Mii character's voicework is a little bit grating, at times. Thankfully, you won't hear your character too often.
Mario Golf: Super Rush is just about everything a player could want out of a Mario sports title. Nintendo and Camelot really threw the kitchen sink at the game, giving players a plethora of options to make the experience whatever they want it to be. The three modes available in Play Golf are a blast solo or with other players, and Golf Adventure is a meaty single-player experience for those that want one. Re-doing the same challenges in Golf Adventure can be a bit of a pain, but it can also be pretty satisfying completing some of the tougher tasks. Mario Golf: Super Rush continues the proud legacy of the series, offering just about everything a fan could ask for.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Mario Golf: Super Rush is set to release on June 25th on Nintendo Switch. A code was provided by the publisher for the purpose of this review, and it was reviewed on a base model Nintendo Switch.