Mario Golf: Super Rush Review
Mario Golf: Super Rush is the latest game in the long-running Mario Golf series, and it’s now available on Nintendo Switch.
We had the chance to check it out.
What is Mario Golf: Super Rush?
Mario Golf: Super Rush is a family-friendly golfing game that takes Mario, Luigi, and their friends to the golf course, where players can test their virtual golfing skills across a number of different modes, including a story-driven Adventure Mode.
How many different modes are there?
Mario Golf: Super Rush has multiple gameplay modes that feature different rules and challenges for players to adapt to. To start, the Standard Golf mode offers a traditional game of golf that challenges players to complete holes using as few strokes as possible. There are also Score Attack and Time Attack modes that challenge players to complete 18 holes in as few strokes as possible or as quickly as possible, respectively.
Next, there are two fast-paced modes called Speed Golf and Battle Golf. Speed Golf takes place on the game’s regular golf courses, but instead of automatically warping players to their ball after each shot, players need to run up to their ball on foot. In addition, players don’t take turns in Speed Golf. Instead, everyone begins each hole at the same time, which makes the mode more chaotic and action-packed.
That is, once everyone has taken a shot, you’ll have multiple players (or computer-controlled characters) running after their balls at the same time. Players have a limited amount of stamina they can spend to quickly dash forward on the course, and they can mess with their opponents by dashing into them. Plus, each golfer has a special shot that can be used to give themselves an advantage or potentially target other players and their balls. Having everyone on the course at the same time adds extra distractions for players that they’ll need to watch out for as they take their shots.
Battle Golf, meanwhile, takes place in the game’s golfing arena, which features nine holes with obstacles in between them. In a game of Battle Golf, players will race to complete three holes as quickly as possible. Holes can be completed in any order, so players can strategize which holes they want to go after, and in which order, as they attempt to finish three holes before anyone else.
To make things even more challenging, random (and potentially distracting) events will occur every 60 seconds during a Battle Golf match unless you turn these events off. Plus, each character has a special ability that may mess with everyone else. For instance, Bowser Jr. can create smoke on the course.
These modes allow players to choose from a variety of playable characters from the Super Mario universe, including Mario, Yoshi, Bowser, Boo, Pauline, Toad, and others.
Finally, the game’s Golf Adventure mode allows players to complete an original story using one of Nintendo’s customizable Mii characters. You’ll need to help your Mii go from rookie to pro by completing main golfing missions and side quests. As you progress, your Mii will level up, and you can spend skill points to improve their stats. For instance, you can give them more stamina, increase their running speed, and increase their shot power (these aren’t the only stats you can improve).
If you’re not familiar with the Mario Golf games (or the sport in general), Golf Adventure is a great place to start, as it features a variety of tutorials to help players understand the game’s controls, shot types, and so on.
As you play through the Golf Adventure mode, you’ll unlock new courses that can be selected in the game’s other modes. You’ll also be able to use the Mii you’ve created as a playable character in these modes.
Are the controls complicated?
You don’t have to be familiar with the previous Mario Golf games to jump right into Super Rush, especially if you play through the tutorials in the Golf Adventure mode first.
Golfing is fairly straightforward, and the game provides on-screen guides that can help you set up and perform each stroke. For instance, you can zoom out to view your shot’s potential landing point based on the direction you’re facing and the club you’ve selected. Each club has a maximum shot distance, and you can quickly cycle through these clubs to choose the one that best fits your circumstances at the time.
When you’re ready to take a shot, you’ll press the “A” button to begin filling a power meter on the side of the screen. You’ll press “A” again to stop the gauge and swing the club. The power gauge includes handy distance markers that give you a general idea of how far the ball may travel if you fill the bar to a certain point. Plus, if you’re close enough to the hole, the flag will appear on the power gauge to give you even more information to work with.
Before you take each shot (after teeing off), the game will also place a grid on the ground under your ball that gives you information about slopes and elevation changes.
In addition to aiming for the hole and choosing the right club, you’ll also need to keep track of wind direction and speed, as well as the in-game weather and whether or not there are obstacles in your shot's path. While you’re free to hit the ball as hard as you can with each shot, you can also use more finesse and add topspin, backspin, and curves to your shots as you factor in the unique challenges presented on each hole.
On paper, this may sound complicated, but the controls work pretty well and are easy to get used to.
Is this game fun to play?
The answer to this question depends on the mode you’re playing. We enjoyed the “regular” golfing gameplay and Speed Golf more than we expected to, though running after your ball does sometimes become tiresome during longer play sessions.
The Battle Golf mode, meanwhile, has an interesting premise, but once everyone converges on the last one or two holes, the gameplay can become too chaotic and even frustrating. For instance, it’s not uncommon to be in the middle of setting up a perfect putt only to have an obstacle slam into you and send your ball flying.
Then there’s the Golf Adventure mode, which is a mixture of fun and frustration. As you work your way through the golfing ranks, you’ll visit different courses that introduce new tweaks on the standard golfing gameplay. For instance, you may be challenged to complete a course before running out of time, or you may need to complete a course in a desert environment before your character runs out of water.
Many of these challenges are easy to complete, but the second major area in the story introduces a golf variant called XC Golf (cross country golf) that’s downright maddening.
XC Golf challenges players to complete a series of holes in any order using a limited number of shots (for instance, complete nine holes in under 40 strokes). The holes are placed at different elevations, which are separated by steep cliff faces. There are small whirlwinds around the course that players are meant to use to help their ball and their character reach higher elevations, but they seem to only work occasionally, and you’re just as likely to have your ball fly right through a whirlwind (and then hit a cliff and bounce off) than have it go up the whirlwind like an elevator as it’s meant to. Plus, there are Ty-foo clouds in some areas that blow large gusts of wind that can ruin your shots.
This XC Golf mode is a huge roadblock early on in the story (it took us far too many tries to complete), and we can even see it ruining the story mode entirely for players, depending on their patience level and whether they’re already enjoying the rest of the game.
Is there anything parents need to know about this game?
In addition to single-player gameplay, Mario Golf: Super Rush supports local multiplayer for up to four players, and you can also play against others online.
Finally, the game supports motion controls if you want a more realistic golfing experience. When using motion controls, you’ll hold and swing a Joy-Con as though it were a golf club to take each shot.
What’s the final verdict?
Our experience with Mario Golf: Super Rush has been hit or miss. When you’re just playing a simple round of golf (or even Speed Golf), it’s a fun experience and it’s super satisfying when a tricky shot or long putt works out the way you planned.
At the same time, the Battle Golf mode and XC Golf matches are more frustrating than fun, and you unfortunately have to make your way through the XC Golf challenges if you want to unlock all of the game’s courses.
This makes it difficult to recommend Mario Golf: Super Rush to families unless they’ve done the research and know exactly what they’re getting into.
Mario Golf: Super Rush is now available on Switch for $59.99. The game is rated E for Everyone by the ESRB.
Disclosure: SuperParent received Mario Golf: Super Rush for coverage purposes.