Camelot and Nintendo Get the Swing of Things Splendidly
Camelot Software Planning has made numerous tennis and golf games featuring Mario and the gang for Nintendo's platforms. It's been ever since the Nintendo 64 era. That's a long partnership! After a less than remarkable first go on the Nintendo 3DS with Mario Tennis Open, the developer Camelot didn't make it very easy to be optimistic about their second offering and the subject of this review, Mario Golf: World Tour. However, Camelot sinks their shot for an eagle, as Mario Golf: World Tour is not just the best in the Mario Golf series, but it's one of the best arcade golf games around.
Mario Tennis Open disappointed with its content, or lack thereof. The fine folks at Camelot must have heard the feedback surrounding their freshman 3DS offering, because Mario Golf: World Tour is rich with features. The Mario Golf mode is where you can participate in stroke play, match play, and attempt challenges in order to earn star coins. Each of the game's courses is represented by ten challenges apiece. These challenges range from passing the ball through all of the rings and scoring par or better, racing to complete three holes while a clock counts down, match play events against AI opponents (these unlock more powerful versions of the different roster members), collecting a certain number of coins within three holes, and trying to reach the target score within a nine-hole round.
|For a princess, there's no such|
thing as having too many rings.
In addition to the single player challenges, there's an entire mode dedicated to your Mii, Castle Club. In Castle Club, you start as a rookie golfer and progress through three 18-hole courses in order tpicking o earn the triple crown. The beginner-friendly Forest course presents players with small slopes and weak winds. Meanwhile, the intermediate course located in a tropical seaside setting introduces sand traps into the mix as well as more prevalent wind gusts. Finally, the last 18-hole course set in the mountains, where the risk of falling off is something to take note of, as are the gusty winds.
|Castle Club may not be the RPG mode|
fans were wanting, but it's still a fine addition.
For every round you complete (it's my estimation that all you need to do is complete three holes in succession), new gear is available for purchase in the Castle Club shop. There's various Mario series themed clubs, golf balls, visors, caps, shirts, pants, shorts, gloves, shoes, and more. Depending on what combination of gear you equip to your Mii, his or her stats will change. Of course, many pieces of gear share the same stats, so a lot of the time you choose gear based on looks in addition to function.
|Clubs can affect if your shot draws, fades, |
or is straight, how far you can drive, and more.
|Though you may dress in Yoshi-themed attire,|
there's no substitute for the real thing.
After you have unlocked some of the Mario-centric courses via the aforementioned challenges, you receive regular costume challenges. These give you nine holes to either beat a set time, collect a certain number of coins, or get a point total while using a slot machine to determine which clubs you are provided with. If a costume challenge is successfully completed, you earn a costume as a reward. Additionally, through accomplishing specific in-game goals, you earn costumes as well. All of these are designed after a Mario character or enemy.
The Mario-themed courses in general are the stars of Mario Golf: World Tour. They exude creativity, plus they're a blast to play. These courses are nine holes each, and possess some kind of course gimmick or gimmicks to them. For instance, DK Jungle has barrel cannons that will blast your ball across wide distances, making those par 5 holes easy to reach the green in two shots. Wiggler Park pits your pint-sized golfer against humongous Mario series enemies like Goombas, Koopa Troopas, Buzzy Beetles, and Piranha Plants. Meanwhile, in what must be a first for the sport, Cheep Cheep Lagoon is a course totally set underwater, containing its own special ball physics in the process.
|Wiggler Park is without a doubt|
one of my favorite courses.
|Item boxes and coins litter the otherwise |
spotless Peach Garden fairways.
|Don't worry. This isn't like Super Mario 64 |
where Mario needs to come up for air!
Ordinary characters with modest strength may not be able to land on a par 5 green in two most of the time, but their shots are much steadier. On the other hand, with more powerful characters and clubs, there's a higher level of risk and reward. It's much easier to miss the sweet spot and send your ball careening into a bunker or other undesirable location, so it's of the utmost importance to time your shot perfectly.
|In this jungle, DK is truly|
the king of swing.
When it comes to putting, you can be the greatest driver of the ball in the world, making Happy Gilmore look like one of the Gilmore Girls, but if you can't strut your stuff and putt well, then you're not going to get far in World Tour. Thankfully, putting is nowhere near as challenging as say, another arcade golf series that is a PlayStation exclusive. That's not to say you won't have your problem spots, but reading the green and successfully sinking putts (without needing to two or even three putt the darned ball) is a more reachable goal.
|Uh. You guys are going to catch me, right?|
|A castle course fit for a king.|
[SPC Says: 9.25/10]