History: I’ve played every console version of Mario Golf and loved them. This will be my first time with a handheld iteration though. Expectations: A Mario sports title from Camelot. This thing could be a Game & Watch title and I’d still have high hopes for it! I’m not expecting anything on the level of its GBA counterparts or anything, but I have no doubt they found a way to make the GBC version fun to play.
Night 1: I had actually meant to spend my night with Double Dragon II, but my wife’s been on a Chrono Cross tear so I picked up the GBA and sunk into the couch. So… I guess I’m already a bit bummed out with this game. I love RPG’s, I love Mario sports games, I don’t much care for putting the two together. With a game like this I really just want to get to the golfing and not have to worry about finding the guy I need to talk to in order to start a game! To me it just feels like unnecessary tedium added on to what should otherwise be a pretty basic concept. Regardless, I found “the guy” and proceeded to, uh, finish my first tournament… Right… So the golfing in the game is basic, almost too basic. So much so that it borders on boring. I’ll try to spend some more time with the game at lunch tomorrow, maybe I’m just missing something. Still, 26th place is apparently enough to gain a level, and I put the stat points towards better ball control.
Night 2: Got some early morning play time in and I’m starting to see more in the game than I did before. One of my complaints last night was that I didn’t understand how the game determined range. Now I’ve figured that out, and how to control that range, and how to work within it, and I’m knocking out birdies like a Nintendo Zapper! Bad joke… I feel bad… Oh and thank god for a save feature on a handheld game! I’m currently saved on the 9th hole of my second tournament and 3 under. Feeling good, and actually looking forward to picking this one up again later. After grasping those basic concepts the game became much easier. I was able to take first at the Marion Tournament. I’m a super player! The EXP I got from getting first was enough to gain almost three levels! I maxed out my control and will probably start increasing my drive distance next. I’m about halfway through the Palm Tournament now, and I can feel that monotony creeping back up. While the game is decent enough, there’s really not much variety so far. The courses are definitely becoming more challenging in creative ways, but it’s all still more or less the same.
Night 3: I finished up the Palm Tournament and things haven’t really changed for me with this game since then. I’m going to give it another lunch session tomorrow, but I feel like I’ve seen just about everything this game has to show me.
During my lunch break I decided to try out the game’s casual mode, playing as good ol’ Mario on the 4th course of the game. I must say, after playing as a different character on a course further along into the game, my opinion on Mario Golf for the GBC has really changed… not all that much.
The course was more of the same aside from a pallet swap and slightly more complex hole design. Playing as Mario definitely felt better than my low level character, but the dynamics of the game did not change at all.
I finished up the 18th hole at par, and finished my lunch.
So this wasn’t a bad game by any means, but I think its real value comes from its quick play options, which are unfortunately very limited. I’d probably like this one a bit more if I could play in tournaments as Nintendo’s characters, instead of being forced to level my own character that I really don’t care at all about.
Play it Again?
Probably not. Let’s be honest, Mario Golf on the 3DS is a very real, very fun thing, and if I really want my Mario Golf on the go, I’d take that version over this one every single day.