Review: Mario Golf: World Tour scores an easy birdie

Platform: Nintendo 3DS and 2DS

For years, Nintendo has managed to do something great with the Mario Golf series, keeping the general gameplay basics in mind while crafting all sorts of crazy single player and multiplayer events to keep fans chipping onto the greens. Nintendo continues the status quo with Mario Golf: World Tour, a must for anyone carrying a Nintendo 3DS.

Mario_NeweggThe game is basically divided into two modes: Quick Play and Castle Club. Quick Play enables you to take on unlocked courses with a variety of characters from the Mario universe, good and evil. It's also a good portal to head right into practice with the game, whether you prefer the Manual or Easy method.

Castle Club is essentially a story mode based around your Mii character. You play as a newbie to the golf course, slowly but surely working his or her way up the tournament ranks. The more you play, the more you manage to unlock, including new gear to buy, secret characters, and courses that vary from desert-like terrain to an underwater course. Yes, you're actually playing underwater, so don’t worry about that water hazard.

Castle Club can take a while to get used to, mainly because of the lack of an overworld map. This leads to a bit of exploration when it comes to finding shops and such, although some fans will enjoy it. If you prefer to just go right out and play, head north and enjoy the smattering of courses available.

Mario Golf: World Tour is an approachable game for all skill types, and this is where it excels. Rookies can play Easy mode and have no problem scoring a few birdies and mastering their golf skills. Then you can join the others in Manual, where you can make adjustments to power, accuracy, top spin, back spin and more, all with a few pushes of a button. It's a gameplay system that really works wonders here, no matter your skill set.

Then, of course, there are the new Items that allow your shot to go further, whether bouncing off music notes or shooting down the fairway with a little assistance from Bullet Bill. You'll have to earn these by picking up icons and completing Challenges, but it's all the sweeter when you're scoring that rare eagle.

The Challenges themselves are varied and interesting, with something to offer for just about every skill level. The game also features strong and straightforward multiplayer support. Setting up tournaments is downright easy: just get started, then share a code with others to join in.

Mario_Newegg_2

Presentation-wise, Mario Golf is quite pleasant. The courses are wonderfully designed, and the cute little animations on each of the characters are fun to watch. Waluigi in particular is a bit goofy, demanding that spotlights be pointed at him following a birdie shot. The only downfall is that the audio is a bit weak, between repetitive music that you'll probably turn down or off and the goofball dialogue that your Mii character is stuck with. "AYE!"

Shortcomings aside, Mario Golf: World Tour is one of the best 3DS offerings to date, and a game that should be well received by old and young players alike. If you've got friends who want to join in the game gets even better,  as tournaments offer a tremendous amount of fun, no matter where you go. This game of links is easily one of the better ways to pass the time this summer.

My View:

Here are the criteria I consider most important for judging Mario Golf: World Tour.

Presentation – 8/10

Though the audio is less than impressive, the game looks quite remarkable in both 3D and 2D.

Multiplayer – 9/10

Tournaments and multiplayer sessions are one of the biggest strengths of the game.

Gameplay – 9/10

Exceptional offerings for newbies and veterans alike will keep you swinging.

Content – 8/10

Both the Quick Play and Castle Club modes have something great to offer.

Overall score: 8.5

If you're a fan of Mario-oriented sports games – or just want something breezy and fun to play this summer season – pack up your golf bag and report for the World Tour. You won't be sorry.

GameCrate reviews represent the opinions of the GameCrate writer who wrote them, and not necessarily those of Newegg.