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Mario Golf: Super Rush review — What now?

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Sometimes a game isn’t for me. But with Mario Golf: Super Rush, it feels like I am not meant for this game. What I mean by that is the game is probably ideal for a certain audience. More than 15 million people bought Super Mario Party to play with their family and friends. And I think those Switch owners will enjoy the new Mario sports game in much the same way they play other party games. But this golf experience falls apart slightly if you come into it as a solo player, and that’s what I was looking for.

Mario Golf: Super Rush’s problem is not its core golfing mechanics. The game has its own systems that involves timed button presses. But unlike many other golf games, this is not about setting power and then accuracy. Instead, the bar fills up once to set distance, and then it fills up again to give you a chance to shape your shot. And once I got the hang of that, it was great to feel out complicates situations where I could bend a shot perfectly around obstacles to land feet away from the cup.

I think these golf mechanics fit well with the kind of game Nintendo made, and I’m glad it is distinct from the golf in something like PGA Tour 2K21.

I beat Mario Golf, and all I got was this late review

Mario Golf: Super Rush has a single-player adventure, and that comes with a lot of expectations and baggage for long-time fans. More than 20 years ago, Mario Golf on Game Boy Color came with a full role-playing game mode that many players still long for. Nintendo did that one more time with Mario Golf: Advance Tour on Game Boy Advance in 2004, but since the series has not replicated the RPG experience.

Super Rush’s adventure is the closest thing to an RPG since the franchise has seen since the GBA, but it’s much closer to an overlong tutorial mode. I beat it in about 5 hours. And I was primarily going through the motions in order to get my Mii’s stats to go up. But the numbers do go up, and I won’t pretend that I don’t like that.

The adventure isn’t Super Rush’s real flaw. I’m used to the series coming up short in that aspect at this point. Instead, this game’s issue is I don’t know what I’m supposed to do now. If I had time and a regular crew to play against, I imagine we would make an appointment to play the game together. That seems like fun, but it’s also a hassle. And the game doesn’t do much to alleviate the pains of getting a group together.

I could, I suppose, look for an open room, but then I feel like I have to commit to playing against some stranger for some amount of time. And I do not find that appealing at all. Ideally, the game would have some sort of asynchronous multiplayer system that I could compete in so I could compare my performance to my friends whenever they get around to playing. The 3DS game had tournaments that worked that way, but this does not.

I want to call that omission baffling, but it’s not. Nintendo did not make this game for me. And that is leaving me wondering if I’m ever going to pick it up again. I suspect that I will not even though I still liked it while I was playing it.

Or, at least, I won’t pick it up again until my young kids are old enough to care about a golf video game so I have someone to play with.

Mario Golf: Super Rush is available now for $60 on Nintendo Switch.

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