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Lunabean's Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour Review

Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour
Buy Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour
Lunabean FAQs: LB Mario Golf FAQs
Lunabean Rating: 8.4
Platforms: GameCube
Release Date: 07.28.03
ESRB Rating: E - Everyone
Official Site: Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour
Purchase Game from Amazon.com: Buy it now!
Stuck?: Lunabean's Forums
Online Play: No

Review


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Mario and friends have returned to their golfing roots with "Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour" for the Nintendo Gamecube, a follow up to their N64 hit, "Mario Golf". If you played "Mario Golf" for the N64, you know exactly what to expect. If you did not, you should still know exactly what to expect: Mario and friends golfing their little hearts out on Marioland courses, complete with warp pipes, bouncy mushrooms, and flowering Pikmin in the fields.

"Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour", at its core, is not much different from the handful of other golf games available today. The standards are all there, including Tournament Mode, Match Play, and Skins. However, "Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour" stands out by providing some extras not found in the typical golf game. There is "Ring Attack", where one must hit the ball through a number of rings on its path to the hole. There is "Club Slots", where one can only use the three clubs chosen by a slot machine. There is "Speed Golf" where one competes for the fastest course completion time. Finally, there's our favorite, "Doubles". In "Doubles" one is paired with another player and alternates shots to get the ball in the hole. It is pure two to four player madness, and a great time.


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The play mechanics of the game are easy to grasp, but do become difficult when going for a harder shot. Simply moving the ball is easy. There is a power meter at the bottom of the screen. The player must hit a button to move the meter along, then hit the same button to determine how hard Mario will hit the ball. That is the Auto Shot. The Manual Shot isn't that much harder. The player must hit a button to move the meter, hit another button to determine distance, then hit either the first of the second button to determine how accurate the shot will be. Once again, this is not difficult, but the purpose of hitting a ball manually is so topspin or backspin will be added, which means another button has to be hit in the middle of it all. If one wants to get really tricky, the control stick can be thrown in the mix, providing the player the option of hitting the ball in a specific spot. Point being, hitting a ball can be as easy as pressing one button twice, or as difficult as hitting two buttons three or four times in the right order while adjusting the control stick, all in a four second time frame.

The cameras in the game are worth a mention, as Nintendo worked very hard to make sure there would be nothing to complain about in this department. Three seperate buttons are dedicated to cameras. One shows where the shot is going, one provides and overhead of the entire course, and one allows the player to move along the ball's path. It is truly beautiful.

The graphics should also be noted. Not because they are anything out of the ordinary, but because this is a video game review, and every video game reviewer has to mention the graphics. The graphics in "Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour" are exactly what one would expect them to be. They are cartoony, bright, and gorgeous.

No game is without faults, and "Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour" is no exception, though there aren't many. Our greatest annoyance with golf games is the inability to build up a player while playing a multi-player games. To make one's player better or to open up more courses, one must take them through a single player tournament. This is lame. Golf best played with friends. People shouldn't be forced to play it alone to get upgrades. Also, there is no reason why tournaments can't be multi-player. The N64's "Wailai Open" figured this out years ago, which is why it was a great game.

The second fault this game has is that it is not a golf simulator. The true golf fan will be disappointed. "Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour" is a golf amusement park. To most, there is nothing wrong with this and the warp pipes, speedy fairways and bouncy mushrooms will only add to their golfing enjoyment. To others, ourselves included, "Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour" is a good time for a few hours, and well worth a rent, but the golf game purchase this year will be "Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2004", golf for those who don't play around.


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