Mario Golf (N64) review | Nintendo Live

This review was originally published in 2008, and we are updating and republishing it to celebrate the game’s arrival on the Switch as part of the Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pack.

After Mario’s forays into the non-platform genres – you know, karting, Picross G, Dr. Mario … J – Nintendo realized something: put Mario into a game and sold it in bulk. Soon Mario & Co. The tournament started in sports of all kinds. In the years that followed, he studied baseball, soccer, and even revolutionized ballroom dancing. His first game in the sports world came with Mario’s Tennis on the Virtual Boy, though it had an ominous start thanks to this console’s commercial failure. Undeterred, the Nintendo plumber threw a golf bag and shoved him out into the fairway in a game that took about two seconds to think of a title for it.

So, Mario Golf was on the N64 approx The first sports game Mario, certainly the first on a home console you’ve been playing on TV, is what you’d expect: golf with Mario. It’s totally counterintuitive thanks to this dynamite title, but it’s worth highlighting because if you’re expecting more of the dazzling spectacle of the mascot’s newer sports production – games that take some real artistic licensing with nominally realistic sports rules – Camelot’s first shot in this particular series was more integrity. It’s great fun, but you’re not going to run across the fairway in this fast-paced golf version of this game.

As a standard, you have a number of different clubs to choose; Timbers, irons, and pegs, depending on the terrain you’re riding on. For anyone who has never played golf, after choosing a club and starting to hit the ball, the power bar will appear. Then a small tick moves along the bar from right to left and hits “A” when it is as close to the left as possible: the closer you get, the stronger your swing will be. The marker starts sliding back immediately to the right and stops as close to the origin as possible: the closer you get, the more accurate your shot will be. You need to pay attention to the force of the wind as well, which can send your ball off course if you don’t adjust your shot.

Aside from being able to select an ‘close’ shot (to get the ball on the green when you’re close, but not quite there), you can select a ‘powerful’ shot, which makes the ball fly farther. When starting the course, you will only have six Power Shot at your disposal, however, if you use one and then get a “perfect” shot (meaning stopping the mark at full power and perfect accuracy), the Power Shot will not be used up and the ball will fly farther, accompanied by an impact Special depending on the character – a mario ball drenched in flames, for example. However, if you are a little further away, you will lose an extra distance and you will miss your powerful shot as well.

This is one of the few Mario games with NPCs in the Mushroom Kingdom. You get Luigi, Wario, Yoshi, Peach, DK, and others, but there’s also a host of previously unseen “human” characters to choose from, including Charlie, Harry, and most famously, Bloom. You only have access to four characters in the beginning too (Baby Mario, Peach, Charlie, and Plum) and in order to unlock everyone else (yes, even Mario!) you have to beat them, one by one, in Get Character mode. Don’t expect an easy ride either; AI is actually tough on you.

Thanks to the fact that you unlock characters in a certain order, the game can be said to have balancing issues. The maximum driving distance for entry-level characters is about 200 yards, but the final characters you unlock can all reach over 300, which means there’s absolutely no reason to use older characters once you unlock better ones.

Another important stat is the type of shot for each character; Some shoot the ball straight, but others “tie” or “fade,” which means the ball will naturally go to the right or left, respectively, and then curve back to the center. This means you have to be very wary of big obstacles like trees, and it really does offer an extra layer of strategy, but overall, it doesn’t really make much of a difference.

The game has a lot of modes to test your skills in. Apart from the Get Character mode mentioned above, there is Tournament, Mini-Golf – which allows you to unleash Putt-Putt skills – Ring Shot (shoot the ball through floating rings), Speed ​​Golf (basically a time attack mode) and a variety Who vs. modes, such as Stroke Play (the player with the fewest points wins), Club Slots (before each hole you spin the slot machine, which assigns you only three clubs to use) and more. The main gameplay itself may be simple, but there is a lot of fun to have as you gain experience and unlock new courses, of which there are eight in total.

The original game on the N64 also enables you to unlock more characters and port your player character from the excellent RPG-style Game Boy Color Mario Golf to this version, a feature unfortunately missing from later versions. Even without that functionality, the first Mario Golf title remains as powerful and fun as it was in 1999, and while it lacks the pyrotechnics and trickery that have come to characterize Mario sports titles over the years (the kind of buzzing energy that’ll surely get you out of St. Andrews Club in a casual way) ), there will be many golf lovers who are measured more, and less joker The approach will resume over it.


If you’re looking for a crazy golf game involving Mario and the gang… you might be a bit disappointed with the original Mario Golf. Aside from a few holes in the shape of Mario characters, each course is completely “normal” and contains no morbid mushroom kingdom obstacles to avoid; This is very much golf The game first. However, if you like a little more realism from a more recent series of entries (not many, think – it still features a bow-tie-clad gorilla and a giant fire-breathing turtle as playable characters!), you can’t go wrong here. The process of unlocking all the characters will be a long and difficult task, but you will have a great time in the process. Grab the batons and the roaring pants and hit the right track. Fore!