Mario has become quite the athlete over the years, and when he's not platforming or karting, you can find him involved in any number of sports - or competing in the Olympics.
One of his most famous series, Mario Golf, has finally chipped-in to the Nintendo Switch with latest entry, Super Rush. While it's full of Nintendo colour and flourish, it's sorely lacking in content - leaving it struggling to find par.
Hard To Putt Down
It only takes around ten minutes of Super Rush to acclimatise (or re-acclimatise) to the franchise's golfing mechanics. That's partially because they're intuitive (and there's a handy tutorial when loading up a match), but also partly because they've not really changed.
As with many golfing titles you'll set your power and accuracy using a well-timed button press while adding spin to the ball's flight with the left stick. Each golfer of the sixteen available also has their own special move, including Donkey Kong's ability to send balls flying out of the way, or Boo's ability to haunt balls and send them the wrong way.
These are fun to use in standard golf, but they come into their own in Speed Golf.
Gotta Go Last
As you'd imagine, Speed Golf is about putting the ball into the hall faster than anyone else. Lining up your shots rewards you with time, but the key is to chase after your ball using sprints and limited-use dash abilities to blow opponents out of the way.
It's stupid, chaotic fun, and easily Super Rush's best mode. With many holes made up of different routes, and with special-meter charging coins and stamina-replenishing hearts strewn throughout, it can sometimes behove players to take a slightly longer route around the course or wait until everyone else has hit their ball so as to drop a special move on them while they're in the same spot.
On the other hand, Battle Golf is a little less exciting. These take place in an arena with the likes of Thwomps, Chain Chomps, and more. As in Speed Golf, you'll be haring around to play your shots first, but this time you'll need to 'capture' three holes before anyone else.
That essentially turns into players simply running to find the holes that aren't contested, occasionally hitting Bob-ombs toward enemies, but generally defeating the object of calling it Battle Golf.
Going On An Adventure
If you're hoping for Golf Adventure, Super Rush's Mii-starring RPG to be something akin to Golf Story, I've got bad news. While levelling up your character can be fun, and many of the challenges are pleasingly more puzzle-based than a round of standard golf, the five-hour campaign feels undercooked.
Boss battles are lacking, too, with repetitious encounters but at least it's a decent excuse to tour all six courses. Unfortunately, courses feel a little dry. I wasn't looking for crazy golf-style obstacles, but some more Mushroom Kingdom paraphernalia wouldn't have gone amiss.
Mario Golf Super Rush is a fun way to spend a few hours with friends on the course, but it struggles to maintain any momentum after that. Adventure mode is short and a little dull, and while Speed Golf (and to a lesser extent, its Battle-based sibling) are fun, I found myself wishing there was more to see and do here.
Reviewed on Nintendo Switch
Review copy provided by the publisher