N64 Review: Mario Golf
Review by: Hairball (hairball@sm128c.com)

Game Info

 System: N64
 ESRB: Everyone
 Genre: Sports
 # of Players: 1-4
 Size: 192 Megabits
 Developer: Camelot
 Publisher: Nintendo

 Controller Pak: No
 Rumble Pak: Yes
 Transfer Pak: Yes

 Release Date:
 US: Jul 26, 1999
 EU: Sep 14, 1999
 JP: Jun 11, 1999

Screenshots:

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Final Score:
9.0/10

This might be the year of Mario. In the good 'ol 1999 we have seen these games Mario Party and Super Smash Bros. But with the addition of Mario Golf we have a threesome of Mario games this year. In my opinion Nintendo is giving us these 3 games instead of a sequel to Super Mario 64.

Nintendo and Camelot made this game playable for everyone of any age. Don't know beans about golf? Don't worry Mario will teach you how to play and the rules and bla bla bla. The instruction manual provided with the game has most of the definitions of the golf words.

One great cool thing about Mario Golf is that Mario and his friends are in the game with the addition of some new friends. The usual bunch are in the game like Mario, Luigi, Yoshi, Peach, etc. There are also favourites like Donkey Kong, Wario and Bowser. Heck even Baby Mario makes an appearance in the game too. Probably Mario and Peach have been busy lately (hehe...)

The graphics in Mario Golf are just WOW! When you look at the game it seems like you are on a real golf course but with Mario and his buddies playing. The 3rd person view of your character makes it easy to shoot. The grass is green the sky is blue, and the bunkers are white. What more would you want? The grass has lots of beautiful texture and it's so realistic. When you look at the game it seems completely real except for the fact that you might see Mario around.

When you attempt to putt the ball into the hole there will be a grid to help you aim. And also the character you are using will turn transparent to help you see better. When aiming you can use the C-buttons to view the course better similar to the way you do it in Super Mario 64.

The sound effects are excellent. There are different sounds when you shoot the golf ball. It depends where you are. When you are in the sand bunker and you shoot you here some sand in the air. When you're on the green trying to make a putt it sounds like a putt.

Shouldn't golf be kinda silent? The nice music has the mood of golf. The Mario tunes somehow get into the game and make the music cool and the music fits really well. For example when you are putting for a birdie the music changes into music when you are under pressure.

Mario Golf has excellent play control that makes it easy to get the ball into the cup. You have a choice of a variety of golf clubs. The golf club you choose will depend on where you aim at (using the R button and control stick). After you aim use the A button to control the strength of the shot. There are many reasons why your aim will be off a bit. Obstacles such as the wind, strength, water, and land formations will make your shot go off pace. As you play more and more your aim will get better and better as you get more used to the game.

Mario Golf has 6 different golf courses with 18 holes each. When you multiply that out you have 108 holes to play. In other words this means that the game is big. Each of the courses has different themes from Mario games. Each course is kinda like a home course for a certain character from a Mario game. For example the 2nd golf course is Koopa Troopa's course and there are Koopa shells throughout the holes.

Mario Golf has lots of modes you can play. There are 10 different modes you can choose to play. They are Training Mode, Ring Shot, Mini-Golf, Speed Golf, Get Character (not all of them are selectable at the start), Match Game, Club Slots, Stroke, Skins Match, and Tournament. Wow that's a lot of games you can play. For some of the games you can even play in multiplayer against some friends!

In the tournament and Get Character modes the game keeps tracks with medals not final score. To get medals you have to beat the opponent in order to win. When you get 10 medals you win the tournament (or the character). Using this system helps in the game because if you triple bogey a hole you can still easily get back into the game.

With all these fun things in Mario Golf it's great game overall. It doesn't matter if you are a golf expert or a mental in sports, anyone and everyone can have fun playing Mario Golf. With the Get Character mode the game gets more fun and tougher as you get experience. Mario Golf is a game that needs at least a rent if not a buy.

-- Hairball (hairball@sm128c.com)

Bottom Line: I have never gotten a golf game before and I got this one and it didn't disappoint. Mario Golf is one of the most fun games ever.