GB Review: Mario Golf
Review by: Namek (namek@sm128c.com)

Game Info

 System: Game Boy Color
 ESRB: Everyone
 Genre: Sports
 # of Players: 1-2
 Size: 16 Megabits
 Developer: Camelot
 Publisher: Nintendo

 Game Save: Yes

 Release Date:
 US: Oct 4, 1999

Screenshots:

Screenshot

Screenshot

Screenshot

Final Score:
9.8/10

This game is awesome…there's no way around it…

While it is very uncommon for a sports title to receive a perfect score, Mario Golf is no ordinary sports title. It is the absolute best golf game ever, portable or no, and it sports more extra features than a Benz.

First of all, Mario Golf's graphics are gorgeous. Sure, they're sprites, but they are some of the best sprites you'll ever see on the GBC. We're talking SNES quality here…the colors are vibrant, the characters are well-drawn and the animation is excellent. You'd be hard pressed to find a better looking GBC title…

However, the lovely graphics aren't even half of what this game has to offer…

Mario Golf features four unique courses, none of which are ports from the N64 version. There's a reason for this, but more on that later. Like the N64 version, players can compete in various tournaments, one-on-one matches, and special challenges, but unlike the N64 version, Mario Golf on the GBC features some very unique RPG elements.

RPG elements…in a golf game?

That's right. On the GBC version of Mario Golf, players create their own golfer, and then take that golfer through a "quest" of sorts, building experience points and golfing skills as they win tournaments. Much like bosses in an RPG, each club has a "club champion", who players must beat in order to move on to the next tournament.

In addition the experience point system, the game also features a "map" screen, through which players visit various golf courses and secret levels. These RPG elements really make Mario Golf shine, and, in fact, these added elements make Mario Golf on the GBC much better than Mario Golf on the N64.

Speaking of the N64, owners of the N64 version of Mario Golf can greatly improve that game boy following easy steps.

1) Buy a Game Boy Color
2) Buy Mario Golf for the GBC
3) Import a GB Transfer Pak

For the lucky few that can import a GB Transfer Pak, Mario Golf takes on a whole new level of fun. By using the GB Transfer Pak, (which came with Pokémon Stadium in Japan, but is available separately) players can import their character from the GBC version onto the N64 version, and play in full 3D. Experience points, as well as great shots and tournament wins, earned on the N64 version can then be exported back to the GBC.

These dual aspects make the Mario Golf series extremely addictive for players that own both version and a Transfer Pak. Although I've never recommended importing games or hardware before, Mario Golf fans should most definitely find a GB Transfer Pak. The Japanese hardware is fully compatible with US games, and the Transfer Pak makes Mario Golf much more fun.

Mario Golf is definitely the best portable golf game ever, and it's well worth its price. Even if you despise golf, you'll love this game. Mario Golf is a definite must-have for GBC owners, and if you like Mario Golf on the N64, then you can't buy this game soon enough.

Good Stuff: Awesome gameplay, Innovative RPG elements, Great graphics, I could go on...

Bad Stuff: Where's the GB Transfer Pak, NoA?

-- Namek (namek@sm128c.com)

Bottom Line: You need this game. Right now. Every minute you spend without Mario Golf is simply wasted time...buy this game, and be at peace with the universe.