When Mario Golf: Super Rush was announced earlier this year for the Nintendo Switch, the reaction from me and my friends could be boiled down to “Yo, that looks fun!,” which was quickly followed by “Know what else looks fun? Me beating your punk ass.”
Mario sports titles generally occupy a gaming space I like to call “friendship killers,” and I’m happy to report that Mario Golf: Super Rush is yet another solid Mario sports title that will certainly have you and friends yelling all sorts of obscenities at one another while battling across its numerous modes.
As you can probably assume from the title, Super Rush is an arcade-style golf game with that signature Mario flair. There’s power ups, coins to collect, special shots that can screw your opponents, and a solid variety of characters from the Mushroom Kingdom.
The game includes a campaign mode called “Golf Adventure” that allows you to get a solid handle on the various different types of golf the game offers. Each mode feels like the development team asked themselves “What if golf were fun, actually?”
There’s speed golf, a mode where everyone tees off at the same time and then races to their ball as a timer counts down. There’s cross country golf (my least favorite mode) that essentially turns golf into a puzzle game. There are six holes that you have to make in a certain amount of strokes, but the tricky thing is figuring out the order in which you go after each hole. You tee off from close to where you sunk the last ball, and each hole differs in terrain and distance. I have to be honest; as someone who is Big Dumb™, I don’t exactly fair well in this mode.
Overall, the golf gameplay is really fun and easy to grasp, making it easy to recommend for all ages and skill levels. While there is a level of skill involved, it’s an arcade sports game through and through—one that is more focused on keeping the good vibes rolling as opposed to being an accurate depiction of the sport.
My biggest gripe with the game honestly is the writing. Now, I know what you’re probably thinking: “Bruh, it’s Mario Golf, fuck you mean ‘the writing’? Boy, if you don’t get your ass-,” but hear me out! As someone who can get down with a Mario spin-off or two, one of the highlights of games like Paper Mario, and if my memory is correct Super Mario Maker 2, is that the writing can be really funny and delightfully clever at times.
Golf Adventure is a RPG-lite mode that has a lot of text, and most of it is very expository or just flat out bland. It’s not a great sign when I spent a solid amount of the campaign button mashing through text so I could hurry up and get my golf on.
Now, I couldn’t review a Mario Golf game and not invite the homies over to get this work test out the multiplayer mode. The only mode you can play four-player couch co-op is standard golf, with the rest being two-player couch co-op, and up to four players online.
One of the biggest highlights of the multiplayer component is battle golf; a mode that asks the question “OK, but what if golf was to the death?” It takes place in an arena setting with multiple holes scattered about. There are environmental obstacles, as well as various bombs and power-ups you can use to sabotage your opponent. Straight up, I’ve never played a game of golf as intense as this. The number of obscenities my friend Keegan yelled as I beat him to a gaming winning hole by just a second was so, damn, satisfying. (Full disclosure: he did beat me two out of three in standard golf...which only made that redemptive ass beating even more satisfying.)
While yes, the game only has about five maps, and Golf Adventure is relatively short, there is still a lot of fun to be had here. Whether you’re a parent looking for something fun to play with your kiddos, or you’re looking for a game to straight-up embarrass your friends in, Mario Golf: Super Rush is a solid arcade sports game that’s well worth checking out.