Mario Golf: Super Rush released a couple of weeks ago to pretty much no critical acclaim. The game got a good review score from Famitsu, but when it launched around the world, it was met with a quiet not. There just wasn’t much fanfare for the title, and that worries me a little. The game was set to be a huge new Switch exclusive, something to keep Switch players engaged and involved for a good long chunk of time, at least until The Legend of Zelda: Skward Sword Remake launched. The reality is though, that this was a footnote of a game. There’s simply nothing special about it, and that’s all that players will remember.
Having looked into the review scores, the reason for the lack of enthusiasm around this game seems clear, it isn’t as enthralling as Nintendo made it out to be. When you come right down to it, this is simply golf with Mario characters. Everyone seems to be making a big deal of the fact that FLUDD has been decapitated and made into a part of the scenery, but in reality, there’s a much more pressing matter. The game isn’t that much fun.
Golf games are a very specific niche. They serve that segment of gamers who want a sports title that they can identify with, and that segment is the golf crowd. Golf isn’t particularly exciting in real life, and golf games replicate that. There’s a lot of waiting around, frustration, and a feeling that you’ve wasted hours when you play through 18 holes and don’t win. While Mario Golf tries to speed things up and keep them interesting with Speed Golf, it’s just not enough to tip the title over the edge.
Nintendo doesn’t realise that the thing that made golf games on the Wii fun was the Wii Remote. Give players the opportunity to only play in handheld mode or with a standard controller, and they’ll do so. That removes most of the fun that you’d associate with this game, and renders it pretty damn dull. It’s a shame, because I was looking forward to the game. I guess we’ll have to wait to see how developers iterate on golf in the future.