Mario Golf: Super Rush already looks compelling, but it seems to be falling into the same traps as the last Mario sports game, Mario Tennis Aces.
By Abram Buehner
Published Feb 21, 2021
Fans had long speculated about what the next Mario sports title on Nintendo Switch would be. After the acquisition of Next Level Games, many fans were hoping for Mario Strikers, while another vocal group hoped for Mario Baseball. However, the most recent Nintendo Direct?announced Mario Golf, another sports series fans hotly anticipated.
The new title, Mario Golf: Super Rush, is headed to Switch in June from developer Camelot. In the Switch era, Camelot is known for its previous Mario sports title, Mario Tennis Aces. Already, Super Rush looks like it has a lot in common with Aces?– for better and worse.
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A lot of these similarities give players reasons to be excited for Super Rush. Like Mario Tennis Aces, Camelot is layering unique gameplay systems onto the sport experience to make something genuinely new. Aces featured various time-bending powers and super moves that made tennis feel like a fighting game. Super Rush is injecting party game elements that make golf more chaotic. Speed Golf mode allows players to all play concurrently, racing to finish the course. It’s a novel idea that feels like it’s taking cues from both Mario Party and Mario Kart.
These sorts of gameplay additions make Mario Golf: Super Rush uniquely compelling. Golf is certainly not the most energetic sport, and these sorts of modes make Super Rush feel more like an arcade experience than a Mario-flavored simulation. Of course, that simulation aspect is here for those who want it. Like Mario Tennis Aces, the gameplay experience here seems customizable to fit any player’s preferences for mechanical and control style. Plus, the game just looks like great fun in multiplayer, another point of similarity between the games.
However, many of Super Rush and Aces’ outstanding points of comparison may be cause for concern. The first is a bit strange: story mode. While the return of a RPG-influenced?Mario Golf campaign is exciting, Aces was advertised?with a similar mode. In execution though, Aces’ story mode was underwhelming. It was full of repetitive mission design and RPG elements that only paid lip service to the concept. Some of the pointed footage in the Super Rush trailer suggests that this single-player adventure will be more robust — but early trailers made Aces’ adventure look robust too. How compelling this facet of the experience will be is still unclear.
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Equally unclear is how creative Camelot will get with the golf courses. Super Rush looks technically impressive and clean, but very simple. The courses shown off so far all look incredibly straightforward. Part of what makes Mario sports titles compelling is how they infuse classical sporting grounds with Mario flair both visually and mechanically.
Wacky areas with wacky gimmicks make Mario sports games tick,?but?Super Rush looks to be lacking that so far. While the more eclectic selections might be revealed later, Aces lacked this creative spark even after its post-launch content wrapped up. That was a disappointing element of Aces that is hopefully rectified in Super Rush.
Since a full three years will have passed since Aces by the time Super Rush launches, Camelot will have had plenty of time to polish this new title. The game already shows a lot of promise. At the same time, there are also?signs that it may stumble into familiar pitfalls. However, even if Super Rush falters out the gate in a similar fashion to Aces, it’ll still hold merit. If both games are of the identical quality, Mario Golf: Super Rush will at least be a mechanically engaging local multiplayer Nintendo Switch staple. Still, with some careful design, it could be even more than that.
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Mario Golf: Super Rush
About The Author
(209 Articles Published)
Abram Buehner is an editor, writer, gamer and all-around dork based on the East Coast of the United States. Hopping between Wheaton College in Massachusetts and his home in Midcoast Maine, Abram spends much of his time writing about video games, film, and comics… that is, when Abram isn’t playing games, watching film, or reading comics. When he’s not doing that, Abram is knee-deep in classwork, in pursuit of a B.A. in Film & New Media Studies with a minor in Journalism. You can connect with Abram on Twitter at @PnguinsWitCapes and email him directly at email@example.com
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