I don’t expect much out of a golf game, but I was expecting a bit more than this.
I have no particular affinity for real-life golf, but golf video games are an enjoyable occasional indulgence. As long as the system is designed well, golf games make for a fun combination of strategy and foresight. Though, in addition to a well-designed system, there also needs to be enough variety to keep the process interesting. Mario Golf Super Rush got about… 60% of that equation down.
The basic golf system is very simple, bordering on overly-simplified. There’s less emphasis on setting up your shot, and more on taking external factors like wind, terrain, and hazards into account. Though, depending on your character’s stats, you can also shape the trajectory of the ball in the air with spins, so if you’ve got a good idea of how the ball will fly, you can set up some elaborate trick shots. In addition to just golfing, the new Speed Golf system turns the process into a hectic Mario Kart-esque battle where you have to run to your ball as quickly as possible, knocking opponents’ balls out of the way in the process. It’s pretty fun if you can get a four-player round going online. There’s also Battle Golf, where instead of running around on the regular courses, you’re in a trap-laden arena, where the goal is to capture a set number of holes before your opponents.
The big problem with Super Rush, though, is a general lack of content. The golf adventure mode, where you can create your own Mii golfer and level up their stats, can be completed in around five hours, and most of that is just playing plain old golf. Unlike Mario Tennis Aces, which had some cool gimmick challenges (frustratingly hard as some of them were), Super Rush only has a handful of notable departures throughout its story in the form of maybe three ten-minute boss fights. Even if you stick exclusively to playing on the regular courses, there are only six courses to play on, only half of which have any kind of gimmick. There are other courses slated to come later as free DLC, but I worry that by the time those are added, everyone will be bored with the game already. Even Battle Golf only has two different stadium variations, and a single round only takes around ten minutes. Perhaps most annoyingly of all is the distinct lack of online features like player-organized tournaments.
— Nintendo of Europe (@NintendoEurope) July 1, 2021
The golf part of Mario Golf Super Rush works perfectly fine, and I’d even go as far as to call it fun. But once you’ve played on all six courses, there just isn’t that much else to do. Unlike the fast pace of say, Mario Kart, the lengthier commitment that a round of Super Rush requires, even in Speed Golf, kind of murders my motivation to just pick up and play a few rounds online. If they don’t get more content out soon, I’m not sure how long this game will last.