Last night, I purchased the new Mario Golf: Super Rush and it is a delightful game. What follows here has nothing to do with its merits as a game or its enjoyability, because it has been a joy to play at this point and is exactly what I want out of a Mario Golf experience as someone who used to rent the Nintendo 64 version so much from Blockbuster that I surely spent more money than it would’ve cost to just buy the dang thing.
The new Mario Golf has all of the same fun as I recalled the original having with the additions of a speed golf mode that is extremely fun and, for anyone that’s ever played any golf game, it is very intuitive. For others, it might take a bit longer to learn how to quickly read greens and wind and slope and everything else — I learned this because my partner grew increasingly frustrated during our first round of speed golf as I shot better than I had playing regular golf earlier in the evening.
My lone complaint is that the computer is absolutely garbage at golf. After playing exclusively with person v. person on my first night with the game, I fired it up on Wednesday afternoon by myself and decided to play 18 holes of standard golf against three computer players and, my heavens, it was a disaster. It’s hard to overstate just how awful the computer is at this game. I realize they’re not supposed to be great because this is because it is a game made for children and not people that have logged many hours on golf games over the years, but that’s no excuse for some of the things that happen to the computer players.
Here is an incomplete list of things that I saw my playing companions (Toad, Yoshii, and Peach) do as I (Donkey Kong) went on to shoot a tidy 6-under round while the computer couldn’t muster anything better than 7-over on the very easy first course they give you that has no danger anywhere on it:
- Toad, twice, missed putts between 3-5 feet that left longer putts coming back than he had to start
- Toad (he was an abject disaster while the other two were just bad), twice, used his power up super shot to hit an approach that came up 20 yards short of the green on a par 4, gaining no discernible advantage
- Peach, at one point, aimed directly into a tree that was not on line with the pin and launched a ball into it, causing her to come up well short of the green on an approach
- Yoshii hit a chip shot from 30 feet away so hard that he had 60 feet left for his putt and was still away
- All three of them regularly just…hit their approach shots wildly short of the green when they easily could have reached
- All of them missed dead straight putts by aiming well outside the hole for no reason (overall, they are just awful at putting)
- Toad, who is the shortest hitter in the game, and Peach, longer but not by much, constantly hit 3-wood off the tee (not fully powered) and left themselves approach shots so long they could either not physically get to par 4 greens in regulation or had to hit another wood in (often leaving them well short)
By the end of the 10th hole the scorecard looked like this and I was melting down because of how long it was taking as they hacked it around the course.
Look at what I'm dealing with. Pace of play is a disaster pic.twitter.com/tKyBL2JUwm
— Robby Kalland (@RKalland) June 30, 2021
The lesson, I learned, is to never play the computer in the standard golf setting, because it will drive me insane. They’re not good in speed golf either, but I didn’t notice how not good they were because they’re running from shot to shot and you’re all hitting at the same time, meaning their bogeys only take a little longer than it takes to make a birdie or par. In any case, Mario Golf: Super Rush is a good game, the AI players are just dreadful golfers.