Wow, this is the best golf game ever!!! Who are these Camelot guys anyway? They made Hot Shots Golf for the Playstation? Really? Man, I have to play that game if it's anything like this. I'm telling you, Mario Golf has had me tied up for long jaunts with my best friend. I even beat him up a few times for winning (disclaimer: Violence is bad, m'kay?). It's better than all those other golfing sims, I tells ya...
Oh, did I mention I hate golf?
But not this little jewel, no siree. I can't believe I actually like a golf game now. To everyone else like me, who doesn't know what words like 'dormie' and 'chip-in' mean, play this game. I have actually tried a few golf games before this (please don't laugh), and it's so wonderful that a game with fictional characters and courses can play so much more realistic than the competition.
So what's so special about it? A golf game with characters you've seen time and again? I dunno, it's just plain fun. Any newbie at the sport can pick up a controller and be hooked in minutes (like me ^^). The game physics are top notch; everything from wind direction, power in you shots, and lay of the land are done as realistically as possible. When you plan out a shot, it always goes where you expected it, unless you screwed up (but that's your own fault ;P). Even when you hit the ball on the rough, you'll have a blast trying to get back in the game, always watching that you never go over par. As far as gameplay goes, this is everything a golf game should be, since anyone can pick it up. Heck, it can even bring the communities of golf and game players together, in harmony and happiness, as they try to best each other...heh, okay, maybe not.
Specifically, you have your choice of characters. Some of them are from the Mario camp, then there's others I've never seen before (maybe they were in Hot Shots Golf?). Each has their own max driving distance, and some can hit straight, while others have a fade or draw. I'm sure you'll be able to find a character you're comfy with, and be able to tear up the green. When you get past player selection, you pick the type of game you can play. For one player, there's the standard tournament and practice modes, a character battle (more on that in a sec), and some other features which have escaped my little mind right now. Maybe they didn't grab my attention, but still, I urge you try out everything. Especially the character battle; it pits you versus the computer opponent. If you can beat your 'mystery guest', you can use him/her in the other modes. So if you want the full array of guys to play with, you'll need to go through this. After picking your play mode, then you choose a course. There's one to start with, but as you play the game, you gain experience points which go towards opening the next course. Each locale is a challenge, and each hole is a puzzle in figuring out a way to get to the cup in as few strokes as possible. Multiplayer romps are a blast as well; there's even miniture golf =D. Also, no mater what mode you play, if you are in a two player competition you can taunt and congratulate the opponent when it's their turn! All I can say is you'll be spending some time going through Mario Golf's ins and outs. And you'll love every second.
The audio is nice, although not the best. Music is very quiet, calming, and helps you enjoy the game. Voice samples are remarkable clear too, and some of them are hilarious for some odd reason. Play as Harry, hear him grunt, and try not to laugh. However, Mario Party won't be winning any awards in the graphics department. The characters are somewhat blocky, and the while the ground of each course looks smooth and realistic, trees and other tall objects suffer from 'poly cardboard syndrome.' It doesn't ruin the game, but the N64 can produce better effects than this, I'm sure. All in all, it won't ruin your experience, since of course, you play games because they're fun, right?
And that's my two cents on the entire matter. This won't make a golf junkie out of me, but at least I can honestly say I've played a good golfing game =).
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