After a long hiatus, the Mario Golf series is making a return to home consoles with Mario Golf: Super Rush, announced for Nintendo Switch during the February 2021 Nintendo Direct. This will finally bring a more complete golfing experience to Nintendo console owners, fixing several of the problems found in the company’s last golf-adjacent console titles, the Wii Sports series.
Nintendo is no stranger to golf games. In fact, Mario starred in a golf video game as early as 1991’s NES Open Tournament Golf, though the N64’s Mario Golf was the first golf title to bear his name in markets outside of Japan. Golf video games on Nintendo home consoles hit their peak, financially, on the Wii. Wii Sports and its successor, Wii Sports Resort, were both smash hits and helped bring gaming to an unprecedented audience. That doesn’t mean golf on the Wii was without its problems, though.
Being a purely golf-focused title, Mario Golf: Super Rush will be able to avoid the pitfalls that plagued the glorified golfing minigames in Wii Sports and Wii Sports Resort. Mario himself is at the forefront of this one, too, and Nintendo rarely lets its most iconic mascot disappoint.
The biggest leg up Mario Golf: Super Rush has on Wii golfing is an alternative to motion controls. While motion controls were adequate on the Wii and improved with Wii Motion Plus and the Wii U, the entire concept is generally disdained by gamers; even with improvements, they can still be rather cumbersome and imprecise – and some players with disabilities can’t use them at all. The news that Super Mario Galaxy wouldn’t require motion controls in the Switch port was well received, and Nintendo has decided to do the same for the upcoming Skyward Sword HD remaster.
Motion controls worked well enough for Wii Sports, but Mario Golf – even though it’s far from a realistic golf simulation game – requires the precision of button controls. The party game nature of Wii Sports didn’t lend itself to a control scheme focused on accuracy, and its actual golfing gameplay suffered for it. Especially on courses that only spanned three holes in the first Wii Sports, one instance of botched motion detection could ruin a whole round. Mario Golf: Super Rush‘s button input options will hopefully avoid this.
Nintendo console golfing fans will also be able to experience much more variety on Switch. Mario Golf: Super Rush is already introducing a game mode called Speed Golf, as well as a new Mario Golf story mode, and there will likely be more announced before it releases. There was simply no depth to golfing in Wii Sports. Players simply selected a course and then played a traditional round of golf. Luckily, as far as golfing games go, Mario Golf still has a rather low barrier of entry, so any fans of golfing on the Wii will likely be able to get a lot of enjoyment out of Mario Golf: Super Rush.
Mario Golf: Super Rush is coming to Nintendo Switch on June 25, 2021.