While sports games are often some of the most grounded video game experiences, Mario Golf and other Mario sports titles typically offer a blend of both realistic sports simulation and video game wackiness. However, the announcement trailer for the Nintendo Switch’s Mario Golf: Super Rush looks a little too bland compared to previous Mario sports games.
Mario Golf: Super Rush was announced on February 17 during 2021’s first Nintendo Direct, following a year-long Direct drought. The announcement was well-received by Nintendo fans, many of whom took to the internet to express their excitement for the first Mario Golf game in seven years. While golf may not be the most exciting sport Mario has ever played, fan reactions are a good indication Mario Golf: Super Rush could be another smash hit on Switch.
Something about the clips of gameplay in the Mario Golf: Super Rush announcement trailer seems off, though. With the sound turned off, the trailer looks like a highlight video that awkwardly showcases boring portions of the game, as multiple aspects of Super Rush seem lifeless.
Mario Golf: Super Rush‘s colors and environments are desaturated and generic compared to Mario Golf: World Tour. Mario and the gang may have fancy new golf outfits, but they look like they’ve been washed a few times to many – and so do the environments. The trees in World Tour, for example, are iconic foliage designs from other Mario games, but Super Rush’s are boring, normal trees.
While players were only given a glimpse of a handful of levels during the trailer, Super Rush’s courses appear similarly boring. The main course shown was a generic, green-grass golf course with a few of the aforementioned trees and non-descript buildings. The others were a desert and a rainy forest that lacked the surrounding environments of World Tour’s courses. Mario sports games are known for their exciting environments filled with lively character, but Mario Golf: Super Rush’s courses don’t have much to offer except a few cheering fans on the sidelines.
Speaking of which, these fans are also one of the game’s biggest presentation issues. Seen at the beginning of the trailer and at various points throughout, a handful of Bowser’s minions stand on the sidelines and cheer for players. They aren’t varied in design, so it’s obvious they were copy-and-pasted to fill the field. What’s worse is that they all move in unison when reacting to what players do. Seeing these robotic movements is a little jarring and will likely take players out of the game for a moment, revealing they’re really just playing a simulation, rather than actually playing golf in Mushroom Kingdom.
There are still four months before Mario Golf: Super Rush swings its way onto the Nintendo Switch, and hopefully Nintendo can tie up these loose ends before then. There are likely a wealth of courses players haven’t seen yet that may offer more dynamic and interesting environments. The introduction of the Speed Golf mode is sure to spice up gameplay, too, but it would be great if players could compete against their friends on courses that are as potentially exciting as the new mode.
Mario Golf: Super Rush will come to Nintendo Switch on June 25, 2021.