Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour - GameCube

Got packs, screens, info?
Viewed: 3D Third-person, floating camera Genre:
Sport: Golf
Arcade origin:No
Developer: Camelot Soft. Co.: Nintendo
Publishers: Nintendo (GB/US)
Released: 28 Jul 2003 (US)
18 Jun 2004 (GB)
Ratings: 3+
Accessories: Memory Card
Connectivity: GC/GBA Link Cable


If you're a golf-loving GameCube owner (although that somewhat narrows it down a little) and if you haven't yet given into the temptations of the ever-so-affordable Internet-based game importers, then the impending arrival of this latest Mario Golf title will have made you as eager as Tiger Woods in a Nike shop. Why it's taken so long is anybody's guess, but Toadstool Tour has finally swung its way onto European shores.

Fans of the series will be pleased to discover that the game follows on faithfully from its N64 predecessor, with the usual premise of Mario, Luigi and co. hitting the fairway setting the scene for what is arguably one of the gaming world's most enjoyable golf sims. Changes to the gameplay are minimal, the main of which is a slightly revised swing system, designed to offer a handicap to newcomers, whereas on the visual front, a graphical GC makeover means that it all looks, well, pretty darn lovely actually.

As you'd expect, the game boasts a massive amount of game modes and options, including championships, one-on-one matches, club slots, ring shooting, coin shooting, and speed golf against the clock. And in true Nintendo style, there's also an assortment of mini games and challenges, such as a birdie challenge and a 'nearest pin' game, which help you unlock new characters and such.

The gameplay itself differs only slightly from the last Mario Golf outing, with you setting power, trajectory and spin for each shot, while allowing for such elements as the lie of the land, wind and the surface underfoot. The aforementioned swing system offers the major update. As before, you would set shot power along the power bar before setting the 'snap' as close to the marker as possible for accuracy, you can now opt for an auto snap, which helps novices get used to the controls but, being inconsistent in its accuracy, doesn't give too much advantage over the more seasoned Mario Golfer.

Also new to the proceedings are some rather impressive new course designs. As well as the standard selection of increasingly-taxing 'normal' courses, Toadstool Tour also offers an assortment of very much Mario-style environments. Based on everyone's favourite Mushroom Kingdom, these courses offer even more hazards in the form of warp pipes, Bob-ombs, Chain Chomps, Piranha Plants, and Thwomps.

It's certainly taken its time, but Toadstool Tour has been worth the wait. The game is full of all your favourite characters, shed-loads of modes and options, inventive course designs, great multiplayer gaming and, above all, a top-quality golf sim underneath. For the true MG enthusiast, there's also the option to transfer characters back and forth with the upcoming Advance Tour on GBA.