With the highly anticipated Mario Golf: World Tour out today here on Zavvi, we’ve decided to chart the history of this venerable series from its inception to today.
The series began with Golf on the NES in 1984. Players had to choose between Playing a single stroke play game or doubles stroke or match play. The game was eventually the eleventh highest-selling game on the NES.
Next up was NES Open Tournament Golf in 1991, also on the NES. Player 1 played as Mario, and Player 2 as Luigi, like most Mario games of the era. Princess Toadstool (who later became Princess Peach) and Princess Daisy acted as the brothers’ caddies.
The game was later released on the Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console in September 2011 for ambassadors and in July 2012 for the full version.
8 years later Nintendo released Mario Golf for the N64 and Game Boy Colour. The N64 game was the first in the series to use 3D graphics. Players could play as a variety of players, including Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach, Yoshi and Wario.
The Game Boy version of the game was the first to introduce role-playing elements into the series, which have become a staple of the handhold versions ever since. This version of the game was hugely praised, with IGN even giving the game a perfect 10/10 score.
These were quickly followed up by Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour in 2003 for the GameCube and then Mario Golf: Advance Tour for the Game Boy Advance. The later was again a massive critical success, and is often touted as one of the greatest golfing games ever made.
This was the first game of the series that I personally had, and I vividly remember spending countless hours on long car journeys and flights trying to perfect my shots and earn the right to challenge Mario for the ultimate golfing crown.
Again the game excelled with its role-playing elements, where the simple act of levelling up was as much an integral and enjoyable part of the game as the golfing itself, with the game involving quests, character building and item collection.
This brings us to the latest iteration, Mario Golf: World Tour on the 3DS. The game is an accessible arcade-style golf game where the player plays golf as either one of his favourite Mario characters or his own Mii character.
The game will include the Castle Club, a single-player clubhouse hub that offers a variety of areas to help players hone their skills. The Castle Club includes golf courses, tournaments, training areas, shops, locker rooms and a café.
A training area lets them focus on specific aspects of their game, such as putting. Players can customise their Mii characters using items sold at the shop, including clubs, golf balls and clothing. Different combinations of gear can affect a player’s performance.