Developer(s) – Camelot Software Planning
Publisher(s) – Nintendo
Designer – Shigeru Miyamoto
PEGI – 3
Developed simultaneously alongside another Mario spin-off game, Mario Power Tennis, Mario Golf: Toadstool tour was released to widespread critical acclaim and going on to sell over 1 million units as of 2007. Common critics stemmed from reviewers believing that it was far too similar to the first game, but personally, I strongly disagree with this opinion, since Toadstool Tour is far better than the original for a number of reasons.
Graphics – 8/10
Though the graphics were expectedly better on a technical level than the first Mario Golf game on the Nintendo 64, there also conceptually better. The courses are a lot more varied, and obstacles within them do better to fit in with the overall tableau of the Super Mario series itself. But the most significant improvement in terms of conceptual design is most definitely in the character roster. All of the generic characters seen in the previous game, such as Plum, Vinnie, and Charlie, have been removed and replaced with more varied and familiar characters, such as Birdo, Diddy Kong, and Boo.
Gameplay – 8/10
The gameplay formula was also greatly refined in Toadstool Tour. It’s much easier for players to be able to judge their shot and take into account all different factors which may affect it, such as wind direction and required distance. I also like the fact that the developers abandoned the small RPG element that was present in the first in order to unlock each different course, and replaced it with the much simpler system of winning each tournament to unlock the next.
Controls – 10/10
Toadstool Tour’s control scheme functions almost identically to the original game, so consequently, there was never going to be a problem, with players basically being able to jump between the two games without skipping a beat. It’s also simple enough for people who have never tried any of the Mario Golf games, making it the ideal introduction to the series.
Originality – 7/10
Whilst it is indeed somewhat similar to the original game, it’s nowhere near as similar to what other critics have made it out to be in the past in my opinion. There are a number of different factors that make this game much greater than not only the first, but the majority of the many licensed golf games to have ever been developed prior; it’s a lot more fun to play, and the game modes are much more varied. It’s just one of many examples of how Nintendo has managed to implement as much creativity as they have in their spin-off games as well as main entries in their series.
Overall, Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour is one of the more entertaining, yet one of the more relaxing games on the GameCube as well. The developers went leaps and bounds ahead of what they had created with the first game, and as a result, I personally spent a lot of time playing it at the time of its release and would recommend anyone pick it up and give it a try.