Member Log In or Register


Columns & Editorials
Podcast (RSS)

Twitter Feed

reviews info and tools

Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour Package Art

Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour

Surprisingly, golf games are more popular today than ever. Maybe this is due to younger pro golfers bringing the target demographic of the sport down at record rates, but one thing is apparent; golf games are moneymakers. Because of this, Nintendo created Mario Golf for the N64. But as golf games get more technical, the original Mario Golf quickly became dated. Thus Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour was born. Promising more arcade-themed gameplay, Toadstool Tour stands out against the more technical Tiger Woods and even Outlaw Golf titles. Can this approach please gamers and non-Nintendo enthusiasts alike?


Graphics are pretty much what I expected from a title like this. Due to a golf game not requiring a perfectly consistent and blazing framerate, Camelot was able to utilize anti-aliasing and NURBS technologies to their maximum benefit. This leaves the game with a smooth and crisp look; you’ll be hard pressed to find many jaggies in this title. Also notable is the sheer number of character animations. Each of the 16 players feature dozens of hilarious, unique, and well-done animations.

The game’s environments bring the Mushroom Kingdom to life better than any other title to date. As I played the classic Mario games on the NES, this is how I imagined the world would really look. The less Mario influenced courses also feature gorgeous graphics brought to life through bright and vivid colors. My only real gripe is with the lack of detail in some of the title’s textures. In many of the game's flatter areas, such as brick walkways and buildings, it was obvious that low-resolution textures were stretched beyond acceptable capacity. However, these eyesores are few and far between and for the most part Mario Golf is easy on the eyes.


The game’s soundtrack fits the Mushroom Kingdom universe and its locales exquisitely. As you tee up on tropical courses, fresh Caribbean beats sooth your nerves. Teeing off in desert locales comes with the promise of fitting, Egyptian-like themes. Along with these new and appropriate scores, Nintendo sentimentalists out there will be glad to hear some of your favorite classic Mario themes with a new twist on some of the game’s latter courses.

Not to be outdone by its own background music, Mario Golf also employs all of your favorite Nintendo voice actors to lend their own special magic to the game. Voices are just as you’d expect them to be, and Nintendo was nice enough to get enough samples to make the title’s dialogue quirky and non-repetitive. Even better, the game doesn’t feature too much of an annoying announcer hovering over you and critiquing your every move. As I’ve always said, less is more when it comes to in-game announcers. This spot on audio brought to life through Dolby Pro Logic II support leaves Mario Golf with an excellent showing in the audio department.


As golf games become more popular, a new way of teeing off was invented and accepted as the norm. The Tiger Woods and Outlaw Golf franchises feature this new control scheme that utilizes the analog stick to line up and swing your club. It was widely accepted as the better way to line up shots in golf games. Because of this, I have to say I was shocked to find out that Nintendo was sticking with the classic timed-shot approach with this title. I wondered what would really set this iteration of the series apart from its less gorgeous, yet still very tight N64 counterpart. This is where the game’s focus on ball spin comes into play. While most golf games take ball spin into consideration to some effect, Mario Golf takes this aspect of the sport to the extreme. As you line up your shot, you are given the chance to give the ball either a normal spin, backspin, topspin, super-backspin or super-topspin based on simple button combinations. This emphasis on spin control is crucial to becoming a pro at Mario Golf, and when you try it out for yourself, you’ll see why Nintendo stuck with the classic timed-shot approach. While I have to admit that I do like the newer analog swing control scheme better, this tweaked approach to a classic scheme fits in nicely with Mario Golf’s more arcade-like feel.

Now that we have the gameplay mechanics down, let’s get down to what really matters; the courses. Each course is incredibly well designed and unique, ranging from such locales as classic fairways, massive desert sand traps, beautiful but deadly Caribbean water hazards and the brutally difficult backyard of Bowser himself. Sadly, the game only features six full-length courses, but you’ll be able to drag hundreds of hours out of them through the game’s 11 modes of play, including such challenges as Ring Mode, Dual Matches and Birdie Challenge.


Once you’re bored of the various challenges (and believe me, they can get challenging), Mario Golf also fills in as the perfect multiplayer experience. The game’s easy learning curve and familiar set of rules allows pros and casuals alike to play a quick nine on a whim.

For the friendless, Mario Golf also features a beefy enough single player mode to make it worth your money.


The N64 version of Mario Golf didn’t leave much room for improvement. Lucky for us, Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour’s enhanced graphics, magnificently tweaked play mechanics and large variety of gameplay modes and characters improved upon the original in every way imaginable. Hardcore golf buffs craving an incredibly realistic experience should stick to Tiger Woods. But fans of Mario with a sweet tooth for arcade gameplay can rest assured that the Nintendo magic shines through in this title and blows Outlaw Golf and Hot Shots out of the water.

dojo doubletake
I think that my partner in his review is being slightly generous here. I think that Toadstool is a regression rather than a progression from the N64 version for several reasons.

First and foremost the adjustable range indicator on the power end of the bar takes all of the judgement out of the control scheme. It means that you no longer have to see the distance to the pin and visually mark where you want to hit the meter. Now you have a range guide that makes things way too easy.

Secondly, the game's visuals are pretty but the camera work is terrible. I played the crap out of Mario Golf for the 64 and I have a pre-sense to the putting but novices to the game will be frustrated to no end in that they can't see their putt develop. The camera stays fixed on the character. Which makes it impossible to benchmark for other putts. Terrible idea. All Camelot had to do here was leave the camera behind the character's back.

Thirdly, cup physics. Shots seem to roll up and die on the lip of the cup WAY too often for my taste.

Lastly, this game is far too easy. Mario Golf 64 pushed you in terms of the lie. As an example, if you you were on an angle you'd have to strike into the opposite side of the land grade in order to hit a straight shot. That's not here at all. Toadstool feels easier than it's predecessor.

I'll be waiting for this year's Tiger Woods from EA Sports. For those of you that want a flawless Arcade Golf experience, go get an N64 and a copy of Mario Golf 64. 7.0/10

-- Eric Mattei

final score 9.0/10

Staff Avatar John Guesnier
Staff Profile | Email
"Life without appreciation is a life not worth living."

Bookmark and Share
This Story in Printer Friendly Format

E-Mail This Story

Search Our Website:

All original content ©1996 - 2010 Nintendojo is an independent website and is not affiliated with Nintendo of America or Nintendo Co. Ltd. All third party images, characters, and names are property of their original creators. About | Contact | Hiring