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Mario Golf review

Fore! Mario and friends hit the scene in all new genre of games: Mario Sports titles. Never before has one been done before, and with the help from Camelot, Nintendo launched it's largest franchise into a new realm

Anytime a major franchise in anything enters a new area, there's always some concerns and there is always some doubt. Of course, excitement and anticipation are also found throughout fans. Mario Golf hit the scene with a fresh look and a new idea, combining the area of Tiger Woods with the most recognizable gaming character ever.

For a first try, Mario Golf is an excellent all-around game with some obvious (but not major) flaws. After all, it's not expected to be perfect on the first try, though it's always nice to see a game that has very few flaws. That holds true in this game, and with a combination of great graphics, great gameplay, and nice features, Mario Golf is a game that truly started a great series.

The gameplay of the game is truly great. It's simple, yet it's really not boring. It's easy to swing a club, and there's a lot of different options a player can utilize to get a desired hit. A player can easily change the distance of the shot with or without chaning clubs, as well as the trajectory and angle of the ball, like in real golf. There's also the limited option of power shots, which allow the player to go deep off the tee.

Other things that affect the gameplay are the wind and obstacles. The wind actually plays a factor in a shot, and hazards such as bunkers affect the current shot as well. There's also plenty of water hazards and out of bounds markers. Putting isn't exactly exciting, but it is what it is.

A player can do all this in a variety of modes: Tournament, Match Play, etc. If you're a golf junkie like myself, this is a huge thrill because it allows for different ways to play. Players can win trophies and can unlock other characters, as well as challenge their friends in fun modes like Mini-Golf and Club Slots. Whether you like pure golf or gimmick golf, Mario Golf has it all.

The amount of characters is also a great feature to have. There's a ton of old favorites, but there's also a lot of new characters, although they aren't of the Mario theme. Each character provides his or her own attributes which is great because for some holes, one kind of character is needed while certain other holes are best fitted for a completely opposite character

And of course, characters and tournaments get harder as they go. There is a bit of difficulty on some situations, but for the most part, the game is relatively easy. The courses provide the most difficulty later on, because they can become difficult with the conditions. It's just that the computer players are so weak.

The only other significant problem is spin. In short, there is no spin. A player cannot put topspin or backspin on a ball, despite the point of contact like in real golf. That's a shame because it could add a completely new element to the game, and it could provide for a much more realistic option for golf purists.

Other than that, Mario Golf hits a hole-in-one. The graphics are very nice, although there are some spots where they could've been improved. The music is great and very fitting for the golf theme, and the replay value is outstanding with many hours of total play.

Mario Golf truly is a great game, despite the fact that it breaks the traditional rules of the Mario series that we've all known for years. It has tremendous gameplay and is very, very fun. There's not a whole lot of flaws, and they are generally covered up nicely by everything else that shines in the spotlight.

Overall Score: 9.1/10