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Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour Reviewed by Adam Wallace on . Rating: 85%
Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour
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Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour
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When Hot Shots Golf became a major hit for the Playstation (a rarity for a golf game at the time), Nintendo did the prudent thing. They grabbed the developer Camelot to do the same thing for the Nintendo 64. The resulting Mario Golf was one of the best games overall on the system, let alone the best golf game. While the Hot Shots Golf franchise got turned over to Clap Handz for future installments, Camelot stayed with Nintendo to make the follow-up. Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour was the result, and it's the apex of the whole franchise.

Toadstool Tour has so many options that it's ridiculous. There are sixteen characters to choose from, each with natural tendencies to fade or draw in addition to the usual power and control balances. Seven courses are available, and they are the best in the whole franchise. In addition to the usual elements expected on a golf course, the game takes advantage of the Mario license in creative ways. Some bunkers have Chomp-Chomps tied to them that can swallow your ball if it gets too close. Some holes have warp pipes that can provide major shortcuts with great shots. There are some issues like unplayable lies that don't provide drops, especially on Bowser's course, but the courses are still a lot of fun to play. There are also some creative mini-games to complement the standard modes like Ring Attack where shots must go through rings and Coin Attack where coins must be hit along the course. There is a lot to keep players occupied.

Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour (GameCube)Click For the Full Picture Archive

The mechanics and challenge level are fantastic. The controls for camera control are as simple as using the C-Stick, some of the best camera control I've ever seen in a golf game. The three-click swing meter works great, as well. There are some issues, though. Mapping the club selection to the left thumbstick was stupid, not only because it's too easy to switch clubs accidentally while aiming, but also because there are unused buttons that could've been used instead. Green reading is not as simple as it could be, especially on the trickier greens. Finally, the meter isn't kind to very short shots. It moves so fast that it's too easy to overshoot on a tap-in.

Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour is the best Mario Golf game. No two ways about it. With the wealth of content, the visuals that are still gorgeous even today, and the excellent mechanics, Toadstool Tour is the perfect family golf game. Even the newest entry on the 3DS doesn't top the GameCube entry. Mario and the gang scored an Eagle here.
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