Mario Golf: Advance Tour Review

Developer: Camelot Publisher: Nintendo
Release Date: June 21, 2004 Also On: None

From the makers of the Mario Tennis and the Golden Sun series, now comes Mario Golf: Advance Tour. Like the previous Mario Golf games, this game plays surprisingly similarly. Camelot decided to add some new things to the game, such as some RPG features. Is this game a hole in one?

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Taking place right after the Game Boy Color edition, Mario Golf: Advance Tour is the story of two youngsters by the names of Ellie and Neil. You have 6 courses to play on, plus you get to play on some alternate versions of each course. If you played a Mario Golf game before, then you know how to play this game. If you don’t, then you’re in luck. This game contains a superb tutorial, which teaches pretty much everything you need to know. The tutorial teaches you how the terrain effects your shot, what spin is, and even great golf techniques. All you need to know is how to press A to hit the ball.

When I said that Camelot decided to add some RPG features, I didn’t mean a story. Each time when you win a tournament, a mini-game, or a match, you get experience points. With more experience points, you get to level up. Each time you level up, you get to improve a skill. You can either improve your drive, how high you hit the ball, how accurate your shot is, how straight your shot is, how strong your impact is, and improve your spin (how sensitive the ball is to spin). There is a good and bad thing to changing any of your skills. Having a high shot will allow the ball to avoid all the obstacles, but is much more vulnerable to the wind. Having a straight shot will help beginners, but handicap professionals. I ended up just improving my drive, my accuracy, and spin. Everything else took the back seat. Any time you level up, however, your skills slightly diminish. This stops the player from maxing out his stats, which makes game will be unbalanced.

The more you play the game, the better clubs you will get. Since your skill should have been improved since you started playing, you should be able to take advantage of the clubs. Mario Golf: Advance Tour is one of those rare games where skill is easily shown.

Advance Tour uses Camelot’s own Golden Sun engine. I a nutshell, it means the graphics are superb. The courses are detailed as well as beautiful. If you like Golden Sun’s graphics, then you’ll like Advance Tour’s graphics. Advance Tour also has a great soundtrack. The music is upbeat as well as pleasing to hear. It makes you wonder why most games’ music isn’t like this.

There are a ton of connectivity features between Advance Tour and Toadstool Tour for the Gamecube. You get to unlock characters, clubs, and challenges. The sad fact is, if you don’t on the Gamecube version of the game, you will be missing on a ton of good features. However, that is what connectivity is really about. It is adding extra features to a game a while after it’s released.

Multiplayer, like all Mario sports games, the thing that saves the game from a low replay value score. Up to four people can play at the same time. I got a good 11 hours playing multiplayer (I never knew golf could be so addictive). In addition to the 11 hours of multiplayer gaming, I got a good 9 hours of single player gaming. Have Toadstool Tour? Add an extra 2-6 hours if you do. In the upcoming months, I plan on playing an additional 5+ hours (maybe 9+ hours if I go on a road trip with friends). Please note that the replay value is if you don’t have anyone to play it with, nor do you have Toadstool Tour. Give the replay value score a 9/10 if you do have everything.

This is one of the best portable golfing games I had ever played. If you don’t have friends to play this with you should pass. If you don’t have Toadstool Tour, you should really ask yourself if you are buying this game for the multiplayer gaming. If the answer is no, then you should pass. If you’re one of the lucky ones to have friends to play it with (each with their own game pack), and have Toadstool Tour, I highly recommend this product.

Graphics: 9
Sound: 8
Gameplay: 9
Creativity: 7
Replay Value/Game Length: 6
Final: 7.9
Written by Simon Review Guide

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