I’ve been playing a lot of the new Mario Golf: World Tour on the 3DS lately. I have an hour commute to and from work each day, and my 3DS has become my new best friend. Now, keep in mind, I have very little experience with Mario Golf. I never had much exposure to the Gamecube version or to any previous versions. So, this may be old news to some people. Either way, Mario Golf can be a cruel bitch, a lot like the top tier of cruel bitch games, Dark Souls.
Some of my favorite video game experiences revolve around playing the Dark Souls games and their predecessor, Demon’s Souls. These experiences largely revolved around defeating a boss. The satisfaction of defeating a particularly difficult boss in Dark Souls (I’m looking at you Capra Demon) has not been matched by anything I’ve ever played. Until Mario Golf.
Mario Golf can be a really hard game. From the outside, it may appear to be simple. It’s a Mario game, so it’s most likely dumbed down for kids, right? Incorrect. The intricacies and inner-workings in Mario Golf: World Tour go far beyond what I would have ever expected. For veterans of simulation golf games, such as the Tiger Woods PGA games, this may not seem that crazy. But for this much content and detail to be crammed into a Mario sports title was hugely unexpected for me. Having to adjust for terrain, slope, wind speed, and other factors took me by surprise, and my first few games went…poorly. As I’ve played more, my skills have improved and I have been rewarded with an extremely satisfying game experience. Getting an eagle or a birdie gets me way more excited than it ever should. I have to contain myself on the train from exclaiming, “fuck yeah!” around a bunch of cranky people.
In summation, beating a boss in Dark Souls is the exact same thing as getting an eagle in Mario Golf. Mario Golf is more colorful though, which is cool.