Nintendo Reviews Rating:
Age 6+
Posted: August 22nd, 2004
By: Webmaster-Josh
It's two months after the release of the long-awaited GBA version of Mario Golf. Is this the killer golf game that we've
needed for the GBA?
Sound

Those familiar with Golden Sun will immediately recognize the style of music. It combines the orchestral feel of Mario
Golf: Toadstool Tour while retaining the peaceful feel of the Golden Sun music. I was really looking forward to lots of new
music from these guys. I was a little disappointed to hear a lot of music samples from Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour here.
Only half of the music is new, and thankfully there's a lot to go around. There's different samples for Doubles and Singles
Tournaments (Doubles Cup is the same music heard when playing Stroke for that course) and there's original samples for
each person you play a match game against. I still can't argue with the quality of the music, regardless of whether I've
heard it. Even the returning samples feel a little different.
Once again, the voices are like little blips, exactly how Golden Sun had the voices set up. But if it works, why not do it in
this game too...so I don't mind. What impresses me is the effort Nintendo did in casting voices when on the course. Just
like the GCN version, characters say different things based on what they scored on each hole. Not just that, but there's
also taunts and grunts when shooting the ball. The classic announcer is back, and it's actually a good thing to hear his
voice because without it, it doesn't feel right. The voice samples are very clear, and there are only minor issues such as
when the announcer says something that partially overrides what the players are saying. Nintendo did a good job to
eliminate most of those cases, though.
The sound effects are pretty sparse, but I didn't expect anything more from a portable golf game. They are slightly updated
from the GBC version, making it sound more realistic. There's also extra sounds like birds chirping, adding a special golf
effect. The overall quality of the sound is great, and with Stereo sound it's even better. You'll enjoy everything you hear in
this game!
Control

Those who were disappointed with the poor control of the GCN version have nothing to fear; the excellent control is back!
The basic manuveur of pressing A, then B and the B again is back. That's the Manual shot, but the Auto shot is here, too.
Simply press A and then A for a shot with random impact point. This is good for younger players who don't understand the
meter concept. All of the holes are programmed so that they look like a map, but this style works well. You can now have
a good depiction of hole layouts.
Pressing Select switches to the camera, and you can move anywhere with it. You can even zoom out with L and R. If you
move over the green, you'll be able to see the layout. Most will never need to use the camera. You pretty much have a
good idea of where you want to shoot the ball because of the aerial view. This format makes it a little difficult at first to
understand how the slopes are made. I kept thinking that my ball was rolling up slopes, when it was really rolling down.
After about half an hour of playing, you'll figure out how to play each hole. Then the difficulty is easy.
Putting is what I expected it to be; with arrows that indicate hills. This method is also a little confusing, but you'll figure it
out quickly. You can make it past most hills without any adjustments as long as you give the ball a little more power. For
some of the bigger hills, you can figure out pretty easily. A neat aspect of this game is the rain, which is not featured in
the GBC version. This adds a little more variety to shooting, and more importantly your putting.
Overall the control is excellent. Most of the control is spent on the course anyway, so the great control while walking is
almost irrelevant. There are some minor issues involving practice shots, but you'll get over it. The realism of the controls
is unsurpassed by any other portable golf game, making this top-notch.
Graphics

You can't really tell by looking at the picture, but the graphics are amazing! In the
GBC version, the 3D graphics were simulated, and weren't even 3D. It has grown
dramatically since then, and I am impressed. The artwork is very detailed, and at a
good resolution. The movement and flow of the game is great; I never felt I was in
a cartoon, but rather in real life.
This is one of those games you can tell wasn't meant to be very realistic, but
knowing that, you'd be surprised at how realistic looking the courses are. There are
some minor issues involving the aerial view, but other than that, it's perfect for the
GBA and much improved over the GBC version.
Replay

I guess I have to consider this an RPG, and the GBC Mario Golf was the first sports RPG I can think of. The replay value
was great for that, but the GBA version is excellent! You won't hear many reviewers say this because they don't know
this: Mario Golf: Advance Tour is really a sequel to Mario Golf for Game Boy Color. All four clubs are back, and they are
even in the same location as before. All the holes are the same, too. You'd think that would take away from the replay
value, but in fact, it doesn't. Each hole has been slightly updated to meet the GBA standards, and for some variety. This
game is the Pokemon FireRed and Leaf Green of Mario Golf.
The difficulty is easy, because I know every hole. Yet, I find it fascinating how I am still intrigued by every shot I make.
That's because Camelot knew they didn't have to make brand new courses to satisfy us! There are several expansions to
the story mode now, and the major one is the Doubles feature. Fans may remember the Doubles challenge at the Dunes
club back in GBC Mario Golf, and wondered if they would ever make that a feature. Well, not only is a feature, you have
your own partner for Doubles. This practically doubles the replay as there are tournaments for singles and doubles!
You have to level up both you and your partner, but since exp. points come easy, it's never a hassle. The connectivity to
Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour is creative. Not only can you get experience points by playing your character, you can actually
win characters to your GBA game by doing well in the GCN version. It seems like a marketing incentive, but it works out
well. It's great that the GCN version saves your character so you don't have to connect your GBA all the time.
As if all this wasn't enough, there's plenty of new modes like Go-Go-Gates (similar to Ring Shot), Doubles, Character
Match, Star Tournaments, Star Doubles Cup, (5 new courses) and not to mention up to four players with only one GBA!
This is also the very first game to be compatible with the wireless adapter, used instead of a link cable! There's easily 30+
hours in the Story mode, and 30+ hours on everything else. And you'll have fun unlocking every hole in the Star courses!
You get so much for your money with Mario Golf: Advance Tour, and you will never get bored!
Design

Once again, you'd think the same courses makes the game boring, but they adapt so flawlessly that I wasn't disappointed.
And the Mushroom course is updated, actually. There are also Star versions of every course that add cool Mario elements.
What's happened to this world is all great, unless you feel sorry for Kid who broke his leg. Kid is considered second best in
the golfing world, and of course, there's Mario! This game takes the old and updates everyone. All the old characters are
back, and better than ever. The developers have added thousands of lines of speech to give everyone in the game more
personality, even those hanging around the clubhouse who are insignificant!
The ambitions are back, and everyone wants to be top golfer. You get sucked into this friendly land of golf and because of
the interaction, you'll really feel as if this is real life. The plotline isn't great, but in a golf game, it doesn't matter. Besides
competing at tournaments, you'll want to match play all your competitors. There's also tons of mini challenges that are
called side games. They are all cool, and I'm glad to see the layoff of lessons which got a little tedious to hear in the old
version. You only get lessons from the Marion club. You can look up any words you don't know in the dictionary, too.
You can't deny how much fun this game is. It is so addicting because Camelot knows how to design golf well. The AI isn't
so great, and that's really the only flaw. Some of the moves your opponents make doesn't make sense. Some of the moves
your partner makes doesn't make sense, but that all adds to the challenge of the game. This will be overlooked as a
not-so-serious golf game. For GBA, this is the very best, and Mario Golf may not reign supreme on the consoles, but it
sure does on the Game Boy! This is undeniably the best GBA game thus far for 2004!
Scores
Sound

8.9
Control

8.9
Graphics

9.0
Replay

9.8
Design

9.2
9.2
Final Words

Think of this as Golden Sun meets Mario Golf. Players familiar with that franchise will immediately notice the similarities.
Those as impressed as I was with this game would be pleased to find out that this game was created by the same guys who
made Golden Sun. If you like Golden Sun, you'll love this. It doesn't matter if you don't play golf in real life or don't even
like it. This is a must-have GBA game!