While Mario Golf: Super Rush was arguably a little undercooked at launch, there have been some notable content updates that have fleshed out the experience. The version 2.0 update was significant in early August, adding New Donk City and more importantly Ranked Online matches, boosting replay value. Though it's still not quite the Mario Golf game of our dreams, it's definitely an improved proposition.
The latest update that was dropped after this week's Direct is another solid addition, and we hopped in to try the new characters, courses and get our butts kicked by the new CPU difficulty settings.
In terms of the new characters added to the roster, we have Ninji and Koopa Troopa, the latter of which we briefly thought had already been playable, such is their presence throughout the story mode. In any case both are very similar as relatively small, quick characters. Their special shots are the same — extra long hits that bounce a few times with destructive force on route to their end point. Their Super Rush moves are different, and Koopa Troopa comes into his own — they spin along in their shell which is both fast, destructive and allows you to skim across water as a shortcut. Ninji, however, uses a Link-style sail to glide, which is far less effective unless you're literally hopping off a hill, which is rare.
Ultimately, both are charming and fun, while Koopa Troopa is a particularly useful option if you're doing a course with plenty of river crossings.
There are two new courses too, though our opinions are a little mixed on these.
First up is Blustery Basin, a very wintry course with a big emphasis on those blowing-cloud-things from Mario titles. What's a little odd with this course is that its holes either all take place across the same massive space, or it just seems that way.
As a result picking your way across the wide expanse and its various dangers can seem strange, and the snowy setting makes it tricky to visually parse your route. This could have been emphasized by the fact we were trying it in speed golf, to be fair, and at a more steady pace it can be a more enjoyable puzzle as you work your way through the holes.
Aside from the rather dull visuals you get with a snow-covered golf course, there are some neat elements here, our favourite of which are lines of penguins that slide around the course to knock you off your feet. Avoiding and working around the blustery clouds also adds a fun wrinkle and extra challenge. Overall, it's not one of our favoured courses, but it certainly isn't bad.
Next up is Spiky Palms, which is rather like a California course if the grass loses a little of its colour. Visually this is far better, with some handsome visuals and sunset lighting, and holes follow more conventional course design so that it's far easier to strategise. There are plenty of river crossings — making Koopa Troopa ideal — and some cool obstacles to work around. This course is easier than Blustery Basin aside from some fiendish traps and green layouts, and we think more enjoyable as well.
Finally, we have three new difficulty settings when playing against the CPU — Amateur, Pro and Champ. We played speed rounds against 'Pro' CPU — while also being a little rusty in the game — and though we just about competed, we ultimately got beaten into 3rd and 4th place. That's a decent and welcome challenge, and no doubt Champ will push those that are very good at the game. The fact Amateur is still there, which we suspect was the default before these settings were added, means that the game pleasingly caters to most players. It's a simple but welcome change.
When you add this to the previous version 2.0 update, you certainly have a game that is notably stronger now than at launch. It's still a little B-tier in terms of quality — at one point when testing this update an opponent was briefly stuck in a bunker until they glitched out — but it is charming, fun and now has a lot of content. For those keen to play with family and friends in particular, it's an easier sell now than in its original form.
Credit to Camelot for sticking to its efforts to boost the game, in that case. In an ideal world this is content that would have been in place at launch, but its late arrival still makes the game a reasonable option when seeking multiplayer fun into the Holiday season.
Let us know what you think of the Mario Golf: Super Rush updates in the comments!
If you're looking for more tips and tricks for Mario Golf: Super Rush, check out the full lineup of characters in our Mario Golf: Super Rush Full Character Roster And Special Shot List, investigate our Mario Golf: Super Rush Guide - Tips And Hints For Mastering Mario Golf if you're a bit green on the green, as well as our guide on How To Create The Best Mii In Mario Golf Super Rush.