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August 26, 2005

Golfin' with the Boys

It's a-me, Mario Golf

Lately the boys and I have been getting into Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour for the GameCube.

I'm not usually into golf games; indeed, I'm not really into sports games at all. If it were Tiger Woods, I'm fairly certain it would pale pretty quickly. But having those fun cartoony Nintendo characters really works for us, and of course, the boys find it more interesting too.

Part of the appeal for the boys is that they themselves have played a bit of mini-golf, and Luc has actually gotten out to the driving range with me and his grandparents a couple of times¹. Both enjoy swinging a set of plastic clubs, too².

Mostly we've been playing stroke play, but that's not really fair. The boys are mostly competing just with each other at that point, and they try to keep track of any holes they beat me on. We're going to switch to the skins game, so that it evens up a bit. We end up splitting the holes a little bit better if you ignore score -- when I mess up, I usually bogey or double-bogey, whereas it's not uncommon to see one of the kids go +6 a hole or two per round. I'll also switch back to using the swing meter in the more complicated mode, with the multiple button presses, and let them keep going with the automatic swing, which is a nice feature that should also help balance the play.

Toadstool Tour is not without some flaws. The most annoying thing is that to unlock additional courses, I have to go back and play the single-player game some time when the kids are in bed. That just drives me crazy, particularly considering that we played through all of Double Dash entirely in co-op, completing the whole game. The models of the games are a little different, but it's still something I find completely frustrating, and it's not hard to imagine pitting my threesome in a skins game or stroke play against some of the other Nintendo characters. We have about six courses open right now, and we've played most of them, so I'm going to have to open up a few more over the next few days.

Anyway, we're looking forward to Mario Baseball coming out next week. And the news that Mario's going to be showing up in the next SSX makes it likely to be the first snowboarding title I'll pick up since Tricky. It'll be bound to entertain.

¹He's surprisingly good. We didn't go this year but last summer he was hitting really well, which was pretty amazing considering he was only about six at the time.
²When Luc was five, he could hit those plastic clubs with better form than I could swing a driver -- it's humbling how many habits we have to unlearn, how much we have to get our brains out of the way when we do physical activities. At least, those of us in the not-so-active-nor-ever-so-graceful set.

Posted by Brett Douville at August 26, 2005 07:06 AM