Golf Story (Switch)

Golf Story is an homage to my favorite golf game of all time, Mario Golf on my Gameboy Color. It combines standard videogame golf gameplay (choose clubs and aim given wind and course conditions, then time button presses to determine power and accuracy.) Part golf game and part RPG, Golf Story favors the casual golf videogamer, but more “serious” golf gamers should find the game worth their hard earned cash.

As a hybrid of golf and a role playing game (RPG), Golf Story begins with the main character (a golf savant) returning to the game of golf after being gone a long time. At first, he struggles to get recognized by the rest of the players and coaches but slowly gains acceptance and recognition as he wins challenges against the computer players. Graphics are in a 16 bit retro style, which clearly place the game into one that focuses on story and the overall experience rather than a true golf simulation.

A large portion of the gameplay revolves around the story aspects of the game. Sure, there are players to be challenged and tournaments in which to compete, but there are a plethora of minigames and other challenges to be found. One can unlock a minigolf course, dig for treasure using your pitching wedge, bounce your shots off of turtles in the lake, and even play disc golf (as a disc player myself, I have to give the game props for that.)

Even the standard courses change things up in a “festive” sort of way. For example, the first course in the game has a large population of molerats on the course. If your ball lands near a hole, it grabs the ball and repositions it (typically in a hazard or into the rough.) The various courses are linked through an overland map, with new courses unlocked as the story progresses.)

Your character progresses through earning cash for various tasks and challenges. Earning cash serves as experience points, allowing your character to level up. Levelling up allows one to improve various parts of your golf game, such as distance, accuracy, spin, etc… As with more games of this type, improving your distance also slightly reduces your other attributes (spin, accuracy, etc…) so going for an all-in distance improvement is not always the wisest choice. Saved up cash can also be used to buy new equipment that adds in special bonuses (typically a percentage improvement in one of your attributes.) However, new equipment is fairly rare (and expensive) so most improvement comes from leveling up your character.

I am squarely in the target audience here. I am pretty casual about my golf simulations but am a huge sucker for any role-playing aspects. Taking my character through the story and choosing which attributes on which to focus keeps me coming back for more. I love the multitude of things to do and see, but they can border on “too much” distraction as there were a few places where I had a hard time figuring out what I needed to do in order to reach the next step. (I kept looking everywhere for a missing treasure, and finally found a person who gave me a challenge to dig up the course.) However, I still have fun running across the many little bonus side-quests available while I was looking. Fans of the old Mario Golf rpg-style play are going to fall in love with the game. Those who take their golf (far too) seriously may be annoyed at the lighthearted approach, but the rest of us will have a grand old time proving our worth on the course (and the mini-golf course, and launching eggs at birds, and hitting turtles, and digging for treasure, and avoiding molerats, etc, etc…)

Kid Factor:
Quite a bit of text here for reading, but for the most part one can churn through the story without knowing too much of the backstory. Nothing inappropriate (including the disc golf players who are a little cranky – which I found totally amusing) in terms of language, violence, etc… The actual mechanics of the game are straightforward timing of button presses, so this should be good for even early grade school students.


Discussion Area - Leave a Comment

Tired of typing this out each time? Register as a subscriber!