Thursday, September 09, 2004

I Thought An Albatross Was A Birdie

You know, there's almost nothing better than watching a gorilla or dinosaur type thing pick up a 9 Iron and take a swing. Oh, Mario Golf: Advance Tour is kind of fun too.

I'm thoroughly addicted to this game, that's pretty much all there is to say. If you haven't heard by now, the novelty in this package is not entirely in it's quirky golf, but also in it's RPG trappings. When it comes to this aspect, most reviewers have felt one of two ways about it: Either they think the RPG elements seem sort of tacked on, or that they're entirely tacked on. Some have mentioned that leveling up in a golf game is just damned cool, and it is this aspect that has got me so hooked. I'm the type of person who sincerely enjoys leveling up simply for the sake of leveling up, hence my attraction to games like Eternal Lands and countless logged hours with Golden Sun: The Lost Age and Final Fantasy Tactics Advance. Here, upgrading your character is actually very similar to any D&D type game: After every level up, you're given a point to add on to any of your attributes which, of course, are golf related in this case.

It's not just your plain old golf here, though. If you get in the mood for something a little more wacky, there are a handful of different play modes ranging from Club Slots, where a slot machine mini game similar to the one in Super Mario Brothers 2 determines which clubs you can use, to Go-Go Gates, where you have to hit the ball through a series of gates on the way to the hole. When it comes to the more RPG-ish bits, where you walk around talking to other golfers, I actually find this a nice bit of downtime when you need a little break between matches or tournaments. It's here that you can really tell the engine at work is straight out of the Golden Sun games, but it seems as if they managed to cram in a little more beauty.

I'm really glad I picked this baby up, it's really helping fight off the ever-increasing twitches occurring as Monster Hunter's launch date nears. I have a feeling that by the day before it's release, I'll have lost all speech comprehension. That might make updates kind of hard.

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