Trying to simulate golf on the Game Boy Advance doesn't seem a particularly obvious idea and nor, quite frankly does adding Mario and a role-playing game element but despite it all Mario Golf: Advance Tour is easily the best portable sports sim yet seen. The central simulation of golf is extremely solid and features the traditional three-click swing power bar, after touch, topspin, backspin and all the expected problems with wind, grass type and which club to use. The putting is perhaps a little over simplistic but apart from that this is about as realistic a simulation of golf as you could expect on the GBA. Although realism is king with the golf itself the rest of the game is as charmingly nonsensical as any other Mario game, even though you actually control your own more normal looking character (who can subsequently be uploaded to the GameCube version of Mario Golf) during the game. As mentioned the story mode is much more complex than any normal career mode and is basically a stripped down role-playing game, complete with experience points, shops and non-player characters to chat too. Add to this a quick game mode that gives you instant access to match, stroke and doubles play, as well as wackier game modes such as Go-Go Gates (a variant on Toadstool Tour's Ring Shot mode), and a fully featured four-player mode that works either on one GBA or linked-up via the forthcoming wireless adapter and you've got the ultimate portable golfing experience with added Mario. --David Jenkins
- Play 18 holes with your favorite Marioland characters - Mario, Luigi, Peach, Donkey Kong and more
- Use power-ups and each characters' unique abilities to get past obstacles and improve your game
- Play through sandtraps, tall grass and other obstacles to unlock secret characters and challenging new holes
- It's the most fun you can have on a golf course!