Just How Complete Is Mario Golf: World Tour Without Its DLC?

By Ethan . May 7, 2014 . 1:32pm

There have been some concerns expressed about the downloadable content plans Nintendo announced for Mario Golf: World Tour. I couldn’t comment on this aspect of the game at the time of the initial playtest as the online servers were not yet active. They are now, though, so as Siliconera’s World Tour playtester I’m here to follow up.


For those who haven’t kept up with each update from the publisher, here’s a summary of Mario Golf: World Tour’s DLC plans: 108 additional holes and four additional characters will be available for purchase. These are split into three packs each containing two 18-hole courses and one playable character. The first pack was available immediately at game launch and the next two become available at one month intervals following. Each pack costs $5.99 USD but the three can be purchased in advance in a Season Pass bundle for a flat $15.00. Anyone who purchases all three packs individually or the full season pass gains access to a fourth DLC character.


The first question that always needs to be asked when there’s DLC available for a game on launch day is: “Is there enough content in this game to justify the price without the additional downloadable content?” In the case of Mario Golf: World Tour, that answer is definitely yes.


There are 108 golf holes in the base game and only half of them are tied up 18-hole courses. 54 of the holes in World Tour are grouped as 9-hole courses with more outlandish Mario-themed scenery and hazards than the relatively straightforward 18-hole tournament greens. 108 holes is equivalent content to past Mario Golf games and by breaking those holes into smaller groupings, there is more variety than in some past installments here.


The second question is: “Does the game feel complete without the additional downloadable content?” This answer is a little bit more complicated.


Mario Golf: World Tour has two main modes, classic Mario Golf and the new Castle Club. Mario Golf holds most of the singleplayer content. There are a variety of challenges that teach players the tricks and shortcuts in each stage and this is also the mode where players unlock stages and characters (many of which are not available at game’s beginning). This mode is packed with content and is a lot of fun.


In the Castle Club, the player works through the three 18-hole courses in a tournament progression very similar to Mario Kart. This mode ends up feeling light because not only are there only three 18-hole courses but none of them are particularly challenging. It’s possible to “finish” Mario Golf: World Tour in a matter of hours, I saw the credits roll after only four. The game doesn’t do a good job of directing the player towards the meat of the game so I imagine many people will feel royally ripped off when they finish the Castle Club single player content.


I can understand why Nintendo split the content the way they did, though. By putting all the goofy 9-hole courses on the cart, they maximized variety for every buyer, and making the DLC content tournament greens makes sense, since there’s probably a lot of overlap between the players who will buy DLC and the players who will compete in online tournaments.


So yes, the Castle Club singleplayer content feels thin without more tournament greens on the cart. This could have been alleviated by either splitting a few of the 9-hole links into the DLC in return for a fourth tournament spot on hand, or even just by directing the player around the content on the cart better. I’m going to call this an issue with interface design and player guidance more than the publisher wickedly shorting consumers content in order to nickel-and-dime them. That hasn’t been Nintendo’s modus operandi in the past, so they get the benefit of the doubt from me here.


The third question that needs to be asked is: “Does the amount of content in the DLC warrant the price?” This answer is easy. You can double the amount of content in the game for a mere $15. That’s a steal! I’ve checked on the first two DLC courses and nothing about them suggests cut corners. They have their own unique music, their own terrain quirks, and they ramp up the difficulty from the tournament holes on the cart.


If you like Mario Golf then there’s really nothing but upside to World Tour’s DLC. I went in for the Season Pass.


Food for thought:


1. Of the additional characters available for download, Rosalina is the clear favorite. I’m less enthusiastic about Nabbit, though—I was kind of hoping he would be forgotten after New Super Luigi U.


2. Nintendo is currently hosting a tournament that lets players try some of the DLC greens without purchasing them. This tourney won’t always be active, but at least for early adopters it’s a nice option to try before you buy.


3. European customers get a way better Season Pass discount than North American buyers. In Europe, the three individual packs go for £5.39 each but the bundle costs only £10.79.

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  • rurifan

    Hard not to see Day 1 DLC as anything but consumer exploitation regardless of the game content.

    • Chersea

      If I remember correctly, the game costs less than most, and purchasing all the DLC makes the price on par with a “full priced game”.
      Don’t quote me on that, though. I’m not sure.

      Besides, there’s a lot of time to spare since printing cartridges takes ages. Adding new content between the time they’re getting printed and the game is being released isn’t a bad thing.

      • ronin4life

        I was going to say this. At least on Amazon, MG is $30 with DLC being $15. 3DS games usually range from $35-$45.

        It could be seen in a way that they are allowing you to choose how big your game is.

        In any case, this doesn’t seem to be the Nintendo game DLC to get upset about in the slightest.

    • Guest

      It was because the development team actually had extra time to work on the game, Mario Golf was originally slated to launch at Q3 2013. Camelot probably was working on this the whole time while finishing details while the game went golden. That’s why DLC was day-one, they didn’t take away a part of the game as other publishers do.

      The complete game is just $30 with the usual courses a ‘Mario Golf’ title has and even more than “Toadstool Tour” on GNC. And on top of that, they let you try the DLC before you buy it. You can actually pass from buying it and the experience is complete nevertheless.

      • Raw

        Yes, and there was a time developers released this extra content free.

        • DeepSleeper

          When exactly WAS that time, when you got a bunch of free Mario Golf courses?

        • Herok♞

          if you are talking before the the dlc era any expansion to a game ment rebuying the whole thing or buying an expansion pack, and after dlc it has always been a mix of most paid some free stuff

        • Haganeren

          Yes… If you consider making a sequel which don’t have anything new besides new content is a “free” thing…

  • Tanthalas

    About your last point:

    If we convert pounds to dollars we get, each pack costing roughly 9 US dollars and the bundle being roughly 18 dollars.

    And while I know that price differences across the pond are affected by taxes, I’m not really impressed that over here we have better savings by getting the bundle than what our fellow US gamers get.

  • Ms_Fortune

    No Rosalina, NO BUY.

    • AkuLord3

      Then buy the DLC and then Buy…OH SNAP

  • Tarkovsky

    “Is there enough content in this game to justify the price without the additional downloadable content?”
    This is extremely subjective IMO. It’s not about the number of hours but rather the quality. I for one found MGR and Vanquish(2 short games) to be 2 of the most bang for your buck games released last gen and would not mind seeing DLC for them at all. Any fighting game with a decent cast of characters is also “enough” for me.

    Ultimately though, DLC is optional and I will never ever understand why people get so worked up over something they don’t have to pay for. Sure you can look at it as if you’re not getting the full game but I look at it from the perspective that it’s just something extra. I have never played a game that felt incomplete to me apart from Asura Wrath’s True Ending DLC but even then, the ending in the game was enough for me. Half empty, half full way of thinking I guess.

  • Samsara09

    they could have held up the game a month or two to put the dlcs in it.Oh well,they didn’t.

    Well,whoever disagrees with this probable abuse shouldn’t force themselves to buy the game…if they find the issue so bad.

    of course,whoever missed mario golf shouldn’t waste the chance to get this game.the DLC is optional,if you wanna buy it,buy it…that is the person’s right,even if many find the practice lazy or unethical.

    • Aaron K Stone

      It’s more than just delaying the game. It’s delaying the testing, manufacturing and the advertising.

  • disc loud Dia x

    I love how nobody reports that the DLC are re skinned versions of the courses from the original Mario Golf…

    • Ethan_Twain

      I had no notion! I’ve done a little research though and it looks like not all the DLC courses are throwback courses. The Mushroom pack has two greens from Mario Golf N64, but I can’t find any past Mario Golf games having Layer Cake Desert, Sparkling Waters, or Rock Candy Mines.

      Mario’s Star is the name of an N64 course and that’s the last DLC course, but the trailer shows it looking like it’s been redone with a lot of Super Mario Galaxy influence. I’m unsure how faithful that one is going to be.

    • Kurizu208

      You mean remake. Reskin implies they are reusing assets, which they are not.

      • disc loud Dia x

        Semantics. Thanks for missing the whole point of my post.

        Re skinning is referring to the fact that 3 courses have been recreated from Mario Golf, and then reskinned to motifs from NSMBU, but please, try again.

        • Kurizu208

          Look at the pot calling the kettle black…
          I was arguing the fact the courses have been remade with new themes, my entire point was that I think you are wrong to use the word reskin. But as with this article “opinions.”

  • leingod

    It’d be kinda cool if the likes of Link and Samus were included in games like these. Applies to Mario Kart, now that I think of it.

    • 하세요

      It would have to change to “Nintendo Golf / Nintendo Kart” if that were the case, then folks would raise hell about “Nintendo is running out of ideas and just mashing all of their rehashed games together in every game now.”

      I’d prefer to keep the whole fusion idea to Smash Bros and let the other things remain solo to their series. NES Remixes are a neat little addition, too.

      • leingod

        Yeah, I guess you have a point. I was just “thinking out loud”.

        • 하세요

          Cameos would be fun though, like how Kid Icarus Uprising had Metroids in them.

          • Armane

            Not sure what you mean by “Metroids” but Kid Icarus has always had Komaytos.

          • 하세요

            I didn’t play the older Kid Icarus games, but they are Metroids, just renamed. Their description in the games even imply so.

          • leingod

            Maybe that’s what they call metroids in that particular world :)

  • CozyAndWarm

    I still can’t understand all this hubbub over the DLC. If you’re arguing against the concept of half-complete games with the rest being sold as DLC, you’re about, oh, six or seven years too late.

    Games like Wonderful 101 that were sold and developed as a complete DLC-less game don’t get any extra sales or respect for it. Games like Ciel noSurge that Siliconera covers positively are EIGHTY PERCENT paid DLC, but that fact is never mentioned, and no one in the comments seems to care.

    Listen, I’m not trying to be a fanboy and I’m not even interested in Mario Golf. But why all this DLC focus on THIS game? Why isn’t Nintendo entitled to some of the same financial bonuses that every other gaming company has been getting away with for so long? Again, if you’re really against this DLC, you’re six or seven years too late to argue.

    • British_Otaku

      As a collective community, this hubbub doesn’t make any sense.
      Just speaking about myself, I’ve avoided DLC for nearly every title I’ve played and greatly value games like The Wonderful 101 or E.X. Troopers which give you the full package (and notable packages) from the get go.

      Even if this game isn’t making a notable step back from other installments and may even be the best Mario Golf yet (no better place for me to start the series then), I’ll always think that this game COULD have been double the size without Nintendo suffering. Why shouldn’t they step up their scale for this installment?

      Other games? I don’t buy them (new) till I see a GOTY edition or no GOTY edition for years to come. >_>

      • Aaron K Stone

        Games can’t be postponed just so developers can add more content to them otherwise games would become bloated and there’d be no need for sequels.

        • British_Otaku

          What is the difference between Mario Golf 3DS coming out with Day 1 DLC and the same game coming out with the all of the content for the retail/digital price (whether it has to be downloaded in addition, is patched or whatever)?

          It is how much additional money Nintendo could make on the first round of customers and all of the buyers to come.

          My aim is to focus on whether the DLC was designed to increase their profits and potentially cut even from a worthwhile experience…

          My aim is not focusing on whether some games could become bloated from having a ton of additional content (in which case, they really shouldn’t be getting DLC in the first place if the designers or a considerable amount of buyers find the addition unattractive) or whether packing in games with content makes sequels obsolete.

          There isn’t a chance of that, especially with sequels which step out with a new engine and mechanics which wouldn’t fit into the initial experience and would need the sales of the first title over months and years to justify development.

    • mirumu

      Many people have been complaining about it the entire time even back when the idea was merely a gleam in a publisher’s eye.

      It’s as controversial as it ever was and many of the earlier predictions of bad practices DLC would lead to have come true so it’s not really surprising people still get upset about it.

      Companies exploit DLC knowing full well the kind of reception it’ll likely receive. They don’t need anyone to white knight for them no matter who they are.

    • Istillduno

      Some of us have been arguing for the past several years, and whilst we still have a few bastions to rally round to avoid this bs we will.

      And Siliconera staff being positive about something != all of us being positive about it, look at their raging boner for DMC vs the comments section for previous examples.

    • Tom_Phoenix

      No offence, but saying someone can’t argue against DLC on the grounds that DLC has been around for a while is a bit silly. The fact that something has existed for a while has no bearing on whether or not it is a good idea, nor does it make it immune to scrutiny. So people have just as much right to criticise the practice today as they did six or seven years ago. In fact, there are people who have been critical of it ever since its very inception and remain so to this day.

      Also, while it is true that speaking out against something may or may not encourage a change, not speaking out is certain to not do so. Unfortunately, silence is almost always regarded as acceptance of the status quo, regardless of whether or not that is the case. So if nobody argues against the current state of affairs, then there is no incentive for things to change.

      • CozyAndWarm

        Then I’m asking, why the sudden outburst, when most people have been so quiet for so long? Siliconera never ran articles like “Is Ciel noSurge a complete experience without DLC?”, there haven’t been discussions about ripping off customers for any other game with DLC around here (i.e. pretty much all of them), so why is everyone suddenly taking out their collective frustration for a simple little game like Mario Golf?

        “Because it’s Nintendo”
        Again, developing/funding full non-DLC games hasn’t been getting them a lick of extra sales or appreciation lately, so why should they care? The practice has been going on so long and gamers are so apathetic, telling Nintendo to stop now is just futile. In the words of Doom Paul, you could have stopped this.

        • mirumu

          I’m honestly not sure how you missed all the past discussion about DLC. It’s been a constant source of debate through it’s entire existence, and Siliconera has more than seen it’s share of it. The mods could tell you a few good stories I’m sure.

          I remember not even that long ago Capcom fans asking why people only complained about Capcom DLC. I’ve seen Square Enix fans make the same claim. I’ve seen talk of it even with the likes of Disgaea and Ciel noSurge.

          It wasn’t true then and it’s not true now.

        • Siliconera never ran articles like “Is Ciel noSurge a complete experience without DLC?”

          I think you’re mistaking Ethan’s love for Mario Golf as a stab at Nintendo. We hold the games we love to a higher standard.

          Ethan’s always been very attached to the Mario Golf games, and so, when we got the game in, he asked if he could do a more comprehensive two-part playtest and I gave him the go-ahead.

  • Istillduno

    Damn, Nintendo were the last company I’d expect this kind of shady **** from.

    • British_Otaku

      If you think this was bad (doubling the value of a decent game), you should see what they did with Fire Emblem Awakening. >_>

  • This could have been alleviated by either splitting a few of the 9-hole links into the DLC in return for a fourth tournament spot on hand, or even just by directing the player around the content on the cart better.

    This is a problem that isn’t limited to Mario Golf, unfortunately. Mario Kart is absolutely terrible at making better use of its assets, too.

    To provide an example, Mario Kart 7 has 32 tracks in total. 32—16 old and 16 new. That’s a lot of tracks. And yet, the first time I played the game, it took me around 5 hours to see every single track in the game. And sure, you can go on to do 100cc and 150cc modes after that, but by that point, you’ve largely seen everything the game has to offer.

    The problem is that the game throws every single track at you, one after the other, in Grand Prix mode, and if you’re a competent enough player, you power through them very quickly. After that, there’s nothing left to see. There’s no more surprises, no interesting variations of these tracks, no retooling them for other modes or purposes. It feels incredibly limited and shortsighted.

    In contrast, Wipeout Pulse—which I still feel has the best campaign mode of any racing game ever—is incredibly smart in how it guides the player through everything within the game.

    Wipeout Pulse has 16 different “grids” in its singleplayer campaign. Each grid contains a number of events, which include things like Single Race, Speed Lap, Eliminator, Time Trial, Tournament (3-4 races in a row) and so on. So, for example, Grid 1 would give you access to only three of the game’s 12 tracks, but by the time you’re done with it, you’ll have done a bunch of different events on each of those three tracks. By Grid 3 or 4, you’ve already been playing the game for 5-7 hours, and barely unlocked all the game’s tracks and modes.

    By the time you get to Grid 8, you’ve opened up most of the tracks in the game, but there’s still further variation to be had by having regular/mirrored versions of tracks. Tracks in Wipeout Pulse are designed so that the mirrored versions actually feel very different to play on, which is an incredibly smart thing to do. And beyond the regular/mirrored variations, the game has five different speed classes that help keep things exciting. There’s a lot other racing games—Mario Kart in particular—that could learn from this method of spreading things out.

    • Aaron K Stone

      It would have been nice if 7 and 8 had either the mission mode from DS or the tournaments from Wii. Both of those just made small alterations to already existing tracks, but it added much more replay value to the game.

    • leingod

      I’ve always thought: Why not make various tracks using the same graphical assets? You know, like… Mario Circuit 1, 2, 3 … Rainbow Road 1, 2, 3

      • s07195

        That’s actually a good question… Super Mario Kart did that actually, and the GBA game also did to some extent. I wouldn’t say that I’d play 3 of the same course, though. What is appealing about Mario Kart 7 courses are the visual distinctness of each track. Maybe two?

        • leingod

          2 is a good number as well. It would just add more stages to play without using up too much more space :)

  • awang0718

    I don’t get it. When games like Call of Duty get Day One DLC, nobody cares. When Mario Golf gets Day One DLC, it is obviously a sign that Nintendo has been “corrupted by Satan and will now kill all gamers by raping their wallets.”

  • harmonyworld

    *sounds of barrel scraping from nintendo*
    dude, let Mario die already, man~
    Need new IP’s!
    Like Tomodachi Life! :3

    • leingod

      No! Tomodachi Life looks cool and all, but I got my 3DS and Wii U mainly because of Mario and the other Nintendo classics :/

      • harmonyworld

        And that’s why there’ll never be new IP’s~
        that’s pretty sad too

        • leingod

          I’m all for new IPs, I just don’t want Mario stuff to die. Both things can be done, right?

          • harmonyworld

            Yeah, but to be for real, how many more Mario games can you possibly make?
            Like how much more can you possibly do with it without completely changing everything from the ground up?
            If you change everything, can you really still call it Mario?
            As much of a fan of Final Fantasy I am, it’s running it’s course and people are getting pretty sick of it.
            Well….whatever ignore me, I’m just one of those people who never saw the appeal with Mario games.

          • British_Otaku

            Mario is best known for being the face of infrequent but fresh and well designed platformers. Nintendo are simply attached to the brand when they make their even more infrequent sidegames (One Mario Kart per system, same or less goes for most of them) as it sels and the brand offers ideas which translate into a good experience.

            You can’t really say that Paper Mario (GameCube) is anything like Super Mario Galaxy. Or that Mario Paint is anything that like… any other Mario game. >_> There are fresh experiences from start to finish… Now if you stuck to one subseries like New Super Mario Bros, it doesn’t jump out with good ideas as often and NSMB2 could even be called a poor showing and cash in. Still only one game per platform.

  • Arcade Bumstead

    Even with the dlc it costs less than a new console game. And golf games never get old.

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