Sidescrollers: ‘Mario Golf’ and ‘Kirby’ make handhelds great again

You can play as Yoshi in the latest "Mario Golf: World Tour." Credit: Nintendo
You can play as Yoshi in the latest “Mario Golf: World Tour.”
Credit: Nintendo

If yearbook-style awards were given to gaming consoles, the 3DS would have Most Improved and Most Likely to Be Used on the Toilet printed next to its awkward portrait. In other words, the 3DS used to kind of suck, but now it’s probably the strongest system out there. Here are yet more games that prove gaming handhelds didn’t die with the iPhone.

‘Mario Golf: World Tour’
4 globes

Want to have something to talk about with your dad for once? Hit the links with Mario and co. Of course, this being Nintendo, it’s not exactly the sport you’ve blankly stared at on Sunday afternoons. There are power-ups, ridiculous courses and, oh yeah, you get to play as Bowser.

The core mechanics are not too dissimilar to Tiger Woods and other realistic golf sims out there, but with more of an arcade bent. Don’t worry: The game is still deep, and plenty challenging. It features 10 courses, tons of online and offline tournaments, and an astounding amount of fun challenges like slot golf, in which you have to complete courses using only the clubs you draw from the slot machine.

Kirby has arrows now! Credit: Nintendo
Kirby has arrows now!
Credit: Nintendo

‘Kirby: Triple Deluxe’
4 globes

Ah, Kirby, you lovable pink puffball. Kirby is one of Nintendo’s lesser known mascot characters, with the company often using him/her/it for experimental designs such as “Kirby Mass Attack” and “Kirby: Canvas Curse.” “Triple Deluxe,” however, is pure platformer, and a mighty fine one at that.

Kirby is sort of like the mutant Rogue, except where Rogue has to touch someone to get their powers, Kirby eats them. Because of the Kirbster’s voracious appetite, the game features almost 30 movie sets, turning the mascot into a karate expert, a court jester and even a sword. The single player campaign is joined by a full-fledged “Smash Bros.”-style beat-em-up and a fairly decent rhythm game.

Follow Lawrence Bonk on Twitter @sidescrollers


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