Super Mario Galaxy 2

Video Game Review: Super Mario Galaxy 2 for the Nintendo Wii
By Laelaps

After playing, completing, and loving the first Super Mario Galaxy, I was fully psyched when Nintendo announced a direct sequel, coming within a year. I picked this game up the day it was released (the first time I’d done such a thing since Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga[1]) and eagerly put it in to play.

Now, first, to summarize the gameplay; Super Mario Galaxy 2 is a 3D platformer in which the player takes control of Mario to collect power stars in order to rescue Princess Peach from Bowser by jumping around planets, collecting star bits, defeating bosses, and on and on. Simple premise, right?

It blew my mind.

This game is ridiculously fun. It takes almost everything that was great about the first game and improves upon it; it takes most of the detriments and solves them.

The already excellent graphics appear to be even better animated in this game. New power-ups are thoughtfully (i.e., sparsely) used throughout the game. Yoshi is added – and a blast to use – the hub world is improved, the attention to detail is insane, and there’s awesome nostalgia thrown in.

The level design is absolutely excellent. The music is epic, the game is fun to play, and almost everything about it is awesome.

My complaints about it boil down to one major problem and a number of smaller ones. The one major problem is the persisting lack of good multiplayer. It’d be one thing if, say, a sequel to Chip’s Challenge was released and there was no multiplayer; this would be excusable given the essence of the gameplay formula. But Mario Galaxy? Goodness gracious, even if the basic formula wouldn’t translate into multiplayer, it diverges into so many sub-styles of gameplay – which, by the way, feel like throwbacks to the minigames of old, truly fun, bonus content, merely not dubbed as such, and not gimmicky whatsoever – including, but not limited to, fluzzard gliding, ice skating, ball rolling, a bowling-style level, and actually racing CPU opponents. There was so much that they could have done with a few good multiplayer modes, and yet they leave you with the last game’s Co-Star mode.

Smaller ones are basically the lack of a return of Ray Surfing (though I recognize that I was probably a part of the minority of those who enjoyed it in the first game), the strange level order, most notable in World S (I won’t spoil anything, though), the story butchers any sort of continuity that the Mario series previously had (again, no spoilers; and I know that people don’t play a Mario game for the story, I don’t either, but it’s impossible not to notice it in this game) and the fact that the case was one of those “eco-friendly” ones with half the back cut out; it just felt like I got an incomplete package. The camera is the same restricted one from the first game, though it’s not nearly as often that the game prevents you from seeing vital information; in fact, I can think of only one instance throughout the entire game when it prevented me from seeing something I really needed to see.

…yeah, that’s it. Those are really my only problems with the game, which I think only serves to highlight how excellent it is.

Summary: An extremely polished, beautiful, excellent game, bursting with creativity and replayability; just missing multiplayer. Very possibly Nintendo’s best Mario game to date.

Final Score: 9.7/10

Reviewer’s Completion: 242 stars collected, sparkling save file, 9999 star bits in inventory, 9999 star bits deposited, 3411 coins, death count at completion: 797, Rosalina save file icon unlocked, Playtime at completion: 45:50:32, Master of Galaxies


[1]In my defense, I didn’t learn about Brawl until Fall of 2008. Fall.

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