Super Mario Galaxy 2 Review

August 12, 2010 at 9:33 pm (Video Games)

The best thing I know Nintendo for is innovation. The company emerged on the scene with one of the first widespread hit home gaming consoles, created arguably the best known video game character known of all time, and continues to defy expectations with the birth of motion control in games, an innovation other publishers are now playing catch-up to. One of the best examples of this innovation was 2007’s Super Mario Galaxy. Unlike most games it had me glued to my controller and I played it all the way through. The game broke new ground for the platforming genre by literally giving us new worlds to explore that challenged our perceptions of gravity and what phenomenally creative things you can do with just a little Italian plumber and a kidnapped princess. 3 years later, and now we have the sequel to the game, Super Mario Galaxy, wait for it… 2. The game takes place some time after the ends of #1, and Peach is yet again kidnapped by Bowser as part of another one of his dastardly schemes. You don’t come to a Mario game for a story, you come to the table to see what Miyamoto and his team have done new to re-invent the game once again. This time, they brought plenty.

At first, with the same coat of paint and the same game mechanics, I felt like “Oh, this is just gonna be an add on with a few new levels to make fans happy and catch up on a few missed opportunities by Nintendo”, but by the end of it I enjoyed this game more than the original. The game provides true platforming genius, with a surprise around every turn. The game will frequently alter your perception of gravity, have you considering the depth of a planet, or consider the gravity of our favorite plumber himself. It may sound like a really nerdy math equation of a game, but it’s often thrilling to not know what could happen next. The game succeeds the other in terms of sheer variety as well on a number of levels. The game introduces Yoshi into the mix, which with the polished nature of control and feel Nintendo provides, works perfectly. Yoshi feels like second nature in the game, and gives you that pure sense of “Yoshi” as you run through courses like mad thanks to the fire berry, use his abilities to take out enemies or reach new platforms with his “tongue-y” skills. The game brings in a plethora of new power-ups for Mario. Forget your grandma’s fire flower, Mario brought a new bag of tricks. The cloud suit has to be my personal favorite for it’s variety of uses, but the drill, bee, spring, and ground/ball/roll thing come in handy in their own time. There are also a variety of tasks to do aside from making it to the end of the level. The Skill Chimp will challenge you to a number of games that are addictively infuriating, and my new favorite addition remains as the flight challenges using a multi-colored bird.

It’s also arguable that this stands as the best looking Wii game out there. Nintendo does it best at taking advantage of the Wii’s limited graphical ability with some absolutely breath-taking environments, some gorgeous character designs, and some awesome sense of scale when it comes to facing down some of the game’s biggest and baddest bosses. Like its predecessor, Mario Galaxy 2 ups the ante with some gigantic bosses that are a thrill not only to finally see a power star come out of but also just in finding a way to beat them. It almost feels like a favor when you get to replay the boss level, that is until it becomes infuriatingly obvious you’re never, ever going to beat it. With a three year gap between the two games, it’s evident Nintendo wasted no time in polishing the rest of the game off. Menus, the hub world, and planet navigation are all polished so finely you can almost see it sparkle off of your screen, and it makes the game a lot easier to figure out thanks to a very helpful access of which stars are left to collect and exactly when prankster comets or other special occasions will arrive. Nintendo’s known for its quality in game design, but Mario Galaxy 2 makes it feel like they’re bragging in the best way possible by just how good everything works in the game. The platforming is the best on the market, the rest of the game is polished to a point, and there’s just enough new material in there to keep veterans begging for more. Also, in an aspect that I can appreciate more than others, Mario Galaxy 2 is immensely re-playable. It’ll give you severe insomnia as you search for every last one of those stars, and the visionaries at Nintendo found a way to, by the end of the game, make you crave to start all over again. If there’s anything I could complain about with this game, it’s that it does feel a tad bit like an expansion. Even with all the new improvements and game-play tweaks, there’s that part in my brain that couldn’t tell the games apart 5% of the time. Also, this may not have been the case for others, but it took me a while to warm up to the game. The first few worlds are the best examples of the game’s creativity, and you sorta have to give the game time to gradually blow your mind over time. I have no trouble recommending Super Mario Galaxy 2 to absolutely anyone. In fact, I would have trouble sleeping at night if I didn’t, it’s a game you cannot miss. There’s something here for everyone, for the folks that grew up with Mario’s NES roots to the smaller ones just now learning what gaming’s all about, Super Mario Galaxy is a wonder to behold, and is as close to perfect as I’ve seen in some time.

9.75 out of 10

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6 Comments

  1. The James said,

    I am really enjoying this game. While the original was great, I always felt it was a little overrated. I had some problems with Galaxy 1. The hub world was infuriating, the side story thing about rosealena and the lumas was boring, and it felt as though many of the levels did not live up to their potential. Furthermore, it felt too geared for the little ones.

    Don’t get me wrong, I love the original, it was great but it got game of the year from both IGN and Gamespot. This was the year we got: Super Paper Mario, Uncharted, Metroid Prime 3, Phantom Hourgass, Orange Box, and COD4. And galaxy won. It just seems odd to me.

    Now, Mario Galaxy 2 is what I feel like Galaxy 1 should have been. I can see this game getting game of the year. The hub world beautifully done, there are no silly side stories, the levels handle these concepts perfectly. Plus, THIS GAME HAS YOSHI!

    In this case, the sequel is miles better than the original in my opinion.

  2. earlman27 said,

    Right, I think Call of Duty Modern Warfare 1 totally deserves Game of the Year over it, that game achieves a lot in the realm of storytelling and re-defining its own genre.

  3. The James said,

    I think I am going to write an entire post about why the second game is superior…

  4. darkcloak said,

    I wouldnt mind playing the first one

  5. The James said,

    you are welcome to borrow it from me anytime. should I bring it to you Monday?

  6. Nahuel F.A. said,

    Great review, man!
    I loved the first Mario Galaxy, and I’ve been dying to play the sequel.. reading this has made my hunger even bigger.

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