I received Super Mario Galaxy for Christmas and I must say that I’m quite happy with the gift. This is the most talked about Wii game for the end of 2007 and not without reason. Everyone who’s into gaming kept mentioning that Mario Galaxy is the true successor to Super Mario 64 on the Gamecube. Pretty much everyone, myself included, thinks that Mario Sunshine was a piece of sod that should never have been made. Mario Galaxy, on the other hand, has a lot of the same charm that made SM64 so much fun to play. My only complaint, and this is a very tiny one, is that the puzzles are a bit easier than Mario 64. I remember racking my brain with my brother trying to figure out how to get the each of the stars for SM64. With Mario Galaxy, I feel that most of the stars are a lot easier to get. However, as I write this blog post I realize that I played Super Mario 64 approximately 10 years ago, so it’s possible that the puzzles that were so hard for me back then would not be quite as hard now. That said, I beat the game in two days with about 20 hours of gameplay. That is, I beat the final Bowser, but was only about half way through collecting all of the stars.
The second thing I wanted to address was the second player mode on Mario Galaxy. Some people have decried this as merely a gimmick. I’m here to tell you this is not so! Yeah, the primary thing for the second player to do is acquire star bits for you, but that can be immensely helpful. There are some really tough levels where the floor is shifting below you and it can cause you some lives to be worrying about whether you’re getting all of the star bits. Also, I tend to get star bits in a circular pattern which causes Mario to spin around. If you’re holding a turtle shell this will send the shell flying away – very annoying. Finally, the second player can stop certain bad guys from moving, allowing you to progress through the levels much more quickly. They can also cause Mario to jump if they want to be annoying little wankers.
The ending is decent, but nothing special. Then again, when has any Mario game ever had a good ending? Suffice it to say that my sister-in-law’s boyfriend lost a significant portion of his motivation to play the game.
Finally, the graphics are pretty awesome. Just look to Mario Sunshine and it looks 10-100 times better. And the final FMV sequence has a very beautiful HD-ish quality to it. I’d have to say that this game proves that the Wii is capable of beautiful games.
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