Latest Game Reviews

Super Mario Galaxy 2 Review - Wii

8.5
Gameplay: 9 stars 9
Graphics: 9 stars 9
Audio: 9 stars 9
Multiplayer: 7 stars 7
Innovation: 5 stars 5
Share |
click to view full image
view full
click to view full image
view full
click to view full image
view full
click to view full image
view full

Introduction

Mario’s big leap this generation took him off planet, with the fantastic Super Mario Galaxy arriving on Wii consoles in late 2007. Three years later, Nintendo saw fit to do what they had never before – produce a direct sequel to a 3D Mario platformer. And thus, a new Galaxy was born.

Gameplay

Building on the original Super Mario Galaxy and expanding on it in almost every way, Galaxy 2 is perhaps the best of Mario’s 3D platformers. It manages to refine what were already refined experiences in the previous games and delivers a game full of creativity and yet always enjoyable. It's an A-team giving their AAA game.

You’re Mario, Bowser’s got Peach, and you’re in space. This time around you’re working through classic Super Mario World-style level progression, collecting stars and working your way to the final galaxy of each world, which features a boss fight with either Bowser or Bowser Jr. That’s not the interesting bit, though the 242 unique stars to collect will take even the most dedicated player weeks. There is so much content here, it’s almost impossible to see where they can take the 3D franchise beyond Galaxy.

Yoshi’s back, and is used in both platforming and offense against enemies. Not only can you lick up fruit and Goombas, but Nintendo tweaks the gameplay further by requiring his use to pull levels and also scale vertical walls after consuming the Dash Pepper. Everything has multiple uses throughout the game, and earlier techniques come into play in later levels in new and exciting ways. There’s the Spin Drill, which lets you drill through the ground and pop up on the other side of a planet. There’s Rock Mario, who turns into a ball and can flatten anything that lies in his path, and Cloud Mario, who creates his own platforms in midair with a flick of the wrist. All that’s on top of the original game’s Fire Flower, Bee, Boo and Spring suits and Rainbow Stars.

Plus, you get the feeling that all the designers had hundreds of ideas that got excised from the original game for budget or time reasons, and used this opportunity to cram as much in as they could. In fact, it’s kind of rare for a level to be just platforming. You have underwater stages where you coast about with Koopa shells, and stages where you balance on a giant sphere and tilt your way to the finish line. There are levels that see you sliding down a giant sand hill avoiding boulders, and others where you glide on the legs of a bird down among lava and machinery. There are worlds where you must navigate ghostly disappearing pathways in a haunted, and others where you must jump to platforms that disappear in time with the beat of the music. It’s ridiculous. Every stage is original and inventive, and the many comet coins scattered throughout unlock new twists on existing levels.

A complaint of the first game was that it was too easy overall. This has ...

(continued next page)