Review by OhNoPeppyHare
"Hands down, one of the most entertaining titles in video games."
The Wii redefined gaming with its concept of totally making new, innovative games. I, being a gamer of the mid-90's, was excited for the arrival of Super Mario Galaxy, which is, in a nutshell, Super Mario 64 in space. And I was even more excited to know that the Wii will use as much of its motion-based gameplay as it can, while keeping the traditional gameplay from its Nintendo 64 counterpart. Isn't that something, innovation from the Nintendo 64 meets innovation of the Nintendo Wii, and boy, do they blend well. Even if a gamer is unfamiliar with Super Mario 64 or Super Mario Sunshine, he or she can find just as much fun in it as the older, more veteran gamers.
The Wii was all about changing the way video games are to be played. Super Mario Galaxy is a great example of this. For those that have played Super Mario 64 or Super Mario Sunshine, you will probably already figure out that the main objective is to collect Power Stars, which are scattered across worlds you can roam in freely. By collecting these Power Stars, more worlds are accessible and more Stars are available for you to collect. Basic movement is controlled by the nunchuk's analog stick. Jumping is performed by the A button and analog stick, and in conjunction with the Z button on the Nunchuk, Mario can perform the Long Jump and Backflip Jump. These moves should be familiar to veteran gamers, but the new ways of moving about will be a fresh concept to everyone.
One aspect of the game involves collecting Star Bits, which act as points for Mario. Star Bits are used for a variety of purposes: feeding, life collecting, and even ammo to attack opponents. They can be obtained using the motion sensor on the Wii Remote, which really gives your wrist a workout if you are a real nit picky item collector like me. But that's all in good fun. Another aspect is GRAVITY. Gravity plays a major role in the game. Players of the platform genre are probably all ticked off at the constant falling in pits and releasing themselves from ledges to their certain doom. In Super Mario Galaxy, any rounded object in the game can be walked on and around . The concept of gravity adds depth and strategy to the game. By utilizing the gravity on rounded objects, Mario can walk upside down, dodge projectiles, and never have to worry about falling to death. But that does not mean he is impervious to falls. There are black holes in the game that act as pits, and if Mario falls into one, things won't be pretty. Spinning is another fun addition. You probably might remember this spin attack from Super Smash Brothers. It acts like Mario's punch from Super Mario 64, and it is used for many purposes. It is used to launch Mario into other planets, fight enemies, and break containers of Star Bits. And all you have to do is shake the Wii Remote!
There are so many other cool features in the game. Manta-ray racing, ball balancing, power ups, and of course, Co-Star Mode. Co-Star Mode uses a 2nd player, who can help Mario get Star Bits, grab enemies, and assist in jumping. I wish I could explain Co-Star in more detail, but you just have to play it yourself to believe it! It's a fun way to get the spectator or little sibling watching you play a little more involved.
Overall, the gameplay is fresh, yet traditional. Full use of the motion sensors without getting too active is a big plus. The only con I can think of is the confusion in gravity and camera angles, but it takes a while to get used to.
The sound effects in this game are great. Not much to say about them, because you will probably be paying more attention to the music, which is extremely well conducted. Music for this game is now orchestrated, and it truly adds a sense of "dramatic feeling" into the game. Not only are there original tunes, but you will also hear some classic Mario songs. Songs include 2 songs from Super Mario Bros. 3, the classic "underground" theme from Super Mario Brothers, and the Starman theme that most Mario fans probably love to hear in the heat of battle. Though the music is incredible in action-packed parts, it sometimes dulls out and drones on.
I will admit that Galaxy's graphics aren't as crisp or realistic as a PS3 or XBOX360 game, but for the Wii, and for its breathtaking designs, it deserves its 10. Mario looks pretty much the same as his Sunshine counterpart, and some characters, like Goomba, Bowser, Bullet Bill, and Peach remain the same as well, the appearances of new enemies, such as Dino Piranha or Rosalina are very well created. The worlds truly make the graphics shine. The designs of the environment, the clear appearances of everything around Mario, the graphical dominance of Bullet Bill.... simply put, the graphics for Super Mario Galaxy are the best for its time. Again, though it's not as realistic as the other systems out there, the uniqueness of design and incredible visuals definitely make up for it. I usually get lost in the wonders of the visuals sometimes during gameplay, they are really that cool to stop and admire.
Upon writing this review, I have not collected all 120 Power Stars. However, I can see that this game will take up a lot of your time, especially if you are trying to get 120 Power Stars. Sad thing is, once you gain everything, there really is little left to do. You could beat your time in mini-games or have fun with the secret character, but other than that, you pretty much have the whole game beat. You could also make another file and replay the whole thing again, and I probably would do that upon completion, seeing as how this game is truly great and worth another go. But for those that like to conquer and move on, there really is little replayability value for you.
Super Mario 64 showed the world the capabilities of the Nintendo 64. Galaxy has just shown the world the capabilities of the Wii. I may not be able to predict the future, but I can safely say that this game will be a classic for years to come. Time will tell if it even surpasses the legacy that Super Mario 64 has created. Every Wii owner must have this game, and, Mario fan or not, chances are you will enjoy it as much as I still am.
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 11/19/07
Game Release: Super Mario Galaxy (US, 11/12/07)
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