Review by viewtiful_joe98
"Super Mario Galaxy - The Best Game Ever?"
As I write this I am looking at the description Gamefaqs gives for its 10/10 rating for its reviews and it reads "Flawless - perfect on every level, couldn't be any better" and that just about sums up this game right there.
"FLAWLESS - Perfect on every level, couldn't be any better"
Super Mario Galaxy - I have waited a LONG time for it, pretty much since the end of Super Mario Sunshine (and overall loving it but feeling it was missing that special spark that makes Mario games grand) I have been looking forward to the next Mario installment. Little did I know I would be waiting 5 years for that game and many times during those 5 years I would excitedly check the "Super Mario 128" board on this site in hopes that there would be some sort of update to the game, anything at all, but apart from the video with all the Mario's running around I never got anything. The wait was killing me.
Why am I telling you this?
Because I want you to know just how much I was looking forward to this game and how much that hype increased by about 100 fold when I saw the GDC 07 Mario Galaxy trailer for the first time. Often when you hype a game up to yourself you get all these wild expectations of what it will be like and just as often the real game does not meet those expectations and you are left a little disappointed.
I hyped this game up for myself so much and even so Super Mario Galaxy is honestly, without a doubt, my favorite game of ALL time even when I pit it up against absolute legends such as Ocarina of Time and Super Mario 64 - I knew this within the first 10 minutes of playing.
Ok so obviously the Wii cannot produce graphics as great as the 360 or PS3 but not all graphics have to use the realistic style and Mario Galaxy presents a beautifully artistic and magical graphical style that is really quite a treat to look at. I don't base the graphics score for this section on how "good" they are per se, rather I judge it on how it fits in with the game and how much the style and presentation actually affects the atmosphere and overall experience of the game and Super Mario Galaxy's graphics really do wonders for the atmosphere. I honestly couldn't ask for anything better nor would it need it.
Being set in space you can imagine the wonders you will see during your travels, wonders that only Shigeru Miyamoto himself could dream up. I don't want to spoil too much but when you're soaring through space in this game you'll never be looking at Mario, you'll be looking at the spectacular displays taking place in the background.
This game is a gorgeous piece of eye candy.
I'm no music expert but I do know that some of Mario Galaxy's soundtrack is fully orchestrated and it sounds amazing. Some of it is still produced in MIDI form (I think) but it still sounds incredible. This game makes you realise just how much a good soundtrack can dramatically increase a games level of fun and turn it from a good game to a great game and legendary video game composer, Koji Kondo does not disappoint with this Mario adventure.
The music has a large part to do with why I instantly fell in love with this game in the first 10 minutes. You watch a little intro scene and you're reading it but really you're thinking "Come on I want to play so badly!" but you take control of Mario rather quickly after beginning the game but there's just enough beforehand to tease you just a little bit. Once you take control you will be greeted by the beautiful scenery of Peach's Castle from Mario 64 and then the music starts playing. Never has a song made me feel so joyous to play a game in an instant.
There are many great soundtracks in this game. The first Galaxy you enter has that awesome music from the trailers which has been revamped and recorded with a full orchestra and throughout the game you'll be brought back to the past with many great themes of the Mario games of old and some of those awesome signature sound effects we've come to love such as the classic little sound that plays when you enter a pipe. You fellow Mario fans know what I mean.
Oh and when you get to a place called Gusty Garden Galaxy you'll know what I mean when I say this game has great music.
Arguably the most important part of any game and what can I say? - It's just awesome. It works, it's easy and it's incredibly fun. What more do you need?
Most of the classic moves are there - the backflip, the triple jump, the wall kick, the side jump, the regular jumping, the ground pound...but where's the punching, the kicking? Well they're not there, at least not for you to control manually. "That's crap!" you may think but let me assure you this time around they aren't necessary. Mario's pulling out some brand new moves that makes his old ones like look nothing. Early on you will get the spin attack (not unlike Mario's counterpart Link's attack of the same name) just shake either the Wii Remote or the Nunchuck (you choose which one you prefer) and viola - couldn't be simpler, Mario does a little spin that can be used to attack enemies, launch yourself from stars into space and much more. This will be your primary form of attacking but you can also shoot what are called Star Bits at enemies by aiming the cursor, that you control throughout the game, and pressing the B button. These Star Bits can be used for many different things other than attacking. Usually after you've hit an enemy once, they are just stunned and you can either follow up with another attack of some sort of if you just simply walk into the enemy while they're stunned Mario will kick them into oblivion which feels really good even though you don't get to manually press a button to make it happen. Sometimes you may not be able to get the camera in a favorable position but for the most part it works fine.
Also up and down, left and right are all one in the same in this game, this will make you think in new ways and it makes for some awesome, fun gameplay and let's welcome the return of two player mode. Galaxy gives you the opportunity to play with a buddy, a first for a 3D Mario platformer. One person controls Mario as normal while the other uses a second Wii Remote to control a cursor of their own and use it to aid Mario in his quest by collecting Star Bits and shooting enemies. I have yet to try this feature so I can't say much on it but I hear that despite its simplicity it is a lot of fun.
This is a Mario game so needless to say you'll be falling to your death A LOT which is what Mario games are all about...no I'm serious. I died many times throughout the course of the game but not once did I ever get frustrated by it, this is one of the few games that makes you laugh when you die because you mistimed a jump or you didn't see that gap, you'll never want to throw your controller in anger when playing this game.
Rather than make a whole other section for controls let me just state that they are perfect and I give them a 10/10. They are easy, you will pick them up very quickly, they are fun to use, the motion sensing has been used perfectly in correlation with standard button controls and all round you couldn't have asked for easier controls.
10/10? What the hell am I talking about? - You may be wondering this and well ok it's a Mario game and Mario games have never been huge on long, complex storylines but the story of Mario Galaxy is rather charming and light-hearted.
Of course the basic plot is your typical "Mario, the princess has been captured by Bowser go rescue her by collecting lots of Stars or Shines or whatever" but Mario Galaxy presents it in a new and original way.
You start off with a little tale of how a comet passes through space above the Mushroom Kingdom every 100 years and on that day it passes, the Kingdom celebrates by holding what is called The Star Festival. Sounds typically Mario-ish so far. Princess Peach is kind enough to send you an invitation to this Star Festival (even though you should just be granted automatic entrance to it anyway, I mean how many times has Mario saved that Princess not to mention the whole damn world, oh gee thanks Peach for giving me your permission to come to this Festival, you know if you were kidnapped in ANY other game series the main protagonist of any of them would just not bother with you anymore, you'd better be grateful you're in Mario's world...) ah so where was I?
Ah yes, so anyway you go to the Star Festival, all is well, everyone's having a good time, minding their own business and trying to collect as many Star Bits as they can until suddenly Bowser's Airships of good ol' Mario 3 descend from the skies and start bombing the festival, in a rather spectacular display I might add, and then he steals Peach's entire castle right out of the ground (he's getting really good at this by now, he doesn't even have to bother getting out of his ship to go in and steal Peach he can just rip the whole damn castle right out of the ground, gotta have some respect for him for that.) Then he blasts off into space with Peach in hand and after falling from the stolen castle Mario awakens on a strange world and he is greeted by a girl named Rosalina. She tells him he has to collect Power Stars to power the Comet Observatory where she lives so they can go rescue Peach and then off you go. There are 120 stars to collect in all (what is it with Nintendo and that number?) but you don't need them all to finish the game and some can be quite challenging to get and can only be obtained by the more experienced players.
Throughout the game though you are given a little backstory into who Rosalina really is and the story is quite sad for those who are a little sensitive and it's optional to hear this part of the story too so you won't have to sit through it again and again throughout all the countless playthroughs you'll have of this game (I can assure that you will not play this game just once.)
Ok I've dragged this out long enough, I'm sure you get the gist of what I'm saying by now and hopefully you now have a better understanding of why this game is my new favorite game of all time. It has everything I could want in a game, it's Mario and it has enough nostalgia for long time Mario fans, who have been with him from the beginning, while introducing many new elements that the series has never seen before. That's not to say that if you've never played a Mario game before you won't like this game. On the contrary anyone of any age can play and enjoy this, from start to finish it is an amazing experience and probably one of the best you'll have with a video game for a long time and it'll definitely give you many fond memories for the rest of your life when you think back to the first time you played Super Mario Galaxy. Super Mario Galaxy is the new Super Mario 64, how Nintendo will top it in the future is beyond me but do yourself a favor and go pick up this game that will surely go down in gaming history as a grand classic for all time. Is this the best game ever? I'll let you be the judge of that but in this reviewers opinion it is.
It's FLAWLESS - Perfect on every level, couldn't be any better!
At the time of writing this I have finished the main game but have yet to get all 120 stars and I can't wait to go exploring for them again. Wish me luck, I'm off to explore the Galaxy!
On a personal note I'd like to thank Nintendo and more specifically Shigeru Miyamoto and the entire team who worked on this game for making it and putting so much effort into its development which really does show. Thanks for one of the greatest moments I've ever experienced in a video game. You've still got it!
I'll be eagerly waiting for the next Mario game, shall we say...5 years? See you then...
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 12/04/07, Updated 02/20/08
Game Release: Super Mario Galaxy (AU, 11/29/07)
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