Review by hypersonic2000
"Great Graphics. Great Gameplay. But is it really that fun?"
Super Mario Galaxy, as you all probably know, is the newest Mario installment to the Wii that was thought to be overshadowed in sales and hype by another popular title called, "Super Smash Bros. Brawl".
You should think of this game as a sequel to the popular N64 game, "Super Mario 64" as opposed to its Gamecube counterpart Super Mario Sunshine. The gameplay mechanics that this game uses is quite similar to its previous N64 version, and tends to build up on those mechanics using the Wii remote. Its quite different from the Gamecube version, which emphasized on F.L.U.D.D to move around quickly.
So without further ado, lets start picking this game apart.
The first thing you'll notice once you pop in the disc into your Wii is that you can use your Mii character as a save file to begin the game. You would think that the selection of your Mii would have some underlying importance, but it really does not matter at all.
So once you pick your Mii and save file, you begin your cliche and redundant storyline of Mario, the Princess, and Bowser all involved in the same string of events that we've seen for the past 10-15 years.
Don't get me wrong. The plot might seem boring, but there are still many other factors that come into play when you first start controlling your little Italian friend.
For a console that was claimed to be the weakest of the 3 in terms of raw power, the graphics in this game look pretty damn good. In comparison to its Gamecube counterpart, Super Mario Sunshine, the difference in appeal and looks are just in its own league.
For the most part, it looks a lot smoother and luminous. There were a lot of jagged lines and bland buildings in Sunshine, while this game seems to have improved on that. Though it'd be fair to say that this game rarely has any buildings at all, and for the most part, has you exploring the various galaxies and worlds available to you.
I'll admit. The Wii control scheme seems to work pretty well with the game. Its just as I imagined it to be before I even picked it up. Aside from the various maneuvers that you use, its fairly easy to move around and dodge incoming fire from your enemies. However, those would only be under normal circumstances, which I'll explain later. But basically, the controls are fairly easy to use and pretty much anyone (even my 14 year old sister) can play this game without any problems whatsoever.
It really all comes down to how well you can play Super Mario 64. If you were pretty good at maneuvering in that game, you really shouldn't have any problems at all in this game. The similarities between these two games are so identical that its mind boggling.
In fact, you pretty much do the exact same thing that you did in Super Mario 64, which was to collect all the Stars on a certain "level", and then go fight Bowser on that "level". After you beat Bowser on that particular level, you go up the stairs and proceed to collect the Stars again and repeat the process by beating Bowser.....again.
The one major gripe I had, and I'm sure many others had, is that this game offers no exploration at all.
Of course, I don't mean exploration as the need to "explore in the game". I mean that Nintendo really didn't try to "do something new".
Now many of you probably want to yell at me and say, "Well they did Super Mario Sunshine didn't they?! Didn't Nintendo ALREADY do something new? We want a remake of Super Mario 64!!"
Well yes, they did try to do something new with Super Mario Sunshine. And you know what? Thats why I thought it was such a great game. Not only did it offer the same platforming experience that SM64 had (which was to collect the stars and beat the boss), but it gave you new challenges by letting you use that funky machinery that let you do all sorts of crazy things such as surfing on the beach or climbing high ledges with ease.
When I played this game, it felt like I was just playing a remake of Super Mario 64. And I'm sure Nintendo fully intended on doing just that. Aside from using Star Bits to hit enemies, or to use launch stars to travel between planets, it is essentially the same game with little difference. They didn't even try to explore new mechanics because they knew that a lot of people wanted that old nostalgia. This becomes pretty damn apparent when many people are using up their Wii points buying SM64 on the Virtual Console.
Speaking of nostalgia from SM64, whatever happened to Metal Mario? Yes, for those of you wondering, he is definitely NOT in the game at all. I mean, he was popular enough to be in the Smash Bros. series, why not here?
But I digress....
Anyway, as I was saying, the gameplay is fantastic, but it still offers nothing new to the table. Ironically, this was the same problem that Twilight Princess had. Hopefully in future installments, Nintendo will start changing it up a little.
Yes, the camera gets its own section. Why? Because it's the worst part of the game. When I first started this game and landed on the very first planet, I was having trouble adjusting the camera simply because I had no idea on how to use the button configuration. Later on, I found out that you needed to press the "C" button on the nunchuck to adjust the camera behind you.
So I thought, "Great! That'll solve my problems!"
Well it didn't.
In fact, there will be some levels in the game that will literally have you upside-down, sideways to the left, sideways to the right, and sometimes you can't even see yourself because something is blocking your view.
Oh and of course, while you're moving upside-down or sideways, the "C" button that adjusts the camera will not work at all. By the time you even figure out where you are, you end up falling into a black hole. The game basically forces you to play like that and in the end, all it does is give you a splitting headache from all the dizziness and the frustration that it causes while you're falling helplessly into a black void with the words "TOO BAD" plastered over the screen.
Another thing which I thought was just plain ludicrous was when you're sideways, the controls that move Mario actually "change".
So when you're moving up or down a wall sideways, instead of pushing up on the nunchuck to move up, you have to push "right" to go up.
Yes, its strangely complicated like that.
FUN FACTOR AND DIFFICULTY:
I combined both of these sections because they are somewhat related.
I'll be completely honest with you here. This game just isn't hard.
In fact, it is really easy. Quite possibly, the easiest game that I've ever played in my life.
The only real hard part to this game is knowing where to go. And even if you have problems with that, you can just check the walkthrough thats provided on this site. The boss fights in this game are pretty much a cakewalk. Even Bowser seems to be toned down from his SM64 counterpart.
Aside from all the great graphics and gameplay, I ask myself, was it really that fun? The difficulty in this game was just too easy. I know for a fact that some people have finished this game within the span of two days (without collecting all the stars of course). Perhaps one would say that they are hardcore gamers, but for some reason, I still find two days to be extremely believable, even for a casual.
And it saddens me to think that a great first-party Nintendo title can be beaten in the span of a weekend rental period.
Of course, I'm sure many people don't just "wanna beat it". They also probably want to collect each and every star possible in the game for the secret unlockable at the end (which I won't mention here).
Now we come to the point of our review where I'll give my final opinion of the game. Overall, the game is just fantastic in its own merit. But the lack of innovation and the way the game is designed to make you collect Stars just makes it seem like another redundant Mario that we've already seen in the past,
Sure, there are plenty of diversified galaxies and worlds to explore, but going through the same sequence of events in each and every world collecting stars just doesn't seem as appealing to me as it did 10 years ago.
Good - a few problems, but worth the time to play
I would also like to address one more important fact. I am not knocking this game down just because it's a very popular game or because its won a couple of GOTY 2007 awards. As a multi-console owner of all systems, I try to be as unbiased as possible with all my games from every system. While my score for this game may seem lower compared to the average of all the other 9's and 10s you see on GameFAQs, keep in mind that this is only one man's opinion on this game, and you are free to read any of the other fine reviews on here.
Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 01/03/08
Game Release: Super Mario Galaxy (US, 11/12/07)
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