Review by bluehawk102

"A must have if you own a Wii..."

A new Nintendo system is out and that can only mean one thing, a new Mario title is sure to follow. Super Mario Galaxy has been out for a few months on the Nintendo Wii and there have been a ton of reviews out praising the game. I feel I should offer my two cents on the title just for the hell of it.

Story

Mario is invited to the castle to celebrate some festival with Princess Peach. Suddenly, Bowser comes crashing in and takes the castle up into space with Peach still inside. Yes, outer space. Mario ended up on this space station ship sort of thing full of these small star things called Lumas that are cared for by a women called Rosalina. She is like a mother figure to them(There is more backstory to unlock once you progress further on through the game). Rosalina tells Mario that Peach was kidnapped by Bowser, and that Bowser is threatening the universe or something and must be stopped. The problem is that her space station does not work at the moment because it needs stars to power it. It is up to Mario to collect the stars to power the station to rescue Peach and to stop Bowser. There are the regular stars( a few are different colors, but the majority are gold) and grand stars. There are 6 or 7 Grand Stars that are received after beating a boss and once you gather a grand star a new observatory is unlocked meaning more worlds to explore.


Gameplay

This is where the gameplay comes in. Traditional Mario games have always been platformers. You go from level to level going from point A to Point B while overcoming obstacles in your way. That's the basic idea. Going back to the NES and SNES days it was just moving Mario to the right side of your screen towards the end of the level hoping you would not die along the way. Super Mario 64 for the Nintendo 64 managed to evolve the series for the whole new 3D aspect of platforming and it was a great addition to the series and one of the best Mario titles. Picture a level in Mario 64, say the one where you fight the King Bob-omb. Now separate the areas into small chunks. Now make them into small globes. Now picture Mario going from globe to globe until he reaches the final globe where he fights the King Bob-omb on top of the mountain. This is the general setup for Super Mario Galaxy. The giant worlds are now a galaxy and the components comprising them are planets or whatever. They vary in shapes and sizes and consist of numerous kinds of enemies(Koopas, Goombas, Magikoopas, etc.) as well as friends(Toads, Penguins, etc.) Instead of jumping into paintings you go into an observatory that can propel you to a certain number of galaxies in said observatory. Once you select a galaxy to play you pick the star you want to go after and then you get it. Along the way you collect coins, star bits, and various mushrooms/powerups. Coins are honestly useless unless you want to collect 50 of them to get an extra life. There are no 100 star coins like in Super Mario 64, but there are specific levels that have coin collecting stars. I'm just talking about the gold coins in general. Star bits are the latest collectible in the Mario franchise. They are multicolored mini stars that are scattered all around the various worlds. Star bits are like candy to Lumas. Certain Lumas require you to feed them x-amount of Star Bits in order to create a new planet or galaxy depending on where they appear. There are two totals for star bits. The first is for the galaxies and how many you collect in them. There is no fixed amount in any of the worlds or a counter telling you that you collected so many out of so many. They reappear over and over again once you die and you can collect more and more. One time I reached the cap at 999. Anyway, besides that you can move a star cursor around the screen with the Wii-mote's motion sensing to shoot star bits at enemies. I found myself hardly shooting them because they do not do a whole lot other than stun enemies for a second. Finally, we shall discuss the mushrooms. What would a Mario game be without shrooms? Super Mario Galaxy introduces new powerups for Mario. There is a bee costume that allows Mario to fly for a few seconds. Just make sure not to touch water because the suit will disappear. There is a Mushroom to turn Mario into a Boo. With it he can be invisible for a few seconds and go through walls. The Spring Mushroom transforms Mario into a spring so he can jump higher. The fire flower makes its return, but it is on a timer. An ice flower allows mario to freeze water so he can make ice platforms to walk on. These powerups are like the three caps in Mario 64 in that they are only used to accomplish certain tasks to get to certain stars. No semi-permanent fire flower Mario like in the older games sadly. The green mushroom makes its return as the item that gives Mario an extra life. A new shroom is this red one that adds 3 hit points to Mario making a total of 6. Again, only temporary. Over all, the gameplay is very nice and feels more in the same vein as Mario 64 as opposed to Mario Sunshine for the Gamecube. I mentioned how some parts were pointless, but that is the picky gamer in me. Yes, coins and star bits are pretty damn pointless but they do not detract from the overall fun of the game.

Sound

Except for what little voice acting there is, the sound is incredible. Specifically the music. You have these awesome orchestra pieces playing in the background as well as remixes of various older Mario tracks. If anything, I think the music is one of the best parts of the game. This is all I really have to say as far as audio is concerned. Amazing job Nintendo!

Controls

Work well for the Wiimote, but they can still work without it for the most part. You have some instances where it uses the motion sensor just for the sake of it. Like shaking it to do certain moves or tilting it left ot right for Manta Ray surfing. Still, no real complaints unless you really hate the Wii and think it is just a gimmick. Otherwise everything was fine except for some minor camera issues for some worlds and trying to figure out how to get Mario to go in the direction you want.

Final Thoughts

When deciding to review this game my opinions on it changed back and forth. There are two ways I see it. The first is just looking at the game generally. The second is looking at it compared to everything else. By itself It is a great Mario game that is a must own for those that have a Nintendo Wii. People less picky than me will like this game a lot. With that I give the game a 9/10. My picky side says that this game could have been a lot better in some areas. The whole lives system is pointless and outdated. The series itself is feeling tired and drawn out. Yay I get to collect more stars and save Princess Peach from Bowser yet again. The least they could have done was create a better two player system. Why not have have the second player play as Luigi? Why can't we have a turn system like SMB3 or SMW? Also, where is Yoshi? Come on! Again, these are just my gripes. To most, however, this game is the best of 2007. To me it does not feel like anything too new or exciting, but just another Mario game. Still, I say pick up the game and play it. There is fun and excitement to be had, and younger kids will really like this game. With that I say buy the game, play it, and enjoy it. Thank you for reading my review.


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 01/04/08

Game Release: Super Mario Galaxy (US, 11/12/07)


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