Review by TripleJump
"Mario Galaxy is an engaging game that is worth the purchase, but not the best Mario."
We all know Mario and his history as the greatest game character of all time. But what will he play like on Nintendo's latest and greatest console, the Nintendo Wii? That's what I'm here to tell you about. I excitedly received my copy for Christmas, and I'll tell you that it is certainly worth the wait!
One of my bigger concerns for this game would be how it controls, and Nintendo proved to be innovative in it's scheme. You can point the remote at the screen and move the pointer around to collect little jewels called "Star Bits". You can fire these bits at enemies to stun them, or at friendly Luma's to feed them until they transform into other useful places and items. The only other Wii motion sensitive control is a small shake of the controller, which makes Mario perform a spin attack. This attack is very responsive and rarely fails in a time you need it. The other controls are simple button presses that nobody should have trouble using or understanding if you've played Mario 64.
The story behind Super Mario Galaxy is rather poor to be truthful, but Nintendo is always known for poor cliche stories. The Princess is taken away by Bowser (as usual), but this time Bowser is taking her into deep space. Mario discovers a strange observatory led by a woman and many star-like creatures called Luma's. He must collect the Power Stars once more if he wishes to save Princess Peach.
The story itself is unengaging but provides an acceptable platform into this platformer. If you want more story, you can visit the in-game Library and read a story about how the Observatory came to be there. This backstory is mildly interesting and helps save the story from being a complete flop.
The Graphics for Galaxy are the best graphics in Mario history and on the Wii for that matter. While they may not be Resistance: Fall of Man quality they are still aesthetically pleasing and are nothing to complain about. From an artistic standpoint, they are downright amazing!
The sounds of Mario Galaxy are mainly Mario screaming "Wahoo", or clear ringing of you collecting and firing star bits. The music playing the background is usually cool old-school Mario remixes or the occassional new song that is extremely catchy.
The REAL thing you are asking is "How is the gameplay?", well, the gameplay is fun and addictive but not quite perfect. My biggest complaint for this game is that each time you revisit a map, it gives you a linear path to a star. I preferred Mario 64's approach to giving you a big map, and just having a small new thing that leads to a star, but instead the whole level is often rearranged. This doesn't feel anything like a side-scrolling Mario, more like a marathon.
There are several galaxies per areas, some carry multiple stars in them, while others carry one star. The really fun ones are the one star areas because they usually required a little more exploration or a single mini-game such as surfing on a course. These were the real gems.
A new addition to Galaxy that wasn't in the past is the new gravity system. The gravity adds a few fun challenges in which you have to adjust Mario to make sure he doesn't die. The gravity also adds some exploration (which as I said before, is a bit lacking) because he can now go on the bottom of platforms, not just the top. This is a really cool feature!
The Hub World, unlike 64's Castle, is rather small and not hard to figure out. You'll memorize locations in no time and there are no hidden stars here. I preferred again the big area where you could look around, and it would have been wonderful if they could've given us an extra 10 stars to hide around the hub world.
Each Galaxy is a brand new area that has a great somewhat original theme, and it's often worth just seeing where you'll end up next, nevermind playing the levels. The game also features a sort of "multiplayer" mode, which hands over a second remote to a second player so they can collect and shoot stars at enemies, this can be kind of cool as one person can then concentrate on running and jumping while the other makes sure they stay safe.
All in all, Mario Galaxy is worth the purchase, especially since the Wii Library is slightly lacking at the moment. Though I don't see how it won Game of the Year, it's still a great game that you should definitely get.
What are you waiting for? Go out and purchase this game immediately!
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 01/08/08
Game Release: Super Mario Galaxy (US, 11/12/07)
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