Super Mario Galaxy
Review by TheRedneck14
"Why can't more Wii games be like this?"
The people at Nintendo have done something that almost none of the other developers for the Wii are capable of doing; they made a game that is actually playable. Many other people who bought a Wii right after it came out should be disappointed by the half-assed PS2 Ports, terrible gimmick games, and games that make absolutely horrible use of the Wii Remote that we have had to endure. Hell, the only game before this one that showed what the Wii could really do was Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, but in its own way Super Mario Galaxy has shown just what can be done with a little bit of effort. Lets light this candle.
Although Mario games are not really known for their story [that's Zelda's department with Nintendo], but Galaxy actually had a decent one.
The game starts off with you as our super optimistic little Italian Plumber Mario, and you are going to Princess Peach's Castle for the Star Festival when Bowser suddenly attacks the Mushroom Kingdom with his floating Gunships, and he uses a UFO to rip Peach's castle out of the ground [fans of the first Paper Mario should recognize this], and Mario is launched into Space.
Then, you wind up in a Space Observatory with Rosetta [I'm calling her by the Japanese name because I hate the American one] and the Lumas [baby stars]. Your goal is to find the Power Stars that were taken from the Observatory by Bowser, and use them to go to the center of the Universe and kick Bowser's ass so you can rescue Peach.
It was a decent story, and you can see some beautifully drawn storybook scenes that tell Rosetta back-story.
This is just classic Mario Platforming action at its best. Unlike Super Mario Sunshine you are given a wealth of different Galaxies [levels] to go into so you can collect the Power Stars, there are so many different places like a Beach, a giant bedroom, a Haunted Mansion, and many other places you get to go through in this game. And the adventuring is even better than it was in Super Mario 64. Best of all, some levels got back to the roots of Mario Platforming by making the seem like the 2D worlds of the past games, and those were some of the funnest levels in the entire game.
In the levels, you can get hit three times before you die [a Mushroom doubles that], and you fight by using the Wiimote to launch Star Bits at the enemy, using a spin attack to make them dizzy and then hit them, or just jumping on their skull like Mario used to do. You can also collect powerups like the Fire Flower [shoot fire], Boo Mario [turns you into a ghost], and even weird stuff like Spring and Bee Mario [this should be self explanitory].
And throughout the levels, you are mostly going on a Linear path by running from place to place, or using Pull Stars [you point at them with the Wiimote, and hit a button to have a laser launch you to the star, and you can fly around with them Tarzan style], but it still feels like you get to explore the levels. The levels are all very well designed, and the Boss Battles in some of them are some of the best that a Mario game has ever had.
Unfortunately since Mario is more of a cutesy kiddy game [even though it has some challenging platforming aspects that us older gamers can enjoy] that was meant for everyone to play, it was shockingly easy just to get to the final battle. There are 120 stars but you only need 60 of them to get in there, and most of the stars are amazingly easy to get... well the first half are. Luckily the second half has some really tough stars to find, and you can also play through the game again as Luigi after getting all 120 stars, and you have to get 121 stars as Luigi.
There are also some things that alter the levels known as Prankster Comets, which give you a time limit, make things faster, make you die faster, or make you collect 100 Purple Coins.
There are some tough things in this game, but I bet that a lot of the players will only do the first quarter of the game [since there are 241 stars in total, and you only need 60 to "beat" the game, I count it as a quarter of the game], and that is inexcusable in my mind since I wanted to have a real challenge in this game.
There are three kinds of ways to make controls with the Wiimote, you can cheap out and not really do anything utilizing the Wiimote, you can overdo it and make completely frustrating controls that are overused enough to really tire out your arms, kind of like how bad the controls were in the PS3 game Lair, where you had to use the Sixaxis Tilt to control the game, or you can figure out a good mixture of traditional and motion sensing controls that are easy, and pleasant to use. Thankfully we got the latter for Super Mario Galaxy, the Wiimote is only used where it is necessary, and most of the game is controlled the old fashioned way, but the little things that the Wiimote does make everything so much easier for you to do.
The lazier Devs should take note from Nintendo's example, and figure out good ways to use the Wiimote for once, like this game did.
Again, one of the things that has been plaguing the Wii is that a lot of games look like they belong on the PS1, but for once we are seeing a game that rivals game on the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 in technical, and artistic Graphical quality. And it is proof that even though the Wii is underpowered compared to the other systems, if the Developers take the time to make the damn game look good, it sure as hell can look good on the Wii [Metroid Prime 3: Corruption is another good example of this].
First off, there is a wide variety of gorgeous environments that look like something Pixar would make. From traditional things that these mini-planets contain like deserts, forests, and beaches, there are also nontraditional things like a giant bedroom, a battle cruiser, a haunted house, and a beehive. These levels all look amazing, and even the little things like the lighting, which makes a white glow appear on the edge of everything, to the fur on some things like the Queen Bee in the Honeyhive Galaxy.
There is no denying that Super Mario Galaxy looks great, but it is really a game that you have to see in motion to see how good it looks, and even though it is a cartoony looking game, there is still an undeniable huggable charm in this game.
There is a small amount of voiceover work, and most of it is good, even though it is mostly like the noises you hear when you talk to someone in a Zelda game, and most of the sound effects are good.
But the best part of the sound is the amazing orchestral soundtrack. Yes, instead of digitally made music, we have a full orchestra doing some of the classic songs from Mario games, and some new ones. And after I have beaten the game I still play just to listen to the songs. Another detail that I liked is that the speed of the music can change according to where you are.
Trust me, the only reason the score is not a 10 [for the music alone] is because Mario sounds too much like a hyperactive little kid now, it seems like the voices that Mr. Martinet does just keep getting higher each game, but at least Bowser doesn't sound like a damn pirate again...
The main part of the atmosphere for this game is how lighthearted everything looks; most of the game is just like a very cheerful adventure through the acid trip that makes up Mario's universe. Simply put, everything just feels fun, but there is not enough of a story to really immerse you as I would of liked.
The only Multiplayer in this game is having a friend control the pointer, its not much but it does help you pay more attention to the game and let you do some things easier. But I would of preferred having someone else play as Luigi with you like the old games did.
The main reason to replay this game is to find all 241 of the stars, but as I said above I think most people [I.E casuals] won't bother doing that. The levels are really fun, but it is not as much fun to keep redoing them.
Shows what the Wii can really do, great graphics and music, well designed levels, excellent Wiimote controls, great mixture of old and new Mario Platforming, should light a fire under the ass of the lesser Developers so they will try harder for once.
Mario's higher pitched voice, very easy, half-assed multiplayer.
Should you get it:
Along with Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, and Super Smash Brothers: Brawl, this is one of the games that should be in any Wii owners collection.
This is a great game, and as I have been saying for the entire review it is one of the few Wii games that seems like any real effort went into it. Kudos to Nintendo for giving a damn and proving that it is not just shovelware on the Wii now.
Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 03/13/08
Game Release: Super Mario Galaxy (US, 11/12/07)
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