Review by pikachupwnage

"This adventure is so great it takes a whole universe to contain it!"

Like always in the first 5 minute of the game Bowser kidnaps peach and this time though he takes her not to his castle but to the center of the universe. Mario meets the adorable lumas and with their help must rescue the princess and the entire universe from Bowser. One of the new characters has an interesting but 100% optional back-story, which I thought was a nice touch as it satisfies those who wish for more story, yet doesn't force it upon those who don't care about the story.

The games hub the comet observatory though lacking the massive size of peach's castle or delfino plaza is also easier to navigate and more lively with plenty of toads and lumas everywhere. Unfortunately Bowser attacked the observatory and its power source the power stars where scattered across the universe and Bowser has most of them. Luckily there is enough power left to send Mario to the nearest galaxy where he can collect more stars.

Like super Mario 64 you must hunt down 120 power stars except instead of Jumping into paintings and walls and exploring the worlds inside you explore entire galaxies! And instead of exploring looking for secrets this game is more linear then super Mario 64 though there is still exploring.

As you collect these stars more and more of these galaxies are available to explore. Early galaxies are simpler and comprised mostly of small spherical planets with simple tasks for you to do before moving on so you can get used to the games new mechanics. The further in the game you get the more challenging, creative and unique with most of the galaxies in this game being like nothing you have ever seen before in a Mario game.

Many of these galaxies (especially early ones) consist primarily of small circular planetoids. What is so great about the levels or “galaxies” being dived into planets and planetoids is that unlike super Mario 64 when you return to a level for another star you rarely cross over the same planets and when you do they are often highly altered making each star completely unique from the last one. However a consequence of this is that this game is more linear then previous 3D Mario games though there is still some of exploring. Deviating from the normal path often rewards you with a 1up or a hidden star. While most levels are linear with those occasional hidden secrets some galaxies are more like super Mario 64 levels because you mainly explore 1 Massive planet.

The Level variety is infinite and you can find your self climbing mountains, manipulating gravity, fighting robots, exploring a haunted mansion, exploring a armada of dreadnaughts, trying to escape a volcanic eruption, racing penguins or doing practically any other task you could possibly think off.

Sometimes the game switches to a 2 dimensional perspective. These areas play out in a similar manor to new super Mario bros and are a nice change of pace. Then again the whole game is a nice change of pace because of the games incredibly diverse levels.

Sometimes a comet will appear over a galaxy. If you go to that galaxy there will be a new challenge awaiting you. These “comet missions” are often very difficult and provide most of the games challenge.

The infinite variety of levels and even the variety within levels will leave you awestruck. Levels aren't just the traditional desert water and fire levels this game is much more complex and diverse then that. You will encounter levels composed entirely out of toys, levels that build themselves as you go along, levels That blend fire and ice together and much more. And of course there are plenty of levels, which use gravity the fullest. No longer do you just jump from platform to platform. You will find yourself running on ceilings and walls, scrambling to avoid getting sucked into black holes as gravity constantly changes, using Mario's abilities to break free from a planetoids gravity and much more. Super Mario galaxy is constantly coming up with new ways to use gravity.

Even with this dynamic use of gravity the camera still is remarkably consistent and rarely will it give problems.

To deal with enemies Mario has a new attack, the spin attack. This seemingly simple addition is incredibly important. Not only can it be used to defeat enemies that cannot be defeated by stomping them but it also be used to gain extra time in the air which is useful for saving yourself if you mess up a jump.

Of course no Mario game would be complete without Enemies, items and bosses and this game has plenty of those. Classic enemies like boos goombas and piranha plants appear side by side with dozens of new enemies.

Bosses in this game tend to be gargantuan and they are like nothing before seen in the Mario series. Unlike previous Mario games just jumping on their heads or punching them isn't enough. Each boss is completely different from the next and has a unique method to defeat them.

There are plenty of power ups in this game including some new ones like the Bee suit. This strange and fun power up allows you to fly until your flight meter runs out and you can climb honeycomb walls though if you are hit by an enemy or touch water you lose the bee suit. There's also the classic fire flower and a mushroom that turns you into a boo! There are quite a few other power ups as well.

Coins, which since super Mario 64 have been used to restore health, take a back seat to star bits (though they still are common just not as common). Star bits when 100 are collected give you an extra life but that's not there main purpose. Star bits are used to feed hungry lumas and can be shot at enemies to stun them. And it's easy to collect them just use the wii remote to point at them and they're yours.

In fact this game makes extensive and creative use of the pointer. You can use it to collect star bits, as well as aim cannons. However the main use for the pointer is for pull stars. Pull stars when you point and click on them they pull you towards them. You can use them to travel through space or even use them as makeshift catapults as with good timing and distance you can launch yourself hundreds of feet.

And yet despite the incredible diversity in enemies, areas, items, controls and gameplay mechanics new players won't be overwhelmed. Controls are simple and the game is easy to learn though difficult to master.

The Graphics in this game are amazing and it shows as you explore vibrant galaxies in glorious 60 FPS (frames per second) with zero slowdown. The games soundtrack is just as glorious and features plenty of remixes and new tunes alike.

And though you would think such a long game would cost a lot of money it doesn't. This game is part of the Nintendo selects program and costs only 20$. That's incredible bang for your buck.

The round up

Story 10/10
Gameplay 10/10
Controls 10/10
Graphics 10/10
Replay value 10/10
Value 10/10

Overall 10/10

Playtime is about 10 hours to make it to the final boss and 30+ to 100% complete the game

Pros

One of the most unique and innovative platformers of all time
The gravity mechanics in this game are mind blowing.
Fantastic graphics
Great music
Fantastic value
Many fun power ups
Diverse and sprawling levels
Completionists will get many hours out of this game.
Easy to learn difficult to master
6 files means the whole family (unless you have a big family) can have their own file

Cons

The camera occasionally gives problems though is rarely more then a minor nuisance
No yoshi

Conclusion

What really sets this game apart from the rest of the Mario games is the gravity. The game uses this 1 mechanic in so many different ways it is mind blowing. This is more then a game it's a work of art. If you don't own this game buy it. This game is worth buying a wii just to play it.


Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 10/17/11, Updated 11/04/11

Game Release: Super Mario Galaxy (Nintendo Selects) (US, 08/28/11)


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