Review by MidgardDragon99
"This is why we love Mario, why we love platformers, and why we love video games."
The original Super Mario Galaxy is (or was) perhaps my favorite game of this generation. You can take your Halos, Call of Duties, and Bayonettas and keep them, I'd rather hop around as the cute little plumber all day before firing a single shot from a virtual gun. I was very hopeful that they could top the first in Galaxy 2, but I had my doubts that they could. Then I sat down to play it and have barely stopped since.
Graphics - 10/10
"But how can a Wii game get a 10 in graphics? Those aren't realistic!"
Exactly, they're not meant to be realistic. They chose a beautiful art style that is *not* realistic and yet it still looks better than every Uncanny Valley trodding "realistic" looking game I've ever seen. How did they achieve this? Because they focused on making it look good instead of making it look real. Other games could learn a lesson here, we would've had far less "block people" 3D games on the N64 and PS1 if the developers of those games had focused on making the graphics look good instead of making them 3D.
Story - N/A
I say N/A because it's just that, Not Applicable. The story in this game is not why anyone is playing it, but you know the basics already: Bowser kidnaps princess, Mario sets out to save her, friends and allies show up along the way, Mario saves the day, the end. While the first game made an admirable attempt to include a story in a non-RPG Mario game, it wasn't so great that I'm going to terribly miss it.
Gameplay - 10/10
How could this not get a 10? Every moment of this game is a joy to play. The controls are great, the camera almost instinctively goes where you want it to, and it is perhaps the most complex, fun 3D Mario platformer ever made. Even the motion controls, which will get some flack for being *gasp* motion controls, are implemented in such a way so as to never give you trouble unless you're just not paying attention to the instructions you're given for how to use them. Yoshi is a welcome addition, and while perhaps underutilized every level designed around his mechanics and powerups are great. The powerups for Mario that return are the fire flower, spring, boo suit, and bee suit. New powerups that have been added are Cloud Mario, Drill, and Rock Mario, all of which are always pleasurable to play with and implemented in the most creative of ways into the gameplay. Yoshi has his own powerups, too, including the hot dash pepper (which makes him run very fast but less controllable) the bulb flower which turns him into a Yoshi flashlight, and the balloon fruit (which makes him float up like a balloon for a limited time).
Gone is the hub world of the first game, replaced by a Super Mario Bros. 3 style map. But if you want something to play around on, you still get a spaceship in the shape of Mario's face to run around on, which will be populated by more allies and interesting decor as you go along. While the hub world in the first game was not terrible, it certainly left something to be desired when returning to play after a long break and not knowing where to go next. With the map system you will never have that problem again, and it streamlines gameplay in such a way that you get far more fun out of it. The bosses are great in the game, including some returning from Galaxy 1 but many new ones, and a new planet-sized Bowser which you will face off against 3 times (not to mention Bowser Jr. who you face off against several times as well).
Sound - 10/10
The music in this game is epic, sweeping, and majestic. It's simply incredible and must be heard. From remixes of old tunes from Mario's past, to brand new tracks that make your ears perk at the very first note, these are the kinds of video game tracks that are remembered for years to come.
Replay Value - 10/10
This gets a 10 but it's really "continued play value". After you "beat the game" you still have several stars to collect, and a whole new world that opens up. While you might or might not go back to replay stars you've finished on a regular basis, you'll definitely want to finish all 120 stars, and even try a new challenge with 120 more stars after that (hint: they aren't rehashes of previous stars, they're brand new).
Overall - 10/10
If there's a game this generation that deserves a 10/10, it is this one. It never puts a foot wrong and is always presenting new ideas, fun platforming, and incredible sights and sounds. If you buy one Wii game this year, make sure it's this one.
Reviewer's Rating: 5.0 - Flawless
Originally Posted: 06/01/10
Game Release: Super Mario Galaxy 2 (US, 05/23/10)
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