Review by Austin_4e

"Super Mario Galaxy 2 truly is a blast-off and makes the series shine its brightest."

Introduction:
Super Mario Galaxy 2 is the essence of everything an amazing game should be, pure fun! Super Mario Galaxy 2 manages to always be fresh, challenging, but stay fun and entertaining the whole way through. Super Mario Galaxy 2 also isn't afraid of what it is, a Mario game. It must find ways to surpass that nostalgia that blinds many fans of the long-running series. It does this by incorporating 2-d sections, reviving all those great tunes, keeping iconic symbols, and even remaking some entire levels. It never forgets that it is a Mario game even when introducing one unique element after another. A true sequel that stays true to its roots. The music, level designs, variety, challenge, will suck you in and leave you never wanting to put the controller down

Gameplay:
The gameplay in this game has some of the greatest variety in any platformer I've ever seen. The basic controls are walk, jump, swim, spin attack, ground pound, wall jump. These very basic gameplay mechanics are used with so much variety it is almost unbelievable. Collect the cloud suit power-up and our spin attacks can create platforms right under you. Use the rock suit power-up and spin to become a rolling boulder that smashes enemies and obstacles. Grab a drill and spin to drill to the other side of a planet. Spin to make floors tiles switch places below you, creating fun platforming challenge. Ground pound to hit a switch and slow down time, or freeze a lake. Long jump around an entire planet. Swim in water floating in cubes in outer space. The list of all the variety in challenges and gameplay aspects is astonishing!

I haven't even scratched the level design. Levels include a tons of fun elements such as alternating color floors, folding dark matter lakes, pitch black areas that are lit up by occasional lightning, gravity changing directions on a whim, obstacles changing to a ticking beat, tube planets you can fall forever on, giant sand slides with rolling crushers, cosmic clones that follow your movements, and way too much to list. From spinning platforms, to floating lava balls, to insane 1-hp challenges. I didn't even talk about Yoshi's incorporation yet. Yoshi finally gets a decent position in a 3-d Mario game. He can eat enemies, shoot projectiles back at enemies, use flowers as a grappling point, turn into a floating balloon, run straight up walls at high speeds, and light up invisible paths. Yoshi is a true sidekick this time around. Also Luigi gets a lot more play time this game around, which I won't spoil, but he's very helpful after you get all 120 stars. Not to mention completing a level with Luigi unlocks a sort of "staff ghost race" challenge for that level.

The amount of replay value for this game is also amazing. After you get all 120 stars there is a even bigger reward than just a "replay with Luigi" mode like in Super Mario Galaxy 1. Going back to levels to looks for any missed cosmic coins is fun, and unlocks even more extra challenges. From the original playthrough, to the extra challenges, to the post-completion award, to the staff ghost races. You won't run out of things to do in this game for many hours!

Even with this large section I've barely scrapped the gameplay in this game. Gameplay is a solid 10/10.

Music:
The music in this game is phenomenal. I never thought a game could beat the original Galaxy's soundtrack, but Super Mario Galaxy 2 proved me wrong in the first few levels. Tons of fully orchestrated songs and some amazing remixes of classic Mario music. It is obvious right from the start that extreme attention to the atmosphere was given with the musical selection. Cosmic Cove music has a great mysterious and more space-like feel to it, as opposed to the fast paced rainbow road or tree slide which use a fast-beat super catchy Mario 64 slide theme remix. Bowser levels have a very epic feel to them, with a remixed Mario 64 Bowser level theme now with a choir, the most well-known villain in gaming finally gets an eerie choir. Puzzle Plank theme has very funky kind of upbeat sound to it that fits the cheery theme of the level. The Bowser Jr. level theme has a cheeky kind of childish beat to it, which fits Bowser Jr.'s character perfectly. All in all the music in this game is magnificent and some of the best quality of music in a game. Music is another solid 10/10.

Graphics / Art Style:
Now I judge graphics by the capabilities of the machine the game is played on. On the Wii scale of graphical power Super Mario Galaxy 2 is gorgeous and definitely the most polished game on the Wii to date! The environments are gorgeous and very well-designed. From towers in the background that go up forever, to flower covered planets, to levels made entirely of food items, to decrypted clockworks, all using a wide variety of the color spectrum. One very noticeable and great design choice made is the backgrounds. Super Mario Galaxy 1 used a space background for more than half the levels, and became very dark and dull. Super Mario Galaxy 2 on the other hand uses anything from blue skies, to giant stone towers, to huge outer shells as backgrounds. There is never a moment in Galaxy 2 that seems lacking in bright and fun colors that add to the creative spark of the art direction. This game is beautifully designed and never sees a dull moment. The graphics and art style in this game are another 10/10 for me.

Overall:
This is a game that any Wii owner, Mario lover, or platformer player should play. I could write an essay on the amount of creativity in some of the single levels of the game. The music in this game is performed amazingly by the Super Mario Galaxy Orchestra. The graphics are the best and most well-polished of any Wii game. The art direction is simply fantastic, colorful, and full of that old Mario charm. Now this game is not perfect. Replay value will not last forever, there are some minor graphical glitches with objects in the background, and other minor nuisances such as a few camera angle spots. However no game is perfect and this game deserves the best score that can be given. There is just so much content, variety, and just plain fun to be had that this game could not get anything less.

Super Mario Galaxy 2 is a 10/10.


Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 05/27/10

Game Release: Super Mario Galaxy 2 (US, 05/23/10)


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