Review by ABXInferno

"One of the best games created by man."

Super Mario Galaxy 2 is among the very best games ever created by man. If you've been on the fence about buying this game, read no more. Go out and buy this game right now and I assure you it will some of the best 30 dollars you've ever spent. Still not convinced? Then read on.

Super Mario Galaxy 2 was announced at E3 2009 and back when it was first announced, I was skeptical. Galaxy had been released just a year and a half earlier. Was it too soon for a Galaxy sequel? It was released less than a year later and the moment I took control of Mario, I knew I was in for a treat. I got lost in the many worlds, galaxies and planets and never did I remember that I had been on a similar adventure just two and half years earlier - that's just how good Galaxy 2 is. It feels so fresh and new, with twists and clever tricks added in on a regular basis, yet it also remembers its roots and doesn't stray too far away. The end result of this carefully balanced equilibrium? My favorite video game of all time. Period.

PRESENTATION
Galaxy 2 is a beautiful game by any standards. With colorful worlds and fluid animation, the EAD Tokyo team has clearly done their homework and pushed the Wii's capabilities to its limits. Even if it doesn't play in HD, you can still be entranced by the worlds that this massive adventure takes place in. This game is one of those things that prove that third-party developers don't try hard enough to make great Wii games.

Galaxy 2 also boasts some of the most impressive tracks in Mario's history. There are some tracks that have been reused from older games, but for the most part its completely fresh and new, with way more orchestrated and studio recordings of songs than Galaxy. The tunes are catchy and the team has done a great job fitting the tunes to the levels and they have to be commended.

STORY
Mario games have never been about the story and Galaxy 2 is more proof of it. It intentionally forgets what happened in the original and starts anew. Mario is invited by Peach to eat some cake and watch the stars and then the game gives you control in a 2D plain. Along the way meets his old Luma buddy from Galaxy, learn new moves, break crystals and talk to Toads all around. The game then puts you in a full 3D plain as you approach the castle, but then you find a giant Bowser wreaking havoc with Peach in his hands. He tells you that you're too late and then zooms off with Peach. As you approach the castle, Mario is greeted by 2 Lumas, one of which transforms into a Launch Star to help you give chase to Bowser.

It's not much of a story and it serves as bookends to the adventure. Those who've expected Nintendo to have a cinematic storyline in Mario games will be disappointed, but then you're dumb in the first place for expecting a cinematic story in a Mario game - Mario's not about that.

GAMEPLAY
This is what Mario is all about and it delivers especially well. The team over at Nintendo have done a phenomenal job and if there was an Emmy for game development, they should get it. In a nutshell, here's whats so great about Galaxy 2: expertly choreographed level design, an arsenal of fun powerups, smooth and fluid controls, meticulous attention to detail, hundreds of collectibles to keep you hooked and much much more.

LEVEL DESIGN
Nintendo has always excelled at level design and the momentum keeps on going with Galaxy 2. This is some of the best level designs I've ever seen in any video game. The levels are carefully choreorgaphed and deliver challenge to those who want it and help those who don't. There's no huge difficulty spike anywhere except at one point in the game, but you'd have to be expert to reach that point anyway and the team has done an excellent job - the game trains those who need help with the hint TV tips and the Cosmic Guide, slowly taking off the training wheels and tasks experts to their limits if they're willing to take it up.

Galaxy 2 doesn't stop there. There's so much to do in every level and every level adds a fun new twist or makes you think twice about an old one. For example, there's a sand bird you need to travel on that disappears when hit with Magikoopa magic and there's another that requires you to spin your Wiimote to make different colored platforms retract and pop out. Nothing ever feels old in Galaxy 2 and since every world only has 2-3 stars for your first time through, you'll never get bored of the environments.

CONTROLS
Galaxy 2 controls basically the same as the original. With the exception of the added powerups, Galaxy 2 has exactly the same controls. The C-stick on the Nunchuk controls Mario, A is jump, Z is crouch, B is shoot Star Bits, point is collect Star Bits and spin is well, spin. It's one of the best combos I've seen in a Wii game - the developers make good use of the Wiimote but overuse it. The controls feel smooth and fluid and there's none of the glitches or bugs in platforming that you might find in games such as Epic Mickey. For the most part, this is a completely glitch-free experience.

REPLAY VALUE
Super Mario Galaxy 2 is a game with tons to do. I'm not going to post any spoilers, so here's the lowdown: rest assured that this game has much more to do. It's over twice as big with a lot of replay value, especially adding in the new Comet Medal collectibles. The game has tons to do and will keep you hooked for months, especially with the final galaxy (you will cry).

CONCLUSION
Galaxy 2 is an excellent game and among the very best ever created by man. There's some carefully choregraphed level designs, beautiful worlds and a whole ton of replay value to be found in this disc. I have only a few nagging issues with Galaxy 2, such as the lackluster story, but none are big enough to sway anyone's decision. If you love platformers or just bought a Wii, you have no choice. You simply must own this game.

FINAL SCORE - 9.95/10
+ Amazingly choregraphed level designs with a strikingly difficult-to-maintain balance being balanced.
+ Smooth, responsive and fluid controls that make platforming and jumping a breeze.
+ Impressive sound and visual quality that set a new bar of standard for Wii and video games in general.
+ A mountain of things to do that will keep you hooked for months.
+ Better than the original in almost every way.


Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 02/27/12, Updated 11/06/13

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


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