Review by CrazyFox609
A worthy sequel to SM64, yet I was left wanting more.
With just about any entertainment franchise you can think of, venturing into space usually marks the point when the creators have flat out run out of ideas. This, however, is not one of those times. Mario's adventure into space washed the horrid taste of Sunshine away.. yet I can't help but feel like something was missing.
There are sure to be spoilers if you haven't played this yet.
Game-play - An excellent mix of familiar 3D Marion control & Wii pointing/motion. If you've played any of the 3D games, you'll feel right at home. Star bits [usable as a projectile and a sort of currency] can be either collected by running over them like coins or by pointing at them with the wiimote. The galaxies have decent variance to them. Nintendo could have grouped similar areas together to make each area feel more like a true galaxy instead of calling each individual level a galaxy. This doesn't hinder the game at all, but I felt that this was a missed opportunity.
Co-star mode seems almost like an insult the the second player. I don't know anyone who wants to sit there and watch me play the actual game while all they get to do it grab at star bits. Other things that left a sour taste in my mouth were the lack of camera controls. This is a big step backward. You're very limited in positioning the camera & while I understand that full camera control would make certain puzzle situations far too easy, it makes many other aspects [especially swimming] downright frustrating.
Another gripe I had was that once you shut off the game, you lose all of your extra lives. They certainly not hard to come by.. I would have liked to have been able to keep them. I never got a game over when they were taken away, so why even bother taking them away in the first place? I guess the argument goes both ways, though.
I felt that the power-ups could have been handled a little better as well. They're all fun to use, but their appearances are limited only to when and where you need them & usually are taken away immediately after it's use is no longer needed. I would have liked a little more time as fire Mario and ice Mario. Not spring Mario, the controls for that power up needed some work. I died quite a few times when pressing a failed to make the power ups only function work. Very irritating.
Story - Mario has been invited to the Mushroom Kingdom's centennial smash, but Bowser decides to crash the party and steal Peach. This time the Koopa king doesn't want the Mushroom Kingdom, he's out to make his own galaxy with the power of the grand stars. Sorry, Mario.. our princess is in another galaxy.
[Honestly, I don't see why Bowser needed Peach at all. If he had just left her alone he would have been totally successful. BUT, this is a Mario game..]
Mario finds himself coming to the aid of a mysterious woman named Roselina and her "children", the Lumas. It seems their home/starship has lost power & the only way to restore it & save Peach from Bowser's claws are to get back the grand stars.
The story of Roselina and the Lumas does get fleshed out in the library, but it's only optional if you want to hear it. While this is probably a sigh of relief for some, I would have liked to have seen it integrated into the main story. It's not like there's a lot else going on plot wise.
Graphics/Sound - This is the best looking game on the Wii. I hear complaints of textures looking bad upon close inspection, but come on. That is the case for EVERY game. The music in Galaxy is amazing. FINALLY, Nintendo fully orchestrates a game. They have no excuse to not do this in their future [big] titles. The sound design for galaxy is also very well done. Some of the effects were a little cartooney for my taste & Mario's voice has heightened a few octaves over the years, but it's nothing that made me stop playing.
Play Time/Replay Value - The game can be beaten in 60 stats & those can be achieved fairly quickly. There's another 60 or so to go, so I wouldn't exactly call this a long game. Once you've gotten them all, you get to do it all over again as Luigi. He has a different jump height and stopping speed than his bro, but that's not enough for me to warrant a second play through.
Final Recommendation - I don't think you'll be disappointed with Super Mario Galaxy. It's the best Mario game since the N64. However, it is receiving more praise than it deserves. This isn't the best game ever, but It IS one of the best Mario games ever.
You can beat this in a rental period & that honestly is a let down for me. I've been enjoying the Mario games since the 80s & I know in my heart that I will be spending the least amount of time with this one.
Rent? Yes. Buy? If you must.
Rating: 3.5 - Good
Product Release: Super Mario Galaxy (US, 11/12/07)
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