"Mario Returns"

Super Mario Galaxy, the long awaited return of mustachioed Italian Plummer has returned for his next-generation debut on the Nintendo Wii. The wait for Mario's Next-generation debut is over. The review will be separated into 5 parts, graphics, gameplay, sound, replayability and some minor quips about the game

Wow, this game is graphically the best looking Wii game yet and ranks up there with Metroid Prime 3 in terms of graphics, the effects are spectacular that feature lush colorful gravity defying interactive environments. The level of detail in every object, enemy, or background is incredibly detailed and really screams next-gen, moreover I was especially pleased with the realistic looking effects of water or even lava. Every level is meticulously detailed right down to everything and integrates well into the level design, even better one galaxy has a backdrop from the original Super Mario Brothers. Some Galaxy's are so beautifully detailed thats its practically a work of art. Whether you have an HDTV or Standard definition the graphics will simply put you in awe with incredible amount of detail. The sheer variety of different environments and the level of detail really shows what the Wii is really capable of, despite being substantially less powerful than the Xbox 360 or Playstation 3 the graphics are on par with what gamers come to expect with next-generation games.

The gameplay and the integration of Wii remote is very easy to pick up, you can shake the Wii remote and make Mario spin in order to kill enemies, also the collection of Star Bits by simply pointing at them is a clever idea since most of them are in inaccessible areas. Super Mario Galaxy is meant to be a single player experience, however a second player can jump in and help collect star bits or simply point and click at enemies which freezes them making for an easy kill. This is also helpful in boss fights as having someone help you can really make the fight a lot easier than it normally is. The controls work flawlessly most of the time, however there are rare moments in which some commands can be unresponsive, This is the culmination of every platform game ever made and really brings back that wow factor . The level design is genius, instead of planets each level consists of small planetoids which essentially are floating puzzles and Mario must jump to each separate one in order to complete the galaxy . The number of explorable galaxies is quit enormous, despite this it never gets repetitive even you return to a previous galaxy to collect a star, the level plays differently and you go to previously unexplored ares. Some levels can be challenging but not to the point of frustration that makes you want to quit. Some of Mario's powerup's can be frustrating to use but never really to the point of altering game play.

The sound effects on this game really good, also there are a lot of familiar Mario tunes which are sure to bring back nostalgia. The music is really a delight to hear and it fits in with the style of gameplay. Some sounds can get repetitive or annoying but this a minor quip that does not detract from gameplay. The sound is some of the best I've ever heard in a Mario Game.

Even if you beat the game's requirement of collecting over 50 stars, you can go back and collect all 120 of them. The new challenges that await really add to the replayability especially with the integration of comets into certain galaxies. These comets alter the gameplay as having Mario start with limited health, faster enemies, or even a race against a doppleganger Mario really add a new twist to the gameplay elements. It can take 12 hours to beat, however the sheer amount of returning to galaxies to collect stars will have you playing this game for weeks even months.

Minor Quips
Some of Mario's suits especially the Bee Suit, Icemario, and Spring Mario are sometimes hard to use especially in boss fights and disappear when Mario hits water. The other is the Fireflower, the staple of Mario games is now timed and doesn't last as it did in the original Super Mario Brothers. I can't even to begin to name areas where the fireballs could have been useful. Another is the Story, some elements just don't tie in and iin some cases non-existent plus some elements of it feel like a children's book and is just plain silly.

Despite some minor complaints this is the quintessential game and is already on its to way to becoming an instant classic. If you own a Wii I strongly urge you to get this game you will not be disappointed with it.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 11/28/07

Game Release: Super Mario Galaxy (US, 11/12/07)

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