Review by Midnarules
"Phenomenal doesn't even begin to describe this game.."
Space. The final frontier.. Mario has conquered it, and with ease too. Mario Galaxy is one of the best games to ever exist. Never from Nintendo have I seen this level of flawlessness.
Graphics: Easily and by far the best graphics on Wii, even challenging some of the high-def consoles. From start to finish, the graphics amaze and astound. One of my favorites for graphics is lava levels. A heat haze covers the entire level, bits of glowing ash and debris fly across the screen, the steam coming from vents in the floor distorts the surrounding environment.. Simply incredible. But the most impressive moments are when you are flying through space after using one of the many launchers. Mario often flys right beside the camera, allowing you to see just how much detail they put into his clothes and hat. His hair even blows behind him in the wind as he flies.
Sound: The best ever to be in a Nintendo game, and I think the best video game music ever. All the music is performed by a 50-piece orchestra, and I simply can't stress how much it adds to the game. Some tunes are simple and sombre, some sweeping majesties that take your breath away. There are some remixes of old tunes, such as the Airship Theme from Super Mario Bros 3. And it made me grin so much when I heard the violins, trumpets, and drums that play this piece so well. But it's the new composures that really stand out. My favorite overall has to be the theme that plays when the credits roll. Obviously I won't spoil it for you, but I actually cried at it. I can't help but think that if Galaxy had the same boring, lacklustre themes of Sunshine, the game would be much worse. It's that good.
Gameplay: This is undoubtedly the most important part of any game, and I am glad to say that Galaxy has some of the most genius gamplay I have ever witnessed. Because Galaxy is set in space, this allows for a whole new dimension of gameplay, because often Mario can walk upside down, and even backwards on planetoids, and can sometimes even jump from one planet to the other. But while these are quite linear, there are plenty of large planetoids that allow for the same exploration feel that you had in Mario 64. A simple shake of the Remote does a spin, which can be used to break things and attack enemies. The pointer is used to collect Star Bits, whcih can be fired at enemies and used to unlock hidden galaxies. Mario's jumps are flawless in execution only ever using 1 or 2 buttons. The Long Jump is back, you can Backflip, Triple Jump, and Side Somersault, never using any more than A and Z. Also Pull Stars are activated by pointing and pressing A, drawing Mario towards them, as a way of traversing space. An example of a larger level: One stage has you riding tornados in the desert to climb a tower where a star awaits. Some levels even have a combination of flat and round terrain. Galaxy has more power-ups and items that any Mario platformer to date. Bee Mario lets you fly, land on clouds and flower petals, and climb honeycomb walls. However, water turns Mario to normal. Boo Mario lets you float and pass through certain walls, but bright light puts an end to your powers by turning you to normal. Fire Mario returns, but with a time limit, and Ice Mario lets you skate over water and lava, but also has a time limit. Spring Mario lets you bounce extra-high, and the standard invincibility star does what it usually does. However, there's one hidden power-up I won't spoil.. In short, the level design is genius, which very gently pushes you along to the next part, but never makes it too obvious. The camera works very well, and I can list the amount of times I had a bad angle on one hand. There are many hidden areas, often containing 1-ups or power-ups.
Story: Bowser kidnaps Peach. SHOCK HORROR! Anyway, he invades during the Star Festival, celebrated every hundred years because of the passing of a comet. He rips Peaches' castle into space, and a Magikoopa blasts Mario to a small planet far away, where he meets Rosalina. She owns a spaceship thingy that needs Power Stars to work, but unfortunately Bowser has stolen the lot, and you need to get them back so you can chase him. You can guess the rest. The ending however, is not so traditional and is actually one of the darker endings to a Mario game. But obviously I won't spoil it for you..
Overall Comments: This has got to be one of the best games ever made. Everything is flawless, and the amount of times that the game makes you grin, gasp or gape with pure disbelief at the genius are too many to count. The difficulty is not too hard, not too easy, and overall you can expect to get around 50 hours or more out of this game if you want to get every star, and almost 100% of people will want to replay most levels, and some will even want to start all over again.
Reviewer's Rating: 5.0 - Flawless
Originally Posted: 01/16/08
Game Release: Super Mario Galaxy (EU, 11/16/07)
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