Review by Robertp17

"Super Mario Bros. 3 - REBORN!"

Clearly you have seen a lot of these reviews praising this game however this one is different. This one is a review by someone who was hesitant to buy it and how it won over my heart to surpass all other Mario games. In 2002 Super Mario Sunshine came out and I got my Gamecube. While I enjoyed a large portion of the game there were many sections that were simply not fun to play, Bowser Jr. was a rather annoying enemy, and while FLUDD was cool to use it just didn't seem like a true “Mario” game. When I heard about Mario Galaxy I was skeptical. The Galaxy name alluded to a continuation from Super Mario World and the space theme was interesting, but would this game be more "Mario" than the last? As more information on the game came out I got more excited and with Smash Bros. off of the roster for Christmas of 2007 this was all I was asking for. On that day I was not disappointed.

The story of this game is classic. Princess “Peach” Toadstool is kidnapped by Bowser and the only way to get her back is to acquire the aid of another princess named Rosalina who can help him get to the center of the Universe. To do this she needs to power her observatory with several Grand Stars which of course were taken by Bowser and his 8th child, Bowser Jr. Thus Mario begins his quest to collect stars in different galaxies to get the chance to fight Bowser or his child's minions for the Grand Stars and hopefully rescue the Princess once again.

The most important aspect of any Wii game is how it controls and Mario is no exception. Overall Mario's controls are as precise as they have always been and the Wii functionality will make you shake and move your controllers when going back to play his earlier adventures. Mario moves via the Nunchuck's joystick and he spins by shaking either the remote or Nunchuck. Star bits can be collected by pointing at them on the screen and can be shot at in the same manner with a simple button press. All other moves are performed with the buttons on the controllers. All of the controls feel natural and very responsive. Being Mario's premiere Wii adventure Nintendo seems to have made sure Mario and motion controls would work well together.

The most innovative thing about this game is the multiplayer. While the second player cannot actually play another character in the game they can use a second Wii remote to collect star bits, hold most enemies, shoot star bits, and make Mario jump. Some star bits in the game are nearly impossible to get without a friend. This allows the second player to feel more connected with the game than simply watching it and it can be incredibly fun coming up with two person strategies on the fly to beat a level.

The graphics are top notch and while not as realistic as Metroid Prime 3, they are by far the most advanced Mario graphics to date. The water, as in all Nintendo games, is beautiful. In fact I would imagine that a chunk of every one of their projects goes to making water look awesome. The characters are well animated and amusing to watch. Everything in the game is clear and easily understandable.

With awesome graphics usually comes awe-inspiring levels but design is another issue. Fortunately, Nintendo comes through yet again with some amazing and engaging worlds to explore. While every world is a sphere the different sizes and contents of each adds a sense of excitement every time a new galaxy is discovered. Hidden galaxies add to the exploration and provide some of the most challenging levels in the game.

Next, let's examine the music and sound effects. The game's composition is incredible and honestly what The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess should have been. Never before have I felt as if I was on such an epic quest in a Mario game. Not only that but it will resonate in your mind long after you have turned the game off. Some of the songs in the game are revisited classics and thus are midis but they are quality files and are great for that nostalgic factor. The sound effects in the game are quite good and pretty much what you would expect. Of course with a game of such length they can get repetitive but never annoying.

The power ups in the game add twists to the levels and are quite interesting. Without trying to spoil everything Bee Mario allows you to fly, Fire Mario allows you to fling a ball of fire with a shake of the remote, Ice Mario can skate and walk on water, Spring Mario can jump incredibly high, and Boo Mario can float and travel through certain barriers. The invincibility star also makes its return. One of the best parts of Super Mario 3 and World was power ups and no Mario game has done it as well as those until now. However, power ups can only be used in the levels they are given and certain classic power ups like the Fire Flower are on a timer. It would be nice to use any power up in any world or even have some in reserve but the restrictions do not take away from the game as it is.

The game's replay value is like most Mario games but with a secret twist this time if you get 120 stars. In general replaying the various levels to find hidden 1ups, star bits and to collect all of the coins takes me back to the NES Marios and is just as fun. The designers put a lot of effort into ensuring that finding every secret on the first play through a level would be next to impossible without combing the level thoroughly. 120 stars will grant you access to a second quest of sorts which you can find out more about elsewhere but which adds a new challenge and spin on this amazing game.

This game is incredibly addictive and engaging. Awesome levels, innovative power ups, the return of several old enemies, fantastic sound and beautiful graphics all add up to an experience not to be missed. If Super Mario 64 was the game of the last century this is the game of the last 2000 years. It has taken over the spot in my heart previously occupied by Super Mario Bros. 3 as my all time favorite. If you are asking whether to buy or rent this game then you clearly have not understood the above review. Run to the store now and buy it.

Overall this game scores a 10/10. While there may be a few things that can be improved upon such as when items can be used and item storage this is not something which negatively affects the gamer's enjoyment of the game and may actually be a benefit as you cannot get stuck in a level simply because you have not acquired an item. Super Mario Galaxy is a fun, exciting adventure and a new, classic addition to the always impressive Mario lineage.

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 01/28/08

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

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