Review by ultimatedorkboy

"Super Mario Episode III: Galaxy"

Ha…ha… You might be wondering what Episodes I and II were? Well, Episode I is 64 (Super Mario 64) and Episode II is Sunshine (Super Mario Sunshine). Well, anyway when Super Mario Galaxy was first announced, I was in absolutely elated to hear that our favorite video game plumber is having his next, greatest adventure in space. I then realized that this game is going to be awesome. When I got this game back in September and played through the whole thing, it's just not awesome, it's (in homage to Family Guy) FREAKIN AWESOME!

Gameplay: 9/10
The gameplay for Galaxy feels very similar to Mario 64 or any other platforming game. Just like in Mario 64, you have to go to different worlds to collect power stars but the different worlds are the numerous galaxies throughout the game. Most of the galaxies aren't like the large, open worlds of 64. Instead, the galaxies are split up into smaller planets for you to run around on but there are also large open landmasses that serve as one whole galaxy. One new intriguing thing Mario can do in the game is shoot these little colored bits of rock thingies called star bits. Star bits can be used to attack and stun enemies but you must collect a lot if you want to collect all 120 stars but don't worry though, star bits are very easy to find and pick up.

A lot of old-school Mario gameplay mechanics return such as secret bonus rooms, warp pipes, power ups, 1-ups, classic enemies, and bosses. The power-ups in this game are interesting. Some classic power ups that are in Galaxy are Fire Mario and Rainbow Mario (Starman/Invincible). There are new power ups in the game such as Bee Mario and Boo Mario. The new power-ups are very intricate but some of them can be a little annoying to use (such as controlling them) and some power ups last a limited time (cough… Fire Flower… cough). Bosses in galaxy have taken an interesting turn in Galaxy. In my opinion, Galaxy seemed to have a plethora of bosses in a Mario game unlike any other Mario game I have ever played in my life. The bosses aren't too hard and they are very unique and balanced from each other.

Mario still has the power meter from 64 and Sunshine, but for some reason, he has only three health units though you can temporarily increase them to 6. Despite this, the difficulty in this game is reasonably challenging and balanced. The game will start out easy but will slowly get difficult later on as some of the stars could be grueling and strenuous to get. Despite the fact that Mario can die easily, you can get 1-up's very easily and with that fact, this game will be easier for the Mario veterans and even for beginners.

Story: 7/10
The story for this game is very similar from past Mario games. Bowser kidnaps Princess Peach and Mario has to set out on a quest in space to kick Bowser's ass and rescue Peach. At the same time, Bowser wants to have absolute rule over something as in the game's case; he wants to rule over the entire Galaxy of space alongside Peach. When Mario arrives in space, he meets a mysterious woman named Rosalina who watches over these little, cute star-like creatures called Lumas. From that point, Mario goes around the Galaxy to collect power stars. Mario has to collect a certain amount of power stars to reach Bowser's hideout and rescue Peach. In my opinion, this plot seems somewhat odd and doesn't really fit in a Mario game; however, I do admire the “Mario in Space” thing and have to admit that's freakin awesome. Overall, the plot isn't all that bad for a Mario game but honestly, I can't really think of a Mario game having an intricate and brilliant plot.

Controls: 8.5/10
For this game, you use the usual Wiimote/Nunchuck combination. The controls for this game are very easy to use and understand. Press A to jump, B to shoot star bits, and shake the Wiimote to spin Mario. I think the Mario spinning thing is an interesting addition to this game. Apart from stunning and attacking enemies, spinning can also be used to correct your jumps or give you a jump boost in mid-air. One example of this is double jumping to a high platform but you spin Mario so that he manages to grab the ledge. What makes me glad about Galaxy is that it really utilizes the Wii's motion sensor controls. When playing, this little star icon will appear that you can move with the Wiimote. The icon can be used to grab star bits or activate certain power ups.

Galaxy also let you use the Wiimote and move it a certain way to get some stars. Two examples of this are the “Rolling Ball” and “Ray Surfing”. Both of these two things seemed like interesting concepts for a Mario game but how to control them is just plain annoying. To control the ball, you have to put the Wiimote in an up position and lightly tilt it in any direction. For Ray Surfing, you aim the remote at the TV but you must tilt the remote to the left or right to control Ray. Both of these control set ups are somewhat annoying to use but with some practice and patience, you can get used to them. Other than that, the controls for Galaxy are fine.

Graphics: 10/10
Nintendo hasn't been really known to develop beautiful, rich, and detailed graphics like the PS 3 or 360 but the graphics in Galaxy is a different story. The graphics in this game are probably the best I've seen in a Wii game. All the galaxies that Mario explores are rich, vibrant, colorful, and exploding with detail. The game also has movie sequences. The movie scenes are amazing to watch and the graphical power of the scenes are amazing (the game's ending is an excellent example of this.) Galaxy really utilizes the Wii's graphics to its fullest potential.

One annoyance about the technical graphics in this game is the camera. You can't really control the camera the way you want to. A couple examples of this are that you want the camera to come one way but the game makes the camera go another way. Another example is that if you want to gaze at something through first-person view, you have to push the view button several times or move Mario in a different spot to make this to work. At some points in the game, Mario will walk side ways and upside down in some galaxies and planets. I find Mario walking zero-gravity cool but the camera once again could get screwy at some points. It's very hard to adjust the camera if Mario is upside down or sideways which proves to be an irritant.

Music/Sound: 10/10
The music is this game is just simply incredible and literally out of this world. I'm glad that Nintendo decided to utilize an orchestra to play out the music and create a spectacular soundtrack. All of the music fits perfectly throughout the whole game. Listening to the music really fits the mood of the “outer space” theme of the game. Though, some people might not find the music addicting and memorable as past Mario games, and some songs can be a bit boring while some others can be majestic. Galaxy's music isn't as catchy and simple as Mario 64 but it's still a great soundtrack.

Galaxy also includes other classic Mario music and tunes such as “Super Mario Bros World 1-2 Underground music”, the “Super Mario Bros 3 Wild and Crazy Music” (take World 1-2 of the game for example), “SMB 3 Airship theme”, the “Star man invincible tune” (sounds a lot like the Wing cap theme from 64), “Bowser in the Dark World (SM 64)”, and even the classic “World 1-1” tune makes a appearance. Listening to these pieces of music bring back fond memories of the past Mario games.

The sound effects in this game are at about average. Many Mario fans will recognize the traditional sound effects such as the “Coin Ching”, “Mario entering the warp pipe” sound, and the little ”boing” when Mario double jumps. Many of the sound effects all sound wacky and cartoony but after all, it's a Mario game.

Voice work in this game is also at average. There isn't much speaking among the characters in the game but the lack of vocal dialogue seems to work in Mario game. I'm not sure how many people would want actual full blown talking in a Mario game. Since Mario 64, Charles Martinet returns to voice our favorite plumber. While he doesn't say the classic line at the beginning of 64, Mario yells the game's title which I find amusing. Peach's voice sounds okay and Bowser making grunts and growls to talk is just simply hilarious.

Replay: 9/10
Like Mario 64, you don't have to collect all 120 stars to beat the game but the game will give you a nice reward if you manage to collect all 120. The game also offers some other rewards apart from getting all 120 stars but I rather not say anything to spoil it. There are also certain stars which will require you to revisit a certain galaxy to obtain the star. Playing through the galaxies are so interesting, it'll want to make you run through the galaxies again just for fun. For how much stuff you have to do and the fun that this game offers, you'll find yourself wanting to play this game again and again for ages to come.

+ Awesome graphics.
+ Spectacular music.
+ The space theme is really cool.
+ The new power-ups are cool ideas.
+ Reasonable difficulty.
+ Logo is hilarious
+ Old-school Mario gameplay mechanics
+ Yay for more bosses!

-WTF?!! Why the hell does Mario only have three health bits?!
-The camera is screwy in some points of the game.

Rent or Buy:
If you love Mario/Nintendo, then you should DEFINITELY buy this game! It'll be worth your money and I can assure that you won't be disappointed!

Honestly, Super Mario Galaxy is one of the best games on the Wii out there today. Hell, I even regard it as one of the greatest games of 2007. Galaxy is one of the finest Mario titles Nintendo has released in years. You can't go wrong with this game. You'll never find a better game that's as good and epic as Galaxy for the Wii.

Gameplay: 9/10
Story: 7/10
Controls: 8.5/10
Graphics: 10/10
Music/Sound: 10/10
Replay: 10/10

Score: 8.9/10
Final Score (based on the average): 9/10 (Outstanding: Very enjoyable and engrossing. Almost perfect.)

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 12/05/08

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

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