Review by Dustof_DryBones
"You'd think a Mario game set in space would have a sense of discovery..."
You'd think a game set in space would have a sense of discovery, right? Well, you're wrong. Aside from the effect of black holes and the effect gravity has on a long jump between small asteroids, you won't be able to engage your sense of discovery that made Super Mario 64 a success. Instead, most of the time, you'll be practically forced to go to a specific area, clear a puzzle or beat an easy boss, grab the star and repeat this around 120 times. However, this doesn't sound as painful as it seems. Some of the levels or bosses you beat are actually enjoyable, but for the most part, it'll feel more like a chore than a video game. This review is split into seven sectors: story, gameplay, graphics, music/sounds, difficulty, replay value and the final conclusion.
The Star Festival, held every one hundred years, comes to a quick stop when Bowser decides to attack Toad Town and kidnap the princess by lifting her castle to the center of the universe. Mario somehow finds himself on a sacred planet where a species known as Lumas guide Mario to their mama, Princess Rosalina. The princess offers Mario to team up with her so they can restore star power to Rosalina's observatory and keep life to the Lumas to then fly off and rescue Mario's "special one." The story feels more like a feast of enhanced parts from other stories from past Mario games like Super Mario Bros. 3 (seen as the airships are back with the associacted theme music) and Paper Mario (since the story starts out at Toad Town and the castle is, oddly enough, lifted into space for the second time.) The game also comes with a completely optional sidestory looking into the backstory of Princess Rosalina. Tough the story isn't much and feels quite depressing, it's noteable that the developpers did take the time to explain who Rosalina is and therefor the story earned an extra point for a score of 7/10.
Your objective is to collect Power Stars to restore power to Rosalina's observatory and then rescue Princess Peach. Collecting around 120 Power Stars gets quite repetetive and tiresome once you come to play the game the second or third time around. The game uses the same formula for a lot of different Stars and you'll find that the ones that are the most enjoyable, are almost always the ones that are the most unique. Your controller is based on a Wii Remote attached with a Nunchuk, you control Mario by tilting the Nunchuk's control stick and make him jump by pressing the A button. It reuses the same controls from pass platformes like Super Mario 64 and Super Mario Bros. 3. You also get some more advanced moves such as long jumps and triple jumps to aid the more hardcore players to get around the galaxies quicker. To assist you, comes several retro power-ups and some new ones, 1-ups still give you another man, coins return as a sort of scoring system and alongside these, we have the new ones, such as the Bee Mushroom that transforms Mario into a Bee to then fly around and the Boo Mushroom where Mario transforms into a Boo to turn invisible and pass through certain obstacles. Gravity is a major factor factor in the game, the game is capable of reading and capturing where the player should land if a long jump between two small asteroids is being executed. It certainly feels nice to be able to jump from planet to planet without a care, however it gets tiresome very quickly once you realize that not much detail was made on each planet and you have nothing else to do but to jump (or sore) to the next one... over and over again. At any rate the Gameplay is very impressive and still gets its rightful 9/10.
The graphics are stunning especially for the Nintendo Wii's capacities. This may be the first Mario game in which graphics are a hole-in-one and lead almost no unfinished beauty behind. It still holds its Mario touch, however with its green lush lands and snowy/icy mountains. It may not be entirely realistic (seen as Mario is in space without a helmet) but certainly brings admiration to your eyes. Graphics obtain a 10/10.
Each galaxy, in this game, holds its own beautiful, orchestrated music. It's a mixture of happy joy-filled xylophone beats for green lushes and choir-inspired tones for the game's final boss. You will find some intense, epic music here and there and some wind instruments making up a wind-inspired galaxy's music. There will definately be one creation in this game that your (or your child) will enjoy. Sound effects are also very good, in this game. They jump from cheerful once you gained a new power-up to dreadful once it's Game Over for you. Music and Sound are one of the best atributes of the game and deserves 10/10.
Games that are difficult through the entire run fail this segment. Those that are too easy through out the run, also fail this segment. The whole point of this section is to see if the game can adapt to player's in-game experience by starting out easy and finishing with some difficult tasks once the players have adapted, near the end. Hardcore platformers will be disappointed by the game's difficulty as it's just too easy to finish. Indeed, the game is easy, pretty much through out the enitre run, there are some missions in the game that are harder then others, but they are neglected as they are very tedious and the player can just ignore these missions and still see the game's ending with only 50% of the full experience completed. In the positive side, children will be delighted to see that they can finish off the game without too much trouble, by their own. The overall difficulty gets 7/10, leaning towards 6/10.
Replay Value: 2/10
The game consists of no replay value what-so-ever, the experience of the game is only good through the first run (roughly 100% completed.) Once you try for a second or third one, the fun suddenly... vanishes. It's boring to know exactly what's coming and games like these usually have a good amount of free-will given to the player, so that they can do whatever they please. That isn't the case for Super Mario Galaxy. The game gives you a direct path to take in order to finish the game and it absolutely feels more like a chore then an actual video game, despite the first run being so amusing... oddly enough. Relay Value is given a 2/10, the 2 is for the cutscenes you may want to rewatch, at the beginning.
Despite being unreplayable, you will have a lot of fun through your first run. I would absolutely buy the game if I were you, (or maybe rent it if you're too worried about the whole replay value thing) it's fun, beautiful, engaging and it's a fresh experience. And for all those reasons, plus every point I made out in my review, the game earns an overall score of 9/10.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 06/29/09
Game Release: Super Mario Galaxy (US, 11/12/07)
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