Review by gamer_boy997

"Super Mario Galaxy is the greatest game in the universe... well one of them anyway."

Super Mario Galaxy was one of Nintendo's head games of the Wii. It is basically a special 3-D platformer that followed the gameplay of Super Mario 64 and Super Mario Sunshine, only it was brought to the Wii. Did the game live up to its hype, and did it continue the 3-D platformer series well?

The story is somewhat similar to most Mario games, but as usual, there are a few twists thrown in. In this case, Bowser kidnaps Peach as usual, but this time, Mario has to go into space and explore many galaxies and collect power stars to restore power to the observatory and reach Bowser. The same story as usual, but different. There are also some new characters that are introduced to the Mario series in this game, including Rosalina, a mysterious princess, and the Lumas, stars that grow up into galaxies.

The gameplay is similar to Super Mario 64 and Super Mario Sunshine, but it also has its special differences. You have to enter levels, in this case, galaxies, and complete a certain series of steps to find the power stars. There are a total of 120 power stars in the whole game, but you only need sixty to beat the game, which is a little bit of a flaw, but not too major. A majority of the stars have depth when it comes to collecting them, making it quite entertaining. As you collect stars, more galaxies and universes become open in the observatory for Mario to explore.

As you collect stars, you will need to use special power-ups, including a bee costume, in which you can fly, a boo costume, in which you can float and become transparent, and even a spring that makes you bounce up and down. Some are very interesting and new to the Mario series. Some are original as well, like the fire flower, which makes you eligible to throw fireballs.

Sometimes, there are comets soaring around the galaxies. Comets include special challenges like faster enemies, one life only, and even a race against yourself. This is nice, but one flaw is that some starts are basically repeated with one of these challenges, making the 120 stars sound like a smaller number. There are purple comets, in which you have to collect 100 purple coins, which is a unique star on its own, slightly making up for it.

Another interesting thing is that you have only three lives, which is not the case from previous 3-D Mario platformers. However, just about everything takes only one life away. There are a few things that kill you automatically, like ending up in a blackhole, but they aren't very common. There is a special item in which you end up having six lives instead of three temporarily, which helps sometimes and lowers frustration, as they seem to give it to you whenever you need it.

There are many features in this game, some of which are unique in their own way. One of these is that in some levels you can't see anything except for a spotlight that moves. Another is that there may be 100 music notes that appear from a ‘?' coin and you have to collect all of them to have a tune play and a star appear. Interesting features like this are used throughout the game and make the game worth playing.

One thing that this game introduces to the Mario series is star bits. Star bits are very common in this game, and getting fifty of them gives you an extra life. Star bits are also used for other things, like opening up new galaxies and attacking enemies. However, star bits have basically replaced coins, which use to be the common item in Mario games. Coins are somewhat scarce in this game compared to previous Mario games. Usually, coins are everywhere, and collecting 100 gives you an extra life. Now, you have to search pretty hard to find them, and collecting fifty of them gives you an extra life. It's nice that the coins are still there, but star bits have pretty much replaced them. Other items are used in the game as well, including shells, which are used to open up chests and attack enemies.

There are also many bossfights throughout the game as well. Some are quite difficult and are unique in their own little way. Some are very original, which you could say is a bit of a minor flaw, but it isn't really. You can't expect all of Nintendo's bossfights to be completely brand new.

Overall, the gameplay is nice. The will take you awhile to beat, and there are many interesting features, but there are many minor flaws, including a lower number of stars needed, lack of coins, etc. The gameplay is still pretty good, however.

There is a tiny extra multiplayer mode in which a second player can play with you, but it is a bit pointless. All the second player does is collect and shoot star bits, stun enemies, and make Mario jump. It's more of something you would use to get a non-gamer to play with you, but in a way, it's better than no multiplayer mode at all.

The graphics are the best of the Wii. Every single thing is detailed, and puts the Wii to its fullest potential. One very good thing I noticed is that if you walk up to something that reflects its surroundings, it actually reflects its surroundings pretty well. Very good job here, Nintendo!

The sound is clear and standard for the Wii. Everything sounds like what it's supposed to sound like. There aren't any real comments here, except for the fact that it's all normal and there won't be anything that will make you cover your ears.

The music is pretty decent, and fits with its environment very well. Occasionally there is some that is very peaceful to listen to, and some that are a bit catchy. The original Super Mario Bros. theme is used in one level, which shows that Nintendo still cares about there work from a couple decades ago. No real comments here either.

The controls are a little bit complex. The camera system, attacking, use of star bits, and so on all mixed together make a set of controls that take a little bit of time to learn, but are learned within a few minutes. Shaking of the Wii remote is used, but not very often. Pointing to the screen is pretty common, and a little bit repetitive, but it isn't all that bad.

The difficulty is very well done at times, and pretty much all the time you need to try to actually complete the task. There may be a little frustration at times, but usually there isn't any at all. You won't be bored when it comes to the difficulty.

The game has pretty good replay value. When you beat the game, you have a few dozen more stars to collect, and highscores for the amount of coins you get for each level is kept, so there are a few reasons to keep playing. Sometimes, the special features in levels may be interesting enough to make you go back to some levels. There are also some ‘secrets' in the game that I won't spoil to you that also make the game replayable.

Overall, the game has its own minor flaws, including the lack of requirements for beating the game, mild frustration on the difficulty, very lightly complex controls, etc. But there are many strong points that make up for it, including interesting features, great replay value, and so on. These strong points make the game worth purchasing for all gamers.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 12/23/09, Updated 01/04/10

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

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