Review by supernite

"More of the same"

The original Super Mario Galaxy broke new ground for the Mario franchise with innovative controls, beautiful graphics, and by bringing a whole new dimension to Mario. After earning every star in that game, I was left with a pleasant aftertaste because of its variety of levels and the ability to choose my own path throughout the game. Was I dying for a whole bunch of new levels to play? Not really, but I sure as heck wasn't going to say no to a Super Mario Galaxy 2. And here it is. Only a day old, and already one of the most highest-rated games of all time, does it live up to the hype?

Story - 7/10: I won't reveal any spoilers, but the actual plot itself is nothing that we haven't seen before. But who plays Mario for the plot anyway? I'm happy to say that the characters (both playable and non-playable) are very likable. You've got your usual assortment of NPCs that give you tips along the way, while attempting (and succeeding, in my case) to get a few laughs out if you with their humor. There are also a couple of new playable characters here (you probably know who). The story doesn't drive the game, nor is it memorable, but it will entertain you along the way.

Graphics/Sound: 10/10: The visuals are only a slight step-up from Super Mario Galaxy, but I'd have to say that this is the best looking game I've seen on the Wii so far. The art style is identical to the original, but some colors and textures without a doubt look better. If you liked how the original looked, you won't be disappointed here. The audio is also top-notch. Sound effects are the same as in the original, and there are some new music tracks, which sound great (a few seem to have been recycled).

Controls: 9/10: Aside from a few new commands, the controls are identical to its predecessor's. As was with Super Mario Galaxy, it might feel awkward at first to control both Mario and your star pointer, but you'll get used to it very quickly. Nothing more to complain about here.

Gameplay: 7/10: I'm sorry to say that I'm disappointed by the lack of new features. The game progresses very much like Super Mario Galaxy: you earn stars and unlock new galaxies. This is the same formula used since Super Mario World, so I'm not going to complain about that. What irks me is the fact that the actual levels bring nothing new to the table. Super Mario Galaxy amazed me because the whole concept of platforming in outer space was new. The game felt different from anything else I had played before. I'm not saying that innovation is necessary to make a good sequel, but considering that Super Mario Galaxy 2 a) does not expand on a full-fledged story b) has very little technical upgrades and c) brings no new features to the series, it would have been nice to see Nintendo expand on the gameplay. There are many potential directions I see that the game could have gone in (controlling the spaceship would have been nice), but there is nothing new here. Don't get me wrong, the new levels are brilliantly designed and the gameplay elements are flawlessly executed, but the whole game felt like a deja vu trip, as if I paid $50 for I game I had played before. Nintendo has cut a few corners before, but this was a first time I decided that this deserved to be a $15 add-on rather than a full release. Everything I said could also be considered in a more positive light, but I'm a greedy gamer. I want more.

Final words: If you haven't played Super Mario Galaxy, this game will amaze you. If you have played it, chances are you will still love this sequel. If you are a cynic like me, you might feel like you got scammed. Rent it if you can; a seasoned Mario veteran should have little trouble completing this game within a time limit.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.5 - Good

Originally Posted: 05/25/10

Game Release: Super Mario Galaxy 2 (US, 05/23/10)

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