Review by knucklez

"A Fair Sequel to an Amazing game"

Super Mario Galaxy 2 is a sequel to Nintendo's 2007 hit game. The first Super Mario Galaxy game took us on a journey through space and innovated beyond expectations. Can Super Mario Galaxy 2 live up to it's name? Does this game live up to the tremendous hype surrounding it's release? Read on to find out.

Story: 3/10
Many consider the most important element to any game is it's story. Like many Mario games, the story is typical. Princess Peach invites Mario the Plumber to the Star Festival which celebrates a meteor shower. Of course, Bowser takes this opportunity to grow to the size of the Empire State Building and kidnap Princess Peach. Mario must now embark on a journey to rescue her. Yes, it's a repetitious plot but it nicely fits the structure of a Mario game. Still, I wish Nintendo could have added something more to the story elements of this game. The Mario Galaxy series has an amazing science-fiction setting and it feels like an opportunity was wasted to capitalize on it.

Graphics: 8/10
The Graphics in Super Mario Galaxy are very good. They are perhaps one of the best on the Wii. Mario and the world around him is very smooth and polished looking. Mario is also very well animated in his movements, and so are the bosses. There are some drawbacks though. The worlds look good but they do not have a great attention to smaller details. They are generally more simplified to fit the gameplay's needs. The animation for the more generic enemies such as Goombas and Koopas are a bit too static. Lastly, one problem is with the Wii's limited 480p resolution. On larger HDTVs the game will not long as good as it could if the output could have been at 720p or 1080p. Still, the game does look good. You move from planet to planet so quickly you may not even notice the small problems. Overall they are still some of the best the Wii has to offer.

Sound: 8/10
The Sound in Super Mario Galaxy 2 is solid. You have the typical Mario "Yahoo's" as well as the other staple sounds found in Mario games. The soundtrack focuses more on remixed Mario themes this time around, which is nice, but does not compare to the beautiful score of the original game.

Controls: 7/10
The controls in this game are about identical to the previous games save for a few minor changes. . They are quite simple with movement using the nun-chuck and jumping and pointing using the Wii remote. One frustrating problem is the necessity to multitask the Wii remote pointer and Mario's controls at the same time. At times in the game it feels like too much. It's not a huge problem, just a bit frustrating for those who lack innate ambidexterity.

Gameplay: 6/10
Gameplay is one of the most important foundations in most video games. Super Mario Galaxy impressed us with its gameplay, but I find a bit of disappointment with the sequel. First of all, the game lacks the innovation that Nintendo proudly boasts about achieving. Innovation is what Nintendo says they strive for in their games. This game is more or less, an uninspired spin off of the original. There are a few new features such as the ability to ride Yoshi, but even this is limited. Instead of feeling like an expansion to the Mario character like he felt in games like Super Mario World, Yoshi feels like just another item in Super Mario Galaxy 2. You cannot take him to other levels, so he is reduced to nothing more than a power-up.

As you play through the game, you unlock more galaxies and levels to enter and play. Personally I believed this formula to be a bit stale. The macro map of levels just personally takes me out of the immersion of the game, and makes it a bit unbelievable. There are many stars to get in this game much like Mario 64 and the first Super Mario Galaxy. While perfectionists will enjoy finding every star, playing through the main game does not take very long at all.

One major problem is the inclusion of multiplayer. The game is clearly designed around a single player experience, yet they included a multiplayer component. The problem with this is that for the second player, Multiplayer feels very boring. A seasoned gamer will have no problem clearing this game, so the second player feels redundant as all they can do is shoot enemies and collect stars with a pointer. It doesn't fit into the game at all and it certainly doesn't fit into the Mario lore and universe.

Conclusion: 6/10
Super Mario Galaxy 2 is by no means a bad game, but it's certainly not a perfect one. It is a fair game, and enjoyable if you're a fan of the Mario series. However, the game lacks in a few critical ways that makes Nintendo games so beautiful and impressive. It's the Innovation and inspiration that is missing from this sequel.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.0 - Fair

Originally Posted: 05/26/10

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

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