Review by RageBot
"More of the Galaxy jazz, but better."
Super Mario Galaxy, despite its glaring flaws, has become a classic game. The idea of gravity coming from different directions was a direct hit. With so many fans wanting more of that jazz, Nintendo made them wait for three years before granting them their wish. This game has everything in the original, except for a few power-ups missing, and it has added more things that were lacking in the first game, while removing most of the flaws, and improving the controls a little bit.
Most of the game is the exact same thing: You visit several galaxies, and in each, there are a few mandatory stages, as well as optional stages, hidden stars and, eventually, comets. Hungry Lumas open new galaxies once fed, Star Bits return as well, and fiddling with gravity is still cool. Motion Control galaxies are also here, but improved MC makes them much easier and less frustrating.
The first major improvement is the hub gone. Instead, you cruise the universe on a space ship that looks like Mario's head. The ship is the possession of a big purple Luma, which looks weird, but that's not too bad. You move from galaxy to galaxy on a grid, just like in Super Mario Brothers, World, and the two New Super Mario Bros. games. There are six segments of the universe, each has about 14 stars, gotten from 7-8 galaxies.
Just like in the classic Mario games, at the end of each segment, is a Boss Galaxy where you must fight either Bowser, or his son's mechanical monsters. Beat them, and you advance to the next segment. After defeating Bowser for the first time, a new segment appears, called World S, which obviously enough, contains 14 of the hardest stars in the game. Each galaxy has only one star, which may be a Speed Run, Daredevil Run, Double Time (things move faster), or Cosmic Clones that chases you across the stage, and copy your every move (Rayman fans will know what this means). Purple comets are very rare, thankfully.
Unfortunately, there is yet to do after getting 120 stars. 120 Green Stars appear randomly throughout the galaxies. Their locations can be tricky. Try looking around in first person, and listen carefully to any twinkle sounds. Some can be frustrating to get, but at least that's better than doing the whole game over again with Luigi. Get your 240 stars, and a final challenge will be unlocked. Complete it, and you'll get a secret scene.
Some of the old power-ups are gone, such as Ice Flower, are now gone. Shockingly, Spring Mario is still here. Why Nintendo loves this power-up is beyond me. It appears only in one stage, but it will as frustrating as ever. Newcomers are Cloud Mario, which created clouds as platforms, and Rock Mario, that can roll around.
Best addition to this game, however, is Mario's pet and loyal steed, Yoshi. The green dinosaur is back, flutter jumps and everything. He can jump via the A button, eat enemies with B, and launch Mario sky-high with Z + A. He enjoys some power-ups, too, such as the Dash Pepper than makes him run very fast and across steep slopes, and Blimp Berry that makes him float in the air. Luigi is also in this game, and you can switch with him at your convenience.
Presentation is exactly the same, however, there is much more fan service this time around. There are more remakes of old tracks, and references to old game. However, Nintendo did much more than that, and revamped the entire Whomp Fortress stage from Super Mario 64. This is as good a blast from the past as you can get. This game also references Super Mario Sunshine.
If you enjoyed Super Mario Galaxy and it left you wanting for more, than this game is perfect for you. If not, don't buy this game.
Final Grade: 9.2/10
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 05/18/12
Game Release: Super Mario Galaxy 2 (US, 05/23/10)
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