Super Mario Galaxy 2 Reader Review
Well, Nintendo really did out-do themselves this time didn't they.
2007 saw the release of Super Mario Galaxy, marking the short plumber's first 3D adventure on the Wii. I think it's safe to say that people were skeptical - "Do you think Nintendo will force some sort of waggle in there, when we Mario doesn't need it?" - I think people were right to be skeptical. A lot of the titles on the Wii so far were just shovelware-party games that third-party publishers (and even Nintendo - I'm looking at you Wii Play and Mario Party 8) had put out on the console, and were pretty darned rubbish to average at best. But, as history tells us, the first Galaxy game was near perfect and was welcomed into the gaming world with glowing reviews from critics and anybody else who played it. Now, this is where Nintendo threw a curveball at everybody invested in the mustachioed hero's world - in 2009 they announced they were developing and would be releasing a sequel. Cue the skeptics - "We don't need another Galaxy game! It'll just be full of all the ideas that weren't good enough to get in the first game."
Oh how wrong those skeptics were.
Super Mario Galaxy 2 is one of the finest platforming games of all-time.
From that very first juicy star, to that elusive 120th, you will be taken on a crazy ride through the Galaxy by Mario, Luigi and some fat purple star who's name (if he has one) I cannot remember. You will be taken to ice galaxies, fire galaxies, ice AND fire galaxies, and many many more. Each one normally containing 2 standard stars, a secret star and maybe even - if you hunt out the comet coin in certain levels - a prankster comet star - which makes you play through a previous star, but with enforced penalties, such as one hit-point, or a time limit.
The game has the same tight controls and wonderful camera the first game had, whilst introducing new power-ups such as the boulder flower and the cloud flower and most wonderfully, that lovely green dinosaur we all came to love in Super Mario World - Yoshi. Yoshi adds an extra bit of charm to a game already dripping with pure liquid cuteness. His tongue is controlled with the Wii Remote pointing at the screen, similar to the ability to pick up star bits in the rest of the game; and the hungry dinosaur will put anything in the mouth of his. Unfortunately, I felt Nintendo could have utilised Yoshi a little more through the game, as he only shows his face at certain moments throughout; but that brings me on to another incredible positive going for SMG2 - the variety of gameplay.
How Nintendo comes up with the ingenuity and craft in each level, and the succulent content that fills them, will forever leave me baffled. There are 120 stars to collect, but the journey to each one of those stars is full of it's own exhilaration, skill and fun; you will not get bored of reaching that chubby, golden prize at the end of every level. It is a brilliant asset to have in a game, and one that I think Super Mario Galaxy 2 - and Nintendo - deserve a lot of kudos for.
The music in SMG2 is just as strong as the first, if not stronger; the sweeping melodies that take you through each galaxy will leave you yearning for more every time you hear that final "You got a star!" music. Every single piece of music in the game will invoke the emotion inside you that Mario's starship (appropriately named Starship Mario) has whisked you off on an incredible journey through the cosmos.
"A journey through the cosmos" brings me onto my final, gushing, positive point regarding SMG2 - and that is the graphical power house that it is. The Wii has never really been praised for it's graphical prowess - maybe even not since the first SMG - but SMG2 is an amazing looking game. The colours that Nintendo have filled each world with are absolutely perfect, and are a wonderful contrast to the majority of the rest of the gaming world - who seem to be going with good ol' black, brown and grey. However, I suppose we shouldn't expect anything less of a Nintendo game; they have always delivered on the graphical front when it comes to their little, plump talisman in particular, and this game might even be their greatest achievement so far.
Super Mario Galaxy 2 was an important game for Nintendo in 2010; it showed that the Wii can keep up with the Xbox 360 and the Playstation 3 when it comes to big-budget blockbuster games, and even more importantly, it shows us that Nintendo are still busting at the seams with great ideas for their little red and blue mascot even after 25 (nearly) impeccable years that he's been around. Nintendo has given the Wii it's greatest game so far, and arguably given us the finest game of 2010.