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Super Mario Galaxy 2 Review

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Developer: Nintendo Publisher: Nintendo
Release Date: May 23, 2010 Available On: Wii

A second 3D Mario platform game from Nintendo on the same console is unheard of, yet here we are with Super Mario Galaxy 2. The platform genre was again redefined by Mario in 2007. Super Mario Galaxy won its place in the hearts of many gamers, achieved a 9.7 out of 10 on Game Freaks 365 and sold nearly 9 million copies worldwide. Can the next installment of the critically acclaimed Mario masterpiece reach the same heights?

The story of Super Mario Galaxy is: Bowser kidnaps Princess Peach and also steals power stars to fuel his evil plot to take over the universe. You encounter a fat star character that, in exchange for recovering the power stars from Bowser, will provide you with a means for transport in your inter-galactic quest to save the princess. Really, that’s it. There’s no background story as to why this fat dude even exists. A tiny bit of the story in the first Galaxy game is hinted at, Rosalina makes a few appearances. You get a sense that the game is trying to continue where the last left off but is also suffering from amnesia. This leaves me to wonder, why hint at the past story if there is no intention for continuity?

Progression in Super Mario Galaxy 2 is more direct and streamlined. The galaxies are organized similarly to the stages in New Super Mario Bros. Wii. There are six galaxies, all with six sections and one boss section. Each section contains a few levels with a maximum of three levels and a challenge level. There is also an additional “S” galaxy available after completing the regular game. The wording in the game is all a bit confusing as the sections inside the galaxies are also called galaxies. Really, it ought to be called Super Mario Universe with planets inside star clusters inside galaxies inside the universe, but whatever.

Graphically, Super Mario Galaxy 2 is exactly the same as the first Super Mario Galaxy. Overall, the look and feel of the first Galaxy game is well preserved, perhaps even redundant. Some silly effects return such as fireballs casting shadows. The most visually captivating level for me was the Melty Monster Galaxy with its giant hippos made out of magma. It was dramatic and very creative. The sounds in Super Mario Galaxy 2 seem also pretty much the same as the first game. There are a few new song mixes of old classics. My favorite new sounds came from Yoshi as he chameleon tongued things. His flutter jump sounds just plain adorable. It is impossible to dislike the little guy.

The gameplay in Super Mario Galaxy 2 is very much the same as the original: varied, fun and casual. The levels are also about the same length, although I found the stages generally a little on the short side. The fairly short length of the stages and the difficulty of the game make for a fairly casual experience in general. The game is supposed to get harder as you progress. Honestly, the earlier levels are pretty easy while the later levels don’t feel significantly more difficult, but more complex and varied. Some stages are more challenging than others, throwing the game’s balance off a little. The Chompworks Galaxy for example proved a bit frustrating as slinky Mario is harder to control, requiring more precision and patience even. There are some instances during the game that I found the combination of mechanics and presentation to be pure genius but the charm of the first Galaxy game is certainly no longer there.

There are some interesting new things being attempted in Super Mario Galaxy 2. Some of them are good improvements, some are a bit distracting and slightly out of place. There are two new power-up mushrooms, a rock mushroom that allows Mario to bust through tough barriers and a cloud mushroom that allows Mario to reach greater heights with the aid of clouds. The cloud mushroom is clearly the star of this game as it is used to a greater degree than most other power ups. The addition of Yoshi is perhaps the most welcome improvement in the next Mario adventure on the Wii. If you’ve ever played Yoshi’s Island on the Super Nintendo or Yoshi’s Story on the Nintendo 64, you will be very well acquainted with Yoshi’s abilities. I honestly would love another Yoshi-centered game.

There are new flying stages but I found them rather underwhelming, short, and slightly out of place. One of the prankster meteor challenges felt more like Sonic the Hedgehog than Mario, as it had you sprinting down a slide collecting purple coins. They might as well have been golden rings. You can now play as Luigi but only in certain stages and he does not do anything Mario cannot do. Multiplayer is improved allowing player two to take helm as Mario’s star buddy. You can grab coins and objects as well as engage nearby enemies in aid of Mario. The prankster meteor levels were far more challenging and more fun to me. Honestly, once the Mario nostalgia had passed, I found myself asking “so what?” I never felt compelled to play anymore.

Super Mario Galaxy 2 is more akin to a 1.5 product than a full-fledged sequel. In a way, it feels like it was a retelling of the first Super Mario Galaxy. The story is very minimal, almost bare bones, leaving one to wonder why bother in the first place. Super Mario Galaxy 2 is nowhere near as original or charming as the first game. In fact, Super Mario Galaxy 2 does not surpass its predecessor in any way. It is very much more of the same. Yet, there are instances when the game is bolder than its predecessor and instances when it is more watered down. Super Mario Galaxy 2 certainly does not push the platform genre to new heights but it does manage to stay on the same level as its predecessor. All in all, if you were a fan of the original and go absolutely gaga over Mario, you will love this game.

Graphics: 9
Sound: 9
Gameplay: 9
Creativity: 9
Replay Value/Game Length: 9
Final: 9 out of 10
Written by Angel Cortes Write a User Review