Reviews: Super Mario Galaxy

Epic expectations and zero disappointment.

This game has often been remembered as the best in the series (though Odyssey seems like a crazy-good time with a large scale and open-ended exploration, so we'll see), and I think that's deserved.

The thing that sets this apart from every other Mario game is the story and tone. While not as complex as the RPGs, there's genuine heart and worldbuilding and backstory in this game, primarily due to the new cosmic elements and their mascot, the mysterious Rosalina, who is a guardian if not a goddess of the universe itself. What we're given is charming and genuinely powerful stuff, and that effort to include emotional and interesting story material really makes this game more than the gameplay, something no other main-series game has done. The environments in the game are creative and gorgeous, and we get lots of atmospheric space scenery in the many beautiful level backgrounds. The concepts are far from realistic, but boy are they creative and fun.

So that gameplay? Fantastic. Like 64, each level has the goal of collecting Power Stars as the reward for each mission. Controls are very smooth, and the Wii Remote is well utilized, with both its motion controls and cursor being key mechanics. Star Bits are an alternative to coins that serve as defensive ammo as well as 1-Up accumulation. Collecting and aiming them with the cursor is easy, and most enemies grant them when spun instead of stomped, so you can always choose which collectibles to get. The gravity mechanics are used in many different ways, and the Camera Screw isn't a huge annoyance to me. Swimming is no fun, like usual, but really, when is it?

The bosses are also a lot of fun, and vary nicely in defeat strategies and challenge.

The game also has a system that creates hard versions of levels in the Prankster Comets, which can alter the conditions of a Star mission via some sort of alternate-universe stuff in hellish and brutal ways that will make you feel amazing for conquering them. These are required challenges for unique Stars, and it's annoying that they rotate with completed normal levels and disappear for a bit after a comet's been completed, but they feel like a fair way to extend the game and work with the logic of the story. The postgame is a replay with Luigi, which also works for me. It's a chance to experience the highs and lows of the game again, with some tweaks to make it a bit harder. As cheap extensions go, it's very tolerable, and I imagine even more so if you don't tackle it when the game is still fresh in your mind.

(Just a note- the game isn't TOO hard. Controllers will be thrown, but I found everything doable after a while- the levels are often learning experiences, so every failure genuinely gets you closer to that final success.)

I don't have enough space to say everything, so here's a summary: If you want a creative, beautiful, engaging and fun game with fair challenges, pick this up. Right now, it's the king of the series.

The absolute highest point in the series

I am a huge Mario fanboy. I love all the main games, and consider them the highest of their class. But Galaxy and it's sequel are the absolute best of the best in this series. There is nothing that feels out of place (well, except Fluzzard), and it is just pure fun. While ordinary folks will finish this in a few days, this is a game that tortures perfectionists and koreans. The galaxies are all wonderfully designed, and keep that Mario flame alive. The music is...the music is... I am sorry, because the music is so indescribably awesome, i'm afraid i cannot say anything without dishonoring it. Buy it is all i can say.

But then again, nothing is perfect. Nothing can ever reach Jesus level, and this is no exception. While gravity is executed very well, the camera sometimes fails us, and we end up with buckets full of vomit by the end of the day. And when i say these games torture completionists, they TORTURE THEM. The comet challenges range from challenging, to MURDEROUS, and the green stars from 2 are also a pain in the ass. And on that note, the green stars kind of felt like they were lazily put in the game to extend its length (but hell, that did not stop me from getting them all). And the perfect run is so difficult, bet your sweet ass that you will cry manly tears of joy if you finish it. IF IS A VERY KEY WORD. And sometimes, i get tired of the constant references to older(but still awesome)Mario games.

But buy it anyways. And after you are done, get 2. And after that, pat yourself in the back for playing some of the best games ever made. Then after that, go back to fragging newbs at deathmatch in COD:Modern Warfare 9 or something.

Mario's Finest Shindig Yet

Stop raising those eyebrows. I'm just like you. I fondly remember eating my first Monty Mole while riding Yoshi for the first time as well as that timeless experience, hoppin' around in Kuribo's Shoe in what has now become the second-best Super Mario adventure of all time. But times change. Ideas are stretched, technology is polished. And every once in a while, those twin practices digest their respective components in perfect unison and crap out a sparkling, golden turd. That golden turd is Super Mario Galaxy.

Really, once you play this game, all the other ones pale in comparison. I know this must sound like high blasphemy to some, but it's true. The strategic platforming and creative stage design that made the NES and Super Nintendo installments so great return after an extended hiatus (the ones that gave us the pretty-damn-good-but-ultimately-underwhelming Super Mario 64), this time as applied to Nintendo's very finest 3D physics and gameplay mechanics. Not to mention that this time they, and you, also play around with stuff like gravity, orbit, and magnetic fields, giving things a whole other angle. The result is a Super Mario Bros game that harkens back to the tried-and-true "start at the beginning and get to the end" platforming days of yore whilst glistening with what may well be Nintendo's finest graphics to date and a bunch of brand-new technical innovations that feel like they've been here forever. And as an added bonus, this game washes away any residual memories you may still have had of Super Mario Sunshine. Ninty, I accept your apology. Come over here, you're gettin' a hug.

A lot of people think the game is too easy. Here's my personal opinion: the game is easy, certainly easier than most of its predecessors, but not so easy that it interferes with your experience of the game. And besides, when it's not being too easy, it's being too hard. If ever you think Nintendo has little faith in your gaming prowess, I welcome you to complete the Sling Pod Galaxy or the Rolling Gizmo Galaxy again. That should put things in perspective.

Super Mario Galaxy 2 is coming up. Yoshi's in it, as well as Para-Goombas and the Big World. Things can only get better from here.

Boldly go, Mario. Boldly go.