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Posted by moonhead on Jul 13, 2010
Review: Super Mario Galaxy 2 / Wii / Nintendo

Review: Super Mario Galaxy 2 / Wii / Nintendo

Perfecting Perfection.

I’ll admit I was worried when Nintendo originally announced this follow-up to the critically acclaimed Super Mario Galaxy so soon after the original. I thought that it would be no more than a cheap, rush-job cash in. How wrong could I have been, because if the original was near perfection this must indeed be perfect. It follows the same template as the first but the amount of invention and new ideas on show is just immense.

So let’s get the perfunctory story rubbish out-of-the-way, we should all know how it goes by now.  Big large green dinosaur-type bad boy,  Bowser has once again kidnapped Princess Peach whisked her off into space and you, Mario have to save her. You do this by helping the Lumas (cute little star creatures) to find their stars which  Bowser has taken and scattered throughout the galaxy. These stars power the Lumas ship allowing you to chase Bowser down. As I said story-wise it’s nothing new or clever, after all it is a Super Mario game and we would not want it any other way would we? Let’s be frank Mario has never been played for its rhetoric, the story is just a means to an end, an end which has always been gaming nirvana.

In terms of the games presentation nothing has changed the graphics are the same, which is no bad thing as they still look incredible even when compared to the graphics seen on the more powerful HD consoles. The sound and music are just as good as ever for a Mario game, you will know a lot of it from previous games but there is enough new stuff to keep it fresh.

Nothing has changed in how the game plays either. Mario is still controlled by the analogue stick on the Nunchuck, with the Wii-motes A button used for jumping and little flicks for the spin attack. There are variations to this as in the original, because this is no single-genre platforming game. It moves from racing to puzzling through to 2D sections and the control change-ups never disappoint.

What has definitely changed though is the games layout. Gone is the large comet observatory hub world and  in its place is a spaceship shaped like Mario’s head and a game world map much like the 2D ones of old from the original Super Mario games. It’s effective, utterly charming and it also allows you to jump into the action much faster. Best of all though it has got rid of the overly cutesy nursery rhyme story telling from the original, so no Rosalina this time instead you will only deal with the Luma’s from the first game.

So what else is new? Well for starters and not necessarily new but not seen in a 3D Mario game before is the return of Yoshi. Yes everybody’s favourite green dinosaur is back and he is brilliant. Riding around on him is a breeze to control and his ability to eat anything and everything is a Godsend. Just aim with  the Wii-mote pointer at the various critters and press the B button and out pops his tongue and he gobbles them up no problem. Mario also has some new suits such as the drill and cloud suits. The drill suit does exactly what it says turning Mario into a drill allowing him to burrow into the ground and pop up on the other side of the planetoid. The cloud suit allows you to make three temporary cloud platforms to help reach previously unattainable places. As well as other new suits which I’m not going to name as it will spoil all the lovely surprises coming your way, all the suits from the first game make a return including the super cute Bee suit.

What has always set proper Mario games apart (ie not the karting or sports titles) from its contemporaries is level design and SMG 2 is no different. Every level has something new for you to see or do it really and once again is a total and complete master class in games design. I said all this before when I reviewed for SMG 1, but here it’s taken on to new and astonishing heights. All of the previous games minor (very minor) faults from the first game are now gone, from the slightly dodgy camera that no longer gets stuck behind things through to the difficulty level. The first was a touch too easy but here the difficulty curve is pitched to perfection, so be warned towards the end it gets really hard but always very fair.

The only problem the game has is not the in-game at all, but in fact the attitude of gamers themselves. By this I mean the silly stubborn few that will see the bright, colourful, vibrant and cute visuals and think to themselves ‘kids game, I’m not buying that’ and get back to playing the (apparently) more mature Call Of Duty: Modern Wotsit Black Ops 75. Well more fool you because you are missing out on what is one of the greatest games of all times. So please if you are one of these stupid deluded fools take a risk and get this game and I give you my promise that you will absolutely love it. Just leave the attitude and ego at the door and be magically transported to a world of magic (mushrooms?) and wonder where you spend half your time staring at the screen agog at what is going on. As for a score I’m forced to do something I have never done before and give what I consider to be a perfect game the perfect score. If you call yourself a gamer then you simply have to own this game!

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