Home > Gaming, Reviews, Wii > “Super Mario Galaxy 2” Wii Review

“Super Mario Galaxy 2” Wii Review

There is a reason that there are more die-hard fans for Nintendo than any other video game company, and that is because of the revolutionary, generation-defining, and magical games they put out every so often. When the first Super Mario Galaxy was released, it was met with unanimous praise. However, even when Super Mario Galaxy 2 was announced, fans couldn’t help but wonder if the sequel would just feel like a half-baked level pack that got cut out of the first game. I’ll admit that I can’t compare the two games because I never played the original, but I can most definitely assure you that Super Mario Galaxy 2 does not feel like a collection of rejected ideas. Far from it.

The Mario games have never put storytelling forward, and even though Galaxy 2 is the same in this regard, it doesn’t stand out as a fault. The game opens up with a picture book explaining the setup. It seems typical enough until all of a sudden you’re given control over what you thought would be a still image and the impromptu gameplay that results acts as your tutorial. Unexpected polish like this can be found in almost every aspect of the game, and as a result the quality of the presentation takes a firm spot at the very top of the Wii’s library of titles. The graphics are fantastic and the numerous environments that you experience during the adventure all offer their own unique way of dropping your jaw in awe. Considering the non-high definition hardware Galaxy 2 is running on, this is all the more impressive.

Something else whose high quality threw me off was the music. Not everything is orchestrated, but the songs that are give the game an epic feel. The melodies of the new songs written for this game are memorable and the rearranged versions of old tunes are a pleasure to listen to. Some songs are light and playful while others are grand and powerful. The music always fits what’s going on, but the compositions go the extra mile and provide not just background noise, but fantastic music that could be easily listened to outside of the game. (Now only if Nintendo would release the soundtrack over in North America…)

The controls take advantage of the Wii remote in the best way they can. Mario is controlled with the analog stick on the nunchuck while an onscreen cursor (moved by the Wii remote) can be used to collect star bits (innumerable little objects similar to the coins seen in every other Mario game) as well as shoot them at enemies. All of the other maneuvers Mario has picked up in both his 3D and 2D games throughout the years such as the ground pound and wall jump (among other things) make an appearance, and they have never controlled better. The 3D Mario games have not always had the tight controls of the 2D ones, but with Galaxy 2 that trend has ended. Whenever I died in the game, it was because of a wrong move or a tough enemy – never because of a finicky camera or unresponsive controller. Simply navigating the environments is a joy, which goes a long way toward making the game fun.

The true genius of Super Mario Galaxy 2 lies in the level designs, which are some of the most well-thought-out and creative I have ever seen. Almost every one has its own unique gameplay hook, which keeps the game engaging throughout the entire adventure. The  levels throw out the laws of physics, gravity, and conventional video game platforming to create experiences that are both fun and highly original. Just when you think you have seen it all, a new crazy environment pops up to blow your mind yet again.

Added to these levels are a variety of new power-up suits, which give Mario all sorts of unique abilities. One turns him into a ghost, one lets him fly around like a bee, another changes Mario into a rolling boulder, and another gives the plumber the ability to create cloud platforms right below him, just to name a few. Yoshi makes an appearance as well and with him comes a whole new set of challenges and power-ups. Mario games have always set the standard for the platforming genre, and with Galaxy 2, you wonder how much higher that bar can be raised.

If there are any problems with the game, it would be in the pacing. The levels you play are chosen from a world map, and many times the way forward is blocked until you collect a set number of stars. Most levels offer a handful of attainable stars, so you’ll find yourself forced to revisit many levels you had previously beaten in order to collect as many as you can. Luckily, many times the levels’ layouts will completely change if you choose to go for a different star, providing a good balance between familiar elements and completely new trials when you end up playing through that level again. However, my problem was that I would have to find so many extra stars to advance through the game that I felt like it was grinding to a halt. I wanted to see a completely new environment – not revisit an old one. Even though I would essentially be playing a different level when I went for a new star in an old level, I still felt a slight bit of annoyance at this.

That’s a minor gripe, though. In the end, I walked away from Super Mario Galaxy 2 with a renewed faith in Nintendo and the Wii. This game may not yet have the nostalgia attached to it that makes some of the older Mario‘s so much more dear to me, but this is certainly the best Mario platformer I have ever played. I can easily imagine that 15 years from now a whole new generation of gamers will collectively list Super Mario Galaxy 2 at the top of their most-loved childhood games. This experience is absolutely not to be missed by anyone who owns a Wii. I’d even go so far as to say that Galaxy 2 is worth buying a Wii for. And I’d add that in the future, people will have a hard time wanting to get rid of their Wii because of how great this is. Super Mario Galaxy 2 is truly a game that will be cherished for years and years to come.

Pros: Incredible level desgin, great controls, fantastic soundtrack, finely tuned level of difficulty, top-notch visuals, polished in every aspect

Cons: Pacing slows down when you’re forced to backtrack through levels

Final Score: 9.7 out of 10

By Josh60502

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  1. July 20, 2014 at 6:06 am

    Big thanks for a fantastic piece of gamiung
    news.

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