Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Super Mario Galaxy Review

Super Mario Galaxy (Wii)
Release Date: Nov 12, 2007

Kidnapped again, WTF!?
The game begins like every other Mario game, with Bowser kidnapping Princess Peach. Shocker, I know. Then again, we don’t play Mario games for story, am I right? Anyway, it’s the Star Festival, which celebrates a comet that comes by every 100 years. Bowser breaks up the party with his spacecraft and pulls the entirety of Peach’s Castle into space. Mario gets pulled up with the castle too and tries to save Peach, but fails. Mario wakes up on a strange planet and meets Rosalina, who lives on the comet. Rosalina agrees to take Mario to the center of the universe where Peach is being held captive if he’ll get back the Grand Stars that were stolen by Bowser. Without the Grand Stars, the Comet Observatory is immobile.

I like the way you move
The controls are very solid and fluent…except when you’re underwater. As not one single developer can seem to get swimming controls down pat, I guess I can forgive it, but that doesn’t change the fact that they’re still there and feel a bit funky. Anyway, for a platformer, moving and jumping should be the primary function, and if they don’t work right, then you’re game is going to suck. That’s not that case here however, as Mario moves as he’s supposed to.

So your most basic controls are running and jumping, but in addition, you can waggle the nunchuck and Mario will do a spin move. This allows him to knock over enemies and objects, extend his jump by just a bit, and perform special functions in boss fights. There’s also the classic ground pound by jumping and pressing Z.

The newest feature is to aim your wiimote to collect sparkly rock things called Star Bits, which are used to feed hungry Lumas that grant you access to certain areas. The game can be played “co-op,” where if you have a second wiimote, a friend can collect and shoot Star Bits for you. Yea, that’s co-op.

Don’t forget your towel!
There are six domes on the Comet Observatory. These domes house over 40 galaxies in total, which are your levels. There are usually three main galaxies in each dome, including one or two special galaxies and the boss galaxy. In each main galaxy, there are 3 basic stars you can get. Some galaxies have more as there are special comets that appear that increase the difficulty on the level for a special challenge which grants you another star. So in total, there are 120 stars you can collect, but you only need 60 to beat the game.

The galaxies look awesome, are very colorful as expected in Mario games, and are a blast to play. The difficulty varies on which star you’re after, as some are ridiculously easy, or straight up hard. Some levels, especially the comet levels, can really make you want to break your controller in half as you miss a jump or something. Practice, practice, practice. There were some spots that I really got hung up on, mostly on boss galaxies, but I never used more than 8 lives to beat a galaxy.

1 Up Yours!

My only real gripe with the game is the 1up system, it just doesn’t feel right. During stretches where I was doing really well, I had upwards of 20 lives. However, this would all disappear once I turned the game off to take a break, because they reset. What’s the point if they’re just going to reset? Because once I get down to two lives, I can just reset the game to gain back continues. There’s also a way to get practically infinite continues by hitting the box by the Mushroomship, because the box always resets when you leave the area and come back. The only significance it holds is as a check point holder. Once you get so far into a level, you get an invisible check point (invisible, because you never know when you hit them). When your lives run out, you just simply have to restart the level from the very beginning. With continues bearing no weight, there’s no reason to go out of your way to get them or buy them when a Luma offers a 1up or a Supershroom (gives you 3 more HP). Um yea, give me the Supershroom, I can get a 1up from the box in the ship.

Verdict: Awesome

That's also 1 game completed for the challenge, 27 more to go!
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