Reach For The Stars In Super Mario Galaxy 2
- Saturday, January 12, 2013
Available for Nintendo Wii
(Rated E for Everyone | 6+ age)
Bowser is at it again and this time he's putting some space between his captive, Princess Peach, and her beloved Mario. How much space exactly? An entire galaxy. Mario will have to count on his new friends, the Lumas (talking stars) to help him whisk through the solar system and beyond in pursuit of Peach. Paired up with his old friend, Yoshi, Mario will race around three-dimensional planets, battle giant bad guys, and solve puzzles all for his beloved Princess.
When Nintendo launched the first Super Mario Galaxy in 2007, the world was introduced to something truly special. One of the best Mario games to date, Super Mario Galaxy was truly a masterpiece of innovation, interaction and presentation. Super Mario Galaxy 2 is a worthy sequel that improves on the first in ways that show Nintendo listened to their fans and took their feedback to heart.
With the Wiimote and nunchuk you control Mario as he runs around small, medium and large planets collecting coins and stars. He needs these items to power his giant planet ship, which is shaped like his head and populated by his new luma friends. The motions needed to control Mario on these crazy planets aren't difficult, but they aren't as easy as a standard controller either. Some amount of twisting and flicking is necessary, but the controls are responsive and fluent.
The basic flow of the game is like this... You start on your ship where you can run around and talk to your friends, as well as, pick galaxies to visit. After choosing a galaxy, you're propelled through space and land on the first planet in that system. The first planet is usually easy to navigate, but once you venture to the second and third planet in the area, the difficulty is stepped up a bit. You can find all manners of climates and obstacles on planets. From waterfalls to giant bees, the environment can be both beautiful and dangerous.
Sometimes you don't face bad guys, but puzzles. Running around in environments where the gravity changes every time you step on a floor panel, exercising your dexterity while choosing the right hallways to reach the end, and recognizing patterns in moving blocks to reach the goal before plummeting into space. The mix of adventure and problem solving keeps the game fresh, exciting and interesting.
If there were any complaints whatsoever about the first Super Mario Galaxy, it was that the game was too easy. Nintendo seems to have heard this and they've stepped up the difficulty a notch while still making it enjoyable and playable for less skilled players.
Graphics and Sound
If you've ever played the first game in this series, you know that the original score was phenomenal. Unlike most games, where the music really doesn't enhance the gameplay, the soundtrack for Super Mario Galaxy 1 and 2 is a central part of the experience. A fully orchestrated score is rare in video games and hasn't gone unnoticed. The special effect sounds are also of the highest quality. From Mario's "Whoo-hoos" to the Luma's unintelligible mutterings, you won't quickly forget the upbeat and positive noises coming from the adorable characters that make up this game's cast of characters.
Parents need not worry about Super Mario Galaxy 2. In fact, parents will find it hard to not get into the game alongside their children, if not play the game with them. This game is a perfect family game, even if only one of you is playing. Want to get in the action? Grab a second Wiimote and jump in with your parents or children and help them cruise the stars looking for Princess Peach. The ESRB has rated it "E" for Everyone, and because it's Nintendo there's no language or real violence in the game.
Whether you are a parent, teen or child with a decent attention span, if you're looking for a truly fun gaming experience you should be playing Super Mario Galaxy 2. It is another great chapter in a long line of family-friendly Nintendo games.
**This Review First Published Nov. 16, 2010
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