Sunday, August 8, 2010

Super Mario Galaxy 2 Review

Sup, @abujafer here for a review for Super Mario Galaxy 2 (I'm going to refer to it as SMG 2). Haven't been online in a while due to two reasons. First, I had to finish this game, and second, I had a new little sister. Plus, this game is HUGE. Now, for the review.


This is obviously the most important aspect of the game, and it is great and well designed. From simply running around to navigating gravity-defying jumps, this game has tight controls for every situation. Mario is extremely athletic, from acrobatic ice skating routines, to impressive triple jumps; Mario has never been better. And as if his own arsenal of jumps, spins, and stomps wasn't enough, he can use 'shrooms/flowers to power up into weird forms. There is a new Cloud Flower, and also a Boulder Mushroom (personally my favorite), while you can also use a drill, which isn't technically a power up, it's still one heck of an item. Now, all of these items would be useless without good level design, and boy has Nintendo outdone itself this time (literally, its way better than the original SMG that I borrowed from Aldowyn). The level design is the BEST I've ever seen, from the enemy and planet placement, to the creative locations Mario will find himself in. Also, gone is the central hub from the original SMG. Instead you have a Starship that is made for Mario, but, as a Toad on board puts it, looks much more like Luigi. From here you have an overworld map that shows the galaxies and helps go through them a lot faster. The starship gets a lot of visitors, and they help tell you about gameplay mechanics as you unlock them. And the camera is great too. When you're sliding down a giant tree, you have the camera right behind you to show you all the upcoming dangers, while when you're fighting against a boss that flies around, the camera dramatically shows the boss zooming in as he closes in on Mario. However, there were moments the camera didn't do what it had to; in one level, I had used a triple jump to get on the roof (not supposed to), and when I reached the fall at the middle (it was a maze-like place), the camera was stuck at what it thought was a wall, while I had to run around blindly waiting for the launch star sound effect to start so I could shake, after which the camera snapped back. These are petty annoyances, and don't even come close to ruining the experience. There are plenty of bosses, and they're all very well thought out and challenging. They also use whatever power up you have been getting acquainted with lately, and really test your skills.

This Is So Crazy, It Might Just Work!

Co-op is greatly improved, and it helps make the game A LOT easier. The second player has much to do, as he/she can kill certain enemies, stun others, bring star bits, coins, 1-ups, life mushrooms, and hold big enemies like chomps. In fact, it's a great way to integrate little ones into SMG 2, and it's how I had my little sisters get used to the game before they jumped in. Plus, Luigi comes in after 30 possible stars (I know because I'm sort of a perfectionist; I got all the stars I could before moving on, and so when I got Luigi I had gotten everything before that). This is way better from SMG, where you got him after finished the game and all of its 120 stars (That's when I gave my borrowed game back to Aldowyn..... right when I got my favorite bro. *sniff*). However, he only comes once a galaxy (for the most part) and its either your first time or your second time, after which a ghost takes his place that is essentially a time run, where you have to beat him (if you lose the level continues; he just lies down when he wins). However, when you finish the game with all 120 stars I think, you get the option to play as Luigi permanently; which I wholeheartedly did, and haven't played a single level with Mario since. Luigi jumps higher, however he slides a bit after running. This takes a bit getting used to, but it's worth it. This game plays great, and is one of the best-playing games on any console to date.


This game looks fantastic. It uses up the Wii's hardware like no one but Nintendo can. The colorful, vibrant visuals beautifully compliment the great lighting and shadow effects, and the galaxies all have distinct visuals/enemies, be it a dessert themed galaxy, desert themed galaxy, a galaxy with planets made of lava, planets covered mostly in water, and lush, colorful flower planets.

Mario Doesn't Want To Step On Any Flowers.... Good Luck With That.

Also, everything is crisp and sharp, and my little sisters who played co-op with me were all like, "Is that really not HD? I can't see how it can get any better?" Each galaxy is a treat for the eyes, while the sound effects compliment the environment perfectly. A challenging event has an upbeat music that speeds up as the time is used up, while a spooky mansion has slow, creepy music, accompanied with the growls, howls, and moans of a typical haunted mansion. You can often tell what enemy you're up against by the sounds it makes. A goomba scurries along as it attacks, meanwhile a chomp barks, and a Boo..... boos. Plus, in some levels the speed of the music is affected by how fast you are going. My favorite music is the Bowser/Bowser Jr. Orchestra pieces. Those were works of art, and sound delightful. I especially admired how the stars sound. It's a distinct tinkling, and especially when trying to get the green stars, you NEED to listen. I don't know how you can win without listening. Green stars are usually hidden in cleverly designed caves, ledges, and right by a black hole. Sometimes the only indication you have that this deadly fall will get you a Green Star is the sound it makes. The ONLY hiccup in frame rates was when I had a green shell and was swimming underwater. Now, this problem was in the first game, but it's much, much less noticeable now. If you have the camera right behind you, the bubbles from the green shell go right into the camera, and there is a slight but noticeable hiccup in the frame rate. Keep in mind, this only happens when there's a lot onscreen. In my case, I had a planet in the sky, the planet I was on, penguins running about complete with their own bubbles, enemies on both planets, light effects with water, and a whole contingent of star bits and coins. I don't think any of you will find this problem, even if you tried. But I did notice it, and it was my only frame rate hiccup in the entire game. This game's presentation is practically perfect, and it rivals that of X-Box/PS3 first-party game presentations.


Here I will state things that didn't really fit above, but must be noted. First off, I have to talk about Green Stars.

A Green Star A Day Keeps The Yoshi Away.

These are for the hardcore gamer. After getting 120 Stars, every normal star you unlocked will get a Green Comet, and as such will get a green star hidden somewhere in the level. These are sometimes put in plain view (yet still hard to get), while sometimes you have to listen for a tingling simply to get a general idea where it is to start combing the level. These Stars unlock a special surprise at the end of the game, and that surprise is only for the most hardcore players out there, and it is HARD. After that, you'll get a message in the Message Board with a picture showing all the stars you unlocked (boy they look a lot more when they're stacked up like that) and a message from the SMG 2 staff congratulating you. Plus your save file tingles a bit and looks cool, just like a star, and you get a special surprise on starship Luigi (not going to call it starship you-know-who). Also, Yo*** makes a horrible appearance. As a Yoshi Hunter, I personally throw him/her/it off the edge as many times as possible before getting stars, and if I accidentally do get a star with him/her/it/whatever, I simply play the level again and get the star without him/her/it. He/she/it appears in the second level, and is trapped in a bubble in his egg by Kamek. After reluctantly freeing him/her/it, He/She/It lies and says that he/she/it went off to help his/her/its lack of friends. Now, a trustworthy Luma on the side of the screen tells us that Yoshi ran around in circles and trapped himself/herself/itself in an egg, and that Mario should help *concentrate his abilities*. Proof of this is that after leaving him/her/it on the ground for 10 seconds he/she/it TRAPS himself/herself/itself INTO AN EGG. Exactly why I hunt him/her/it.

Anyway, besides that mutant dodo with a -2 IQ, this game is as close to perfect as a game can get. For now. Nintendo will just wow us again with some other jewel of a game, be it Skyward Sword, Kid Icarus: Uprising, Kirby's Epic Yarn, Metroid Other M, or some other masterpiece. For now, this game is the best platformer in existence.

BTW, for those of you who go by numbers, I'm giving it a Te... Wait, there's Yoshi. Nin... Oh wait, he keeps coming back, so I have the pleasure of killing him/her/it OVER AND OVER AGAIN *runs to turn on Wii*. So it's still a TEN (10). PERFECT!

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