This Game is Proof That Mario is the King of the Platformer – Super Mario Galaxy 2 Review
Super Mario Galaxy 2 is the latest title to star Nintendo’s Italian mascot, and it is a great sequel to the amazing Super Mario Galaxy released in 2007. Mario Galaxy 2 is a shining example of how a sequel should be made, and Nintendo’s efforts are evident throughout the entire game.
Super Mario Galaxy 2 Storyline (3 out of 5)
Like the countless Mario games before it, Mario Galaxy 2’s plot revolves around Bowser’s ambitions of world domination and his desire to
kidnap Princess Peach. He manages to hold the princess of the Mushroom Kingdom hostage while simultaneously concocting a grand scheme of global control, and Mario must set out once again to rescue her. This is what we’ve come to expect from the Mario franchise, and while it isn’t revolutionary, it certainly feels right.
Gameplay – Platforming and Game Mechanics (5 out of 5)
Mario Galaxy 2 borrows from its predecessor in the gameplay department, but only enough to make it feel like a proper sequel.
Nintendo pulled out all the stops here and gave Super Mario Galaxy 2 tons of unique gameplay elements that feel both new to the series and highly rewarding.
You’ll do a lot of platforming in Mario Galaxy 2, but all of the jumping and climbing is so varied that nothing ever gets old. One moment you’ll be jumping from ledge to ledge in ways reminiscent of Super Mario 64; another you’ll be doing some top-down navigation that at first induces a deal of head-tilting; then the next moment you’ll be doing some highly polished side-scrolling platforming. There’s just so much variety and it’s all so evenly paced that you’ll definitely find yourself in awe at Nintendo’s exploits.
If that doesn’t sound varied enough, there are other really engaging gameplay mechanics found in the
game’s levels. You’ll go through underwater stages, flip upside down countless times in certain stages due to gravitational pulls, take to the skies while holding on to a giant bird, complete challenges for extra lives and coins, and engage in boss fights with massive creatures. There are also Comet Coins hidden within each stage, and collecting these unlocks special challenges that will push you to the limit due to their high, though satisfying, level of difficulty.
Gameplay – Power-ups and Yoshi (5 out of 5)
Mario just wouldn’t be Mario without his signature power-ups, and Mario Galaxy 2 is filled to the brim with countless items to help aid you
in your quest. Bee Mario can fly for short bursts and stick to honeycombs. Cloud Mario can create clouds to stand on when traversing large pitfalls. Rock Mario can curl up into a ball and roll around, destroying everything in his path in the process. These and other power-ups just add to the game’s already impressive variety.
Yoshi also makes an appearance in Mario Galaxy 2. The green dinosaur will appear in certain stages, and you’ll need to employ his help if you want to clear these levels. Yoshi can use his tongue to eat up enemies, pull far away items, and grab on to different items that help propel you upward. The Yoshi stages are evenly spaced out, and you’ll look forward to your next encounter with him after completing a stage.
Controls (5 out of 5)
Just like the gameplay, the controls in Mario Galaxy 2 feel right and are very refined. Moving Mario through each of the game’s galaxies
is never a taxing experience, and you may even remember just how great it’s felt controlling Mario all these years, from his 8-bit days in Super Mario Bros. to his 3D debut in Super Mario 64. Nintendo has really set the standard for what controls in a platformer should feel like.
You’ll employ the Wii Remote’s motion functionality throughout the game, and these commands feel like genuine replacements for button presses and become second nature almost immediately. Scattered across the game’s levels are tiny jewels called Star Bits. Simply point the Wii Remote at these Star Bits, and they’ll pull themselves to Mario and add to his total. You’ll need these Star Bits if you want unlock more stages, so collecting them is key. Mario also has a spin attack, and a simple flick of the Wii Remote or Nunchuk is all it takes to make him perform this move, which is good for taking down enemies as well as adding a bit more oomph to your jumps.
Graphics and Sound (5 out of 5)
Like Super Mario Galaxy before it, Super Mario Galaxy 2 is one of the most beautiful-looking games on the Wii, and it shows that
Nintendo’s current-gen console is capable of producing high-quality visuals. The varied textures are pleasant to see, the immense color palette is impressive, and the overall look of each of the game’s stages is a spectacular sight to behold.
In addition to the game’s great visual presentation, you’ll also be treated to a wonderful orchestrated soundtrack. You’ll hear a myriad of themes as you traverse the galaxies, and each one is worthy of its own merits. There are all-new tracks in the game that sound amazing, but there are also songs from Mario’s Nintendo, Super Nintendo, and Nintendo 64 days, and gamers who have followed Mario for years will feel that kick of nostalgia seeping through their speakers.
Lasting Value (4 out of 5)
Encountering Bowser in the final bout won’t take you too long, but even after you’ve done that, there is still enough incentive to go back
to the game. You’ll spend around 12 hours or so getting through the game’s story. And while that is a somewhat short amount of time, you’ll add plenty of hours to your total if you go back and seek every hidden Comet Coin, collect every Star, and explore every crevice in the game as you seek out the hidden extras this title has to offer.
Super Mario Galaxy 2 Overall Score (5 out of 5)
Super Mario Galaxy 2 is a very special game. Not only is it a step forward for the Mario franchise, but it pushes the platform genre to
limits many probably didn’t even know existed. To call Mario Galaxy 2 revolutionary is definitely fitting. The game does seemingly countless things right, with only a bump or two in the road. So while the general lack of difficulty and sometimes problematic camera are flaws that keep the game from being 100% perfect, they are easy to overlook thanks to the insane number of things the game does right. Super Mario Galaxy 2 is indeed one of Mario’s best adventures ever, and it is easily one of the greatest 3D platformers of all time.