Reviews// Super Mario Galaxy

Posted 5 Nov 2007 14:05 by
There are two ways of doing this.

Having played Super Mario Galaxy to within an imperial inch of its last life since the Japanese release just 4 days ago (Nov 1), I could tell you about all the good bits and how they’re so very wonderful - but then you’d hate me because the good bits wouldn’t be quite so good for you, as you’d already be anticipating them, and you’d end up wishing you’d never read this review. It would be quite a crap review. 7/10 at best.

Alternatively, I could tell you how and why Super Mario Galaxy is the best non-shooty videogame of the new generation, only without any of the spoilers or unnecessary details concerning exactly what goes on inside this magic disc. The painless but still-sort-of-pertinent version of events. Let’s go with that, then.

We have to start by dismissing Twilight Princess for what it really was – just an adaptation of a very good GameCube game. Link needs to step aside because it’s this, Super Mario Galaxy, which makes it blindingly clear that when Nintendo chooses to develop gamers’ games on the Wii format it still has the power to produce world-beaters. (And the era of upgraded GameCube releases – see Twilight Princess, Super Paper Mario, Resident Evil 4 – should be pronounced ‘Over’ with the thud of a Thwomp.)

Since Super Mario 64 appeared just over a decade ago, changing the way we play videogames and the way They make videogames, we’ve been waiting for Super Mario 64 2. And while Super Mario Sunshine was a massively entertaining quasi-sequel, building on the ground of Mario 64 but never quite plucking up the courage to ask for a new plot of land – Super Mario 64 Plus, if you like – it’s only now that we have a game truly fit to be classed as a Super Mario 64 2.

Galaxy isn’t merely a bigger, better version of Mario 64; it exists in an alternate universe of gameplay ideas that are all its own - but it’s still in 3D and Mario still plays the lead.

It’s obvious that the Wii Remote, which has already proven powerful enough to be a make/break factor in the development of Wii games (a potent weapon when developers use it cleverly - and calibrate their Remote controls with some precision - but a bit of a tool when they misuse it) has been employed thoughtfully from the beginning of Super Mario Galaxy’s creation.

You can use the Wii Remote as a pointer at virtually any, um, point in the game, collecting small stars from the ether and firing them back at enemies or obstacles. But that’s only the most basic incorporation of Remote controls that Mario Galaxy has to offer. With intuitive use of Remote movement Mario can also spin, roll, shoot fireballs, catapult himself, tractor-beam himself through zero gravity areas, and do other things that you’d be better off finding out independently . In boss fights, too, Wii Remote movements are used for the delivery of attacks and killer blows while the Nunchuk’s analogue stick controls Mario’s basic movement.
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Comments

InsaneJonny 5 Nov 2007 14:42
1/18
Excellent review, as someone convinced Sunshine was one of the most disappointing games of all time (A solid game, but the glimpses into mario magic like you mention in galaxy were too few and far between) . I'm curious about two things.

1. Linearity, one of the things that pissed me off about sunshine was the way you had to collect a specific 50 stars to beat the game, is Galaxy the same or can you go about it your own way.

2. Anything comparable to them god damn blue coin hunts? Their the only reason I haven't got all 120 shines yet.

And I'd say Prime 3 was the game to prove the wii not a novelty, I'm trading the garbage that was Super Paper Mario in for this day its out.
Jonti 5 Nov 2007 15:14
2/18
Hey Jonny, you can 'beat' the game with 60 stars, but they can be any 60 stars. So play as you please.

And yes, there are coin hunts, but they ain't blue.


InsaneJonny wrote:
I'm curious about two things.

1. Linearity, one of the things that pissed me off about sunshine was the way you had to collect a specific 50 stars to beat the game, is Galaxy the same or can you go about it your own way.

2. Anything comparable to them god damn blue coin hunts? Their the only reason I haven't got all 120 shines yet.
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InsaneJonny 5 Nov 2007 15:32
3/18
Are they as annoying as the blue coin hunts?
Jonti 5 Nov 2007 15:47
4/18
Well, I didn't find those annoying. But I suppose if you did, yes...

Don't let such a small factor put you off, though.

InsaneJonny wrote:
Are they as annoying as the blue coin hunts?
InsaneJonny 5 Nov 2007 17:56
5/18
Jonti wrote:

Don't let such a small factor put you off, though.


I won't, this will definately be mine day its out, need to get rid of Paper Mario somehow.
ElRhodeo 5 Nov 2007 19:31
6/18
Very nice review. Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining about a 98%, but 2% for a second of slowdown seems a little... dunno, seems like you just had to lower the score and were looking for a reason. It's a bit comical.

Nevermind, though.
deleted 5 Nov 2007 20:17
7/18
OK mario galaxy looks and By your review sounds amazing like the sequel we are waiting for, but.....

and dont take this out of context, i want to see a true mario sequel to Mario 64, yeah its gonna be hellafun to play this game but, i want my platform levels my pipes my gommbas and koopas i want big open landscapes yet closed-in, galaxy look s like its going to be the best mario game to date, but i still want to back to the mushroom kingdom, and i want that feeling i had when i first switched on my N64 for the first time with a magical colourful and crazy world i entered, jumping into pictures and warping through pipes, it was taking Mario Bros snes and making it real!, even when you warped to new worlds seeing mazza head shape in the fade in and out was just great and i am worried that i just dont think this will give it to me?

But still want this bad boy soooo much.
ad 5 Nov 2007 22:37
8/18
looks really, really cooool
ozfunghi 6 Nov 2007 00:22
9/18
but i still want to back to the mushroom kingdom, and i want that feeling i had when i first switched on my N64 for the first time with a magical colourful and crazy world i entered, jumping into pictures and warping through pipes, it was taking Mario Bros snes and making it real!, even when you warped to new worlds seeing mazza head shape in the fade in and out was just great and i am worried that i just dont think this will give it to me?

errr, seems to me like you are missing the point. No game could ever recapture that the way you would want it to, because M64 is emotionally charged for you. I had the same thing with Super Mario World, and was happy like a baby with New SMB, but it still wasn't the same thing. I was 12 when i first played SMW, i'm 28 now, and no game is ever going to change that. By even trying to recapture that feeling, games can only fail even more. Just look at Zelda TP, which is better in every way than OoT, but times change, and so do people.
deleted 6 Nov 2007 00:44
10/18
ozfunghi wrote:
but i still want to back to the mushroom kingdom, and i want that feeling i had when i first switched on my N64 for the first time with a magical colourful and crazy world i entered, jumping into pictures and warping through pipes, it was taking Mario Bros snes and making it real!, even when you warped to new worlds seeing mazza head shape in the fade in and out was just great and i am worried that i just dont think this will give it to me?

errr, seems to me like you are missing the point. No game could ever recapture that the way you would want it to, because M64 is emotionally charged for you. I had the same thing with Super Mario World, and was happy like a baby with New SMB, but it still wasn't the same thing. I was 12 when i first played SMW, i'm 28 now, and no game is ever going to change that. By even trying to recapture that feeling, games can only fail even more. Just look at Zelda TP, which is better in every way than OoT, but times change, and so do people.


exactly my point, my post is just simpling saying what i want, but also pointing out i know i wont get it. It pointed out i was worried because its like taking Da Vinci`s art and just not being able to aprreciate it, after loving the Mona Lisa or seeing Michelangelo Sistine Chaple and thinking well his David was amazing but i just dont feel for this one, and Shigeru Miyamoto is the gaming worlds Da Vinci or Michelangelo and i cant appreciate it the same way. I will always see mario as its nostalgia, i was seventeen when it was released and it still shocks me that i got that emotional response at that age as it was with OoT, as i had those same feelings when i played Super Mario World or The first Sonic, i now live my gaming in a way through my kids, i see how excited my son gets (aged5) when a new Sonic or Mario game is played for the first time and i crave for that excitment, the last time i felt excitment over a game was seeing Gears of War at Gamestation i knew i had to have an Xbox360, but it didnt compare to my childhood emotion. .

But my post was to point out the fact that even though this looks to be the best game yet (mario world) i cannot relive that emotional response again, i believe the film Gregories Girl points out that childhood emtion, when they discuss the feeling of having a milkshaake as a child and how that feeling goes as adulthood comes around.

But god i wish a game could do it again...
Jonti 6 Nov 2007 01:27
11/18
I think scoring games with numbers in itself is comical, so why not? (And to be clear, I found three entire stages which suffer from some dodgy frame-rate trouble throughout, not just three momentary instances. Again, though, do not let this deter you from buying and loving the game!)

ElRhodeo wrote:
I'm not complaining about a 98%, but 2% for a second of slowdown seems a little... dunno, seems like you just had to lower the score and were looking for a reason. It's a bit comical.
OptimusP 6 Nov 2007 09:01
12/18
Maybe...as an adult gamer, you should try not to look to relive those emotional moments like you were a teen, but try to be open to expercience these kind of games in a complete new way.

I know i had some special feelings rushing trough when playing HL˛ and comming up the first physics puzzle and went "OMG think of the potential" although Valve hasn't really fully banked on that potential yet. Then Prey and Zelda TP gave similiar feelings (TP had also a moment of dissapointment because no way in hell can anyone make a better 3D-adventure game without going complete mad with its core-design, so it also excites me that Nintendo is actually doing just that with Zelda).

Why? Because i fell in love with the sheer inguinity of the games, the puzzles, the balance, making it all slide so fluidly, actually having fun and not going thinking "right new room, shoot 5 baddies go to next room and repeat" which i'm having a lot these days really.

That's why i'm so bloody thrilled for Galaxy, it has innovation and ingenuity of the highest order gooiing from the screen. And i'll prolly will feel like a big kid while playing it.
Mark 6 Nov 2007 14:00
13/18
This deserves 100%...

I'm at 87 stars and the framerate hasn't dropped a bit...
allikohcysp 6 Nov 2007 22:31
14/18
Your reason for docking the game points is lame. Please tell me the real reason it didnt get 100%
Sbetsho 6 Nov 2007 23:43
15/18
WTF? Taking 2% off for such a reason is honestly the most ridiculous thing I've read, ever. Unless the framerate goes below 10 for a considerably long period of time.. then I would understand.
Jonti 7 Nov 2007 02:04
16/18
The real reason? Oh, OK: it was just to provoke this highly entertaining response from people who care more about numbers than words.

allikohcysp wrote:
Your reason for docking the game points is lame. Please tell me the real reason it didnt get 100%
adam hughes 8 Nov 2007 08:38
17/18
Sbetsho wrote:
WTF? Taking 2% off for such a reason is honestly the most ridiculous thing I've read, ever. Unless the framerate goes below 10 for a considerably long period of time.. then I would understand.


inbred alert, inbred alert
Pat 9 Nov 2007 17:41
18/18
I've played the game since I live in Japan for about a week now and I have about 70 stars (I'm a working man...so even if I want to play more, real life does beckon). Of course another reason I only have 70 stars might be because the level design and control are so masterful that I once spent about an hour just jumping around this crazily shaped platform to see how many sides of the screen I could land on...I hit almost all of them and the camera didn't even sputter.

Anyhow, to answer your questions.

1) Linearity seems to be thrown out the window. You can pretty much pick up any star you want so long as you have gathered the amount needed to open a new area.

2)There are a few purple coin hunts...but they are nothing like the damned things in Sunshine. These are well done and enjoyable challenges and you are never left looking for that last damn coin without any clues. No, you can see them...you just have to be clever enough to reach them ;)

This game deserves a 98%. I never had the framerate dip as they mentioned on my game, but I did manage to confuse the camera once (and I tried pretty hard to do it). So if 100% is perfect (which no reviewer wants to give) then that would stop it's perfection. I also give it a 98% (which means it's the best damn thing out there)
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