Players: 1 to 2 Player Game | Release Date: 11/12/07 | Genre: Platform
Mario is seen as the most well-known and loved videogame character of all time. Nintendo has not only used Mario as its mascot since the NES days but has featured his name on a variety of titles. But when Nintendo releases a brand new platform title in the Mario universe, gamers need to pay attention. No matter what year or platform a Super Mario adventure is released on, his titles are always magical. Super Mario Galaxy is just another example that nobody knows how to make a platformer like Nintendo and the genius behind it all--Miyamoto.
Super Mario Galaxy takes a new look at the franchise and successfully recreates the magic of Super Mario 64 with only a few minor issues. This time around, the evil Bowser is taking his menacing ways to space and Mario is forced to not only save Princess Peach but to save the entire galaxy. In order to accomplish this, Mario will learn a whole new series of maneuvers and find out that while in space nobody can hear you scream--they can pull off some pretty amazing jumps.
The story begins with Mario heading off to meet Peach who has a special present for him. Before you can say “isn’t this how Mario 64 began?” the ground is ripped out from underneath Mario and a UFO pulls the castle into space. How can Mario possibly save the day in space? Fortunately, Mario runs into a luma and is asked to help their race, and a angelic-like being named Rosalina, to help them recover power for their spaceship. This not only helps them regain their power but allows Mario to travel all over the galaxy.
As you begin your journey, Mario will only have access to a single galaxy. Inside this galaxy are a series of planets that each have a star requirement to reach. Just like in Mario 64, Super Mario Galaxy has multiple stars to obtain per level--or in this case per planet. Upon obtaining enough to reach the boss, you will square off against Bowser or one of his minions to finally unlock the galaxy. This will lead to another galaxy appearing where you go through the same process again.
Although it would sound like the gameplay could get monotonous, Super Mario Galaxy is anything but that. The interesting thing is that each and every level feels new and exciting. Players rarely do the same exact thing and the variety in the gameplay is what makes Galaxy stand out apart from all other Mario titles. Another interesting aspect of the gameplay are the costumes that Mario gets periodically throughout the game. These are very reminiscent of Super Mario Bros. 3 and include a Bumble Bee outfit, transformation into a ghostly Boo, and more. Unlike Mario 3 where players could gather cards to transform at any point, Galaxy has set points where the costumes are required to get through the individual level.
Players will find that the difficulty level is quite varied in Mario’s latest outing. This can be both a good and bad thing. Usually past Mario titles continually got more difficult as the player progressed through the title. This forced players to master Mario’s arsenal of moves to ultimately defeat the game. Galaxy instead offers players a multitude of levels to pick from. If one set of levels proves to be entirely too difficult for the player, you can skip the level and choose another one. This can be done to the very end and it is possible to beat the game without playing any very challenging levels. Of course, true hardcore Mario fans will want to play every single level and not take the “casual gamer” route Nintendo has created in Galaxy.
No matter how you choose to play Super Mario Galaxy, players will grow to love the lack of gravity, running in circles in outer space, and the fact that Mario hasn’t been turned into a series of mini-games like most other Wii titles. In fact, if other companies, including Nintendo, can successfully take hardcore titles and leave openings for casual players to enjoy the game, the Wii could cater to both hardcore and casual audiences.
Super Mario Galaxy is a magical and exciting adventure that will keep you glued to your Wii from start to finish. This is among the year’s best titles and is a reason to believe that the Wii can be a platform for all to enjoy. We give Super Mario Galaxy our highest praise.