Super Mario Galaxy review shows why everyone needs to own a Wii

15 January 2008
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Super Mario Galaxy for WiiIn Super Mario Galaxy you become Mario as he traverses gravity-bending galaxies, traveling in and out of gravitational fields by blasting from planet to planet.

You’ll experience dizzying perspective shifts as they run upside down through wild alien worlds that need to be seen to be believed. Whether you’re surfing on a ray across an ocean in the clouds, rolling on a ball through a treacherous garden, or floating in a bubble over a poisonous swamp, there’s no limit to the cosmic challenges you’ll encounter!

Mario is back in his best adventure yet!

System: Wii
Genre: Platformer, Adventure
Release dates: November 1st 2007 (JPN), November 12th 2007 (USA), November 16th 2007 (EURO), November 27th 2007 (AUS)
Players: 1 (2 in co-op)
Developer: Nintendo EAD Tokyo
Publisher: Nintendo
Origin: Japan

Super Mario Galaxy screenshot

Hopefully you know better than to buy Mario games for their storyline, because Bowser has kidnapped Princess Peach AGAIN and this time taken her castle into space. Navigate Mario through exciting new worlds and the depths of space, with all new enemies, power-ups and attack skills, as he collects the Stars needed to save Princess Peach. A new character, Rosalina, makes her debut. This Watcher of the Stars aids Mario on his quest to find her friend, the Grand Star, in addition to Princess Peach. The ultimate Nintendo hero is taking the ultimate step … out into space. Join Mario as he ushers in a new era of video games, defying gravity across all the planets in the galaxy.

Watch the start of Super Mario Galaxy.

Whether you’re a Mario master or playing one of his adventures for the first time, you’ll actively jump from planet to planet with the motion-sensing and pointing capabilities of the controller. Controlling Mario is as simple as can be with the Wii Remote and Nunchuk. Move Mario with the Control Stick and shake the Wii Remote to perform a spin move that makes him spin around with fists outstretched or cue Ring Stars that launch you to and from planetary objects. You can even point at and collect Star Bits, which can be thrown at enemies to stun them, or latch onto Beam Stars to blaze a magnetic trail through the heavens.

Since he’s in space, Mario can perform mind-bending jumps unlike anything he’s done before. He’ll also have a wealth of new moves that are all based around tilting, pointing and shaking the Wii Remote. Mario can run, tiptoe, jump, triple-jump, backflip, wall-jump, side somersault, ground pound and long-jump, but what he’ll do most is spin.

Bee MarioHe can also find plenty of power-ups. A Bee Mushroom turns him into Bee Mario, allowing him to fly for short periods of time and cling to honeycombs. A Boo Mushroom turns him into Boo Mario, allowing him to float and turn invisible to pass through mesh gates. The rest are some surprising new and retro power-ups we’ll leave to you to discover on your own.

You’ll constantly collect bits of stardust called Star Bits with either Mario or the pointer, which can become a game in of itself. These Star Bits can be fired at enemies using the B Button. A second player can even take on this role, using a second Wii Remote to hold enemies in place by stunning them, shoot Star Bits, even sweep aside projectiles, and help Mario perform special high jumps in coordination with the first player. Which makes it a co-op (aka co-star or assist-play) experience in a single player game.

Watch how much fun playing Super Mario Galaxy is.

As in all 3D Mario games your main goal is to collect stars, which you receive after completing tasks or defeating enemies, once obtained the stars will unlock more worlds with levels that have stars for you to travel to on your adventure. The Star Bits can be used to feed Hungry Lumas that appear within the observatory and galaxies, once full, they form a new planet or galaxy where you’ll be able to find even more stars. You can get to every world through the main Comet Observatory room, which gives access to these six different planets: the Terrace, Fountain, Kitchen, Bedroom, Engine Room, and Garden. In these six planets (worlds) are 42 galaxies (levels) with 1 to 7 stars each for you to find. Don’t get too excited though, there are black holes and enemies everywhere out to stop you. So keep your health up by collecting coins, and add lives by finding 50 coins, 50 Star Bits, or 1UP’s.

So what are main features of Super Mario Galaxy?

* Shake, tilt and point! Mario takes advantage of all the unique aspects of the Wii Remote and Nunchuk controller, unleashing new moves as players shake the controller and even point at and drag items with the pointer.

* Mario essentially defined the 3-D platforming genre with Super Mario 64, and this game proves once again that he is king. Players perform mind-bending, low-gravity jumps across wild alien terrain as they experience platforming for a new generation.

* A fun extra is that even online is used in a small way via Wii Connect 24 features that allow you to receive an urgent email from the Mailtoad and lets you take a screenshot of your progress screen statistics to send to a friend via the Wii Message Board.

See more Super Mario Galaxy gameplay footage.

Click on the bottom-right corner arrow to view it fullscreen.

In conclusion let’s see how much fun Super Mario Galaxy is on a scale from 1 to 10?

Consider Super Mario Galaxy the love child of Super Mario Bros. 3 and Super Mario 64. The retro throwbacks to 2D gaming are as nostalgic as they are amazing and the fresh and innovative gravity-influenced 3D gaming in space adds a whole new dimension thanks to the flawless Wii controls. There are loads of levels to explore and stars and other bits to collect in them. It’s no wonder this game is trumpeted as the first worthy successor to Super Mario 64, a game by many considered one of the best games ever made, and while playing Super Mario Galaxy it joins those ranks on grin-inducing fun factor alone. All you have to do is run around a planet upside-down and you’ll start to sense this Wii game is something special. You’ll need a bit of both luck and skill to finish each space planet, but that’s why people of all ages can pick this up and play.

Minor downsides could be considered that while the automatic camera is almost always spot-on, there can be camera angles that don’t allow you to change them with the D-pad depending on where you end up standing on a planet. And while you can skip between stages as you like as long as you have the right number of stars, try going to individual stages and you’ll have to grab the stars in order. In Super Mario 64 you usually had a few options of where to go in any given stage to collect the star you wanted, but you just can’t seem to do that in Super Mario Galaxy. The thing is, you’ll be having so much fun hopping, skipping, jumping and flying around a gigantic galaxy that it won’t matter. Even if you’re not a Mario fan you owe it to yourself as a gamer to play this game. We (Supa and Astro) ended up agreeing this might be one of those “best game ever” moments that’s “out of this world”. Treasure this masterpiece of a game, it’s a gem made up out of pure fun!

Graphics – 10
Gorgeous graphics that will baffle you with their sharpness and bright colors. Perfect level design that gives your adventure a huge scope. The depth of field created by each galaxy’s unique surroundings makes for a visually stunning, atmospheric experience.

Audio – 9.5
The soundtrack is a mix of songs from various original Super Mario games and joyous orchestral new tunes that’ll be stuck in your head. They all sound fantastic and are always fitting and uplifting to complement the gameplay or your sense of nostalgia. Talking about complementing, so do the sound effects coming out of the Wii Remote that always add something to the many different situations you’ll find yourself in. Sound effects are spot-on throughout the game as you’re amazed by the audio from objects like the sling- and pull star, the enemies that come at you, and your various attack moves. There’s also voice acting that’s either decent enough or gives some added characters, like our Italian plumber hero Mario (“voiced” by Charles Martinet) and his fun expressive characteristics.

Ingenuity – 10
Super Mario Galaxy is the next step in platform gaming, it’s that ambitious and it paid off. The controls make every button your press and movement you make feel natural and will keep you spinning, jumping, running, and swimming throughout the game. In fact, you’ll likely never even look at the controls, they are pick up and play to the point of perfection. The freedom that comes from controlling Mario on every new and different planet that has its own gravitational field, makes even the smallest planet feel exciting to land on. You can jump off the edge of a planet and in mid-freefall you might find out the gravity of another planet sucks you in from its orbit. You’ll be able to get enough 1UP’s to warrant this sense of exploration as you get pulled upside-down, diagonal, sideways, and everything in between. The variety in gameplay is simply amazing and makes sure there’s never a dull moment.

Replay Value – 9.5
Expect the game’s trip through galaxies and their planets to last you 15 to 25 hours if you want to complete it as soon as you’ve gathered 60 stars, but there are 120 stars total that you’ll want to find, which can take you anywhere from 30 to 60 hours! After which there are two more surprises we won’t spoil that you can try and achieve and that bump up the replay value even more. While there are save files for up to six people, the levels can also be played in an easier Co-Star mode with two people together; with one controlling Mario and someone else collecting and firing Star Bits for the other. This allows casual gamers (or any bystanders) to become participants and extend the fun.


Categories: News, Reviews, Videos, Wii News

About the author

Ferry Groenendijk By Ferry Groenendijk: He is the founder and editor of Video Games Blogger. He loved gaming from the moment he got a Nintendo with Super Mario Bros. on his 8th birthday. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and at Google+.

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