The latest Mario game was released ten days ago and hopefully you have had a chance to play it by now. Mario Galaxy 2 is definitely a step forward in the franchise which gives Wii owners a good reason to dust off their consoles. Those of you who have enjoyed any of the recent Mario games will definitely want to consider checking this one out. Even If you never got a chance to play the original Mario Galaxy then don’t let that stop you from diving head first into one of the top ten games of the year so far.
One of the things which is nice about Mario Galaxy 2 is that it is a stand alone sequel, which is great because Mario Galaxy 2 is a far superior game to its immediate predecessor. This new game is an excellent example of Nintendo listening to fan reactions. Mario Galaxy 2 highlights many of the popular mechanics from recent Mario games while scrapping some of the fans’ least favourite elements from the original Mario Galaxy.
When I first played this game, I was happy to see that they had scrapped the hub world from the previous Mario Galaxy game. Nintendo decided to swap out the hub and replace it with the popular world system. One of my favourite Mario games, Mario 64, had the hub world, and Super Mario Sunshine also used the hub world, but the concepts of various worlds on a separate map screen has always seemed more fitting of the Mario style. My all-time favourite Mario game, Super Mario Bros. 3, used distinct world maps and this was recently revived via the hit Nintendo game NSMBW (New Super Mario Brothers Wii). I am definitely glad to see that old fans and new fans of the Mario franchise get to experience this traditional form of world select.
Another popular element which Nintendo developers borrowed from NSMBW is the half way flag. The inclusion of the halfway flag is nice because it gives Nintendo a reason to buff the game’s difficulty for core fans without alienating new gamers. Trust me when I say some of the extra stars are definitely challenging.
If a decent difficulty and inclusion of the old world map system isn’t enough to entice older Mario fans then they might be happy to have another chance to play as Yoshi, or explore the throw back galaxy. I definitely love the concept of the throw back galaxy and wish it could have been a larger component of the game. In the throw back galaxy, players can relive a graphically enhanced version of one of their favourite Mario 64 levels, complete with a king Thwomp fight. It does my heart good to see the old level design and old music and almost makes me wish Nintendo would do yet another Mario 64 remake.
With over 242 stars to collects, Mario Galaxy 2 should provide hours of entertainment. Even a seasoned Mario player will find a challenge in the various green star challenges and return of the infamous purple coin challenge. Ultimately, I would give Super Mario Galaxy 2 a 4 out of 5 stars. The music is catchy, the graphics are top-notch for the system, and the game play is very addictive. This is definitely one of those games where I can’t help but play it in 8 hour sessions. The only downside is that some of the stars feel a bit repetitive, but at least they still provide a challenge. I highly recommend that everyone take a look into picking this game up.