The 'Shroom:Issue X/Review

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Review: Super Mario Galaxy

by Phoenix Rider

Phoenix Rider, here, folks. Back from being MIA last month. School sucks. Anydangway, let’s get this review wagon back on the road. The next speed bump for our wagon is Super Mario Galaxy for Wii! Now, some of you may wonder if the next iteration in the 3D platformer series is worth the fiddy greenbacks you’re going to shell out for it. Others of you may not be wondering at all. Others may just pick up the game cause it’s a Mario game (hey, I’m not here to judge, Hotel Mario). Now then, how exactly DOES Galaxy stack up?

Gameplay- ****+

OK, we have to face the facts. Galaxy is wonderful. The controls are so simple to pick up and start playing and they feel so natural on the Wii Remote. The Nunchuk’s Analog stick is used for movement, A is jump, B is throw Star Bits at things, and A and Z together is ground pound. C is used for the camera, but we’ll get to that in a minute. The gameplay has that Super Mario 64 feel, which is a big plus. You go around the different Galaxies collecting Power Stars to power the Comet Observatory, home of the Lumas and Princess Rosalina. Along the way, there are many different levels including a fire and ice level, a hive-themed galaxy and several desert galaxies. There are secret levels, too, but, you’ll have to figure those out for yourself.

The only problem I have with Galaxy’s gameplay is its ever-so-rigid camera. Where’s my 360-degree rotation? You would think that wouldn’t be such a hard thing Oftentimes, you can only choose between two or three camera angles, each oh so slightly different from the others. Other times, you won’t be able to change the camera at all. Lame. This makes precision jumping hard and frustrating at times. And most of the time, the camera chooses the absolute worst possible position to lock on to, such as at Mario’s side or in front of Mario, so you’re actually running toward the camera, preventing you from seeing where you’re going. And first-person view is just useless.

Sound- ***

Yeah, yeah, great music and all that. Creates a nice ambience as you’re running around doing stuff on the various Galaxies. Some of them get a little annoying though, after you’ve heard them for the 1000th time. Meh. There are some nice moments where you collect music notes and listen to throwback classic Super Mario Bros. music though. Nice touch, Nintendo.

Sound effects are present and accounted for. Whirls of tornados, flips of switches, crashes of Thwomps, everybody in the pool! Or Galaxy, as the case may be. Again, minimal voice acting. Lame. Come ON Nintendo. We want FULL voice overs! This is getting to be inexcusable, so I docked two stars off this category. It’s getting ridiculous.

Graphics- *****

Stunning. Amazing. Breath-taking. These adjectives do not apply to Galaxy. They are far too mild. Galaxy, in the graphics department is the most awe-inspiring game ever. Mario has never looked better. Love how everything glows. Nice attention to detail (the books in the library, for instance). Mario, Rosalina, Bowser, and all the enemies look great with not a single out-of place polygon in sight, save maybe for Bowser’s hair, which looks somewhat like cherry Jell-O given the physics in the game.

Replay Value- ***+

Replay Value is actually pretty decent. You’ll want to come back and try the “hard” mode with the, erm, “extra character” and experience a few differences. Of course, getting all the Stars is a must for any self-respecting Mario gamer such as yourself. Some levels you may dread due to the tedium, but there are others that are fun every time.

Overall- ****+

No doubt about it, Mario Galaxy is one of the greatest games for the Wii yet. Great gameplay, which puts a new spin on classic 64 platforming. It’s like the game was polished to a shine, and it shows. The one glaring issue, is of course the camera, which I simply could not overlook enough to give the game a 5. Still, it’s the first new 3D platformer since Sunshine, so definitely check it out. It is a must-have.