The 'Shroom:Issue XLV/Review Corner
Welcome to another edition of Review Corner! This month, I'll be looking at one of the most popular, groundbreaking games of the past decade: Super Mario Galaxy! This game was released in November of 2007 in Japan, North America, Europe and Australia and in 2008 in South Africa and South Korea. As the third (fourth if you count SPM as 3D and as a platformer) 3D platformer in the Mario series, the game featured lots of new enemies and characters. It was so popular that a sequel was released for the Wii in 2010.
Again, Bowser kidnaps Peach, this time in a manner similar to how he kidnaps her in Paper Mario (lifting her castle into the sky). Mario must then rescue her one more. He meets some magical bunnies that make him chase them and play hide-and-seek with them. Now, before I go ahead and praise this game any further, let me say this: DID YOU MAKE THIS GAME FOR THREE YEAR OLDS? PLAYING HIDE AND SEEK WITH GODDAMN BUNNIES WHAT THE HELL IS THIS? THIS IS WHY PEOPLE PLAY CALL OF DUTY AND HALO INSTEAD. I KNOW THIS IS AN E-RATED GAME, AND IT'S FOR PEOPLE OF ALL AGES, BUT YOU CAN DO A LITTLE BETTER THAN THAT. AND NOW THE GODDAMN STAR BUNNY MUSIC IS STUCK IN MY HEAD EVEN THOUGH I HAVEN'T PLAYED THE GAME IN OVER A MONTH AND I'LL PROBABLY HAVE TO LISTEN TO METALLICA FOR THREE HOURS TO GET IT OUT! Anyway, back to the game...Mario then meets Rosalina, who is not only hot, but also the first important female character to not be a bimbo or annoy people by greeting everyone and telling them her name. She is a fantastic addition to the Mario series.
In every level, Mario must get to the end to earn a Power Star. Instead of worlds, this game has domes from which Mario can access other galaxies. There are six domes at the Comet Observatory (the hub world of the game), not to mention a few other levels. Galaxies are collections of levels with a similar theme. There are some small galaxies which have just one level each. Bigger galaxies, generally speaking, have three levels and usually a boss. You can also uncover hidden levels, such as hidden stars, Hungry Lumas (yay, suicide and overeating) and Prankster Comets. Hungry Lumas appear in many places. Some appear in the Observatory and must be fed lots of Star Bits to create a new one-level galaxy. Others are found in the middle of levels and must be fed a smaller number of Star Bits to uncover a path to a hidden star. Prankster Comets cause variations in levels such as a time limit, beating a boss with one hit point or completing a race against Cosmic Mario, which has been compared to Shadow Mario.
Many new items are introduced in the game. The Bee Mushroom can be used for a short period of time and allows Mario to fly. Mario loses it by taking damage or touching water. The Boo Mushroom allows Mario to hover and turn invisible. It has an unlimited time period, but can be lost by taking damage or touching a beam of light. The Ice Flower is given a time limit, and allows Mario to walk on water. It's only found in ice levels since Mario takes damage when staying in cold water for too much time. The Fire Flower allows Mario to light torches, which often allows him to advance in levels, and also defeat enemies. It has a time limit, unlike in previous games. The Rainbow Star gives Mario invincibility and a speed boost for a brief period of time. In one of the levels (not giving away which one for those of you who haven't played it), Mario can earn a Power Star by running into a Gold Chain Chomp while invincible. The extremely unpopular Spring Mushroom, known as such for being hard to control, allows Mario to bounce off walls and reach high places. It is lost by taking damage or touching water. The Red Star is arguably the most underused item in the game. Found in just one level, it allows Mario to fly for a brief period of time. Nintendo could've taken this concept a long way. After you complete the level the Red Star is found in, you can find it in the Comet Observatory to reach areas in the Observatory quickly and access some hidden 1-Ups.
Generally speaking I like most of the controls in this game. They're pretty easy to pick up, though the icons on the screen showing to do things like wave the remote or spin the control stick in a circle get annoying and pointless as you advance further in the game. The only controls I don't love are the Spring Mushroom and Ray Surfing because they're tough to control.
Oh my god. The graphics on this game were amazing. Everything looked realistic (well, as realistic as you could get in a Mario game). Things like the water and grass were pretty great.
Overall, this game was a big success. However, things like the lack of Yoshi (he did appear in the sequel) and a Challenge Mode brought this game down a bit. Most people, myself included, were too amazed by the game to care. I give it a 9/10.