Developer: Nintendo Japan
Platform: Nintendo Wii
Rating: A (5/5)
Its no secret that the Super Mario platformer has been slumping lately. The last generation gave us two good games in Luigis Mansion and Super Mario Sunshine, but compared to the previous two, Super Mario 64 and Super Mario World, both Mansion and Sunshine, perhaps unfairly, were seen as mediocre. So when Super Mario Galaxy (Nintendo Tokyo) was announced, the Nintendo faithful had gotten their hopes up once again, especially as rumors and previews from those who have played it called it a true successor to Super Mario 64, and easily a game of the year competitor. Does it live up to the hype? Affirmative.
Super Mario Galaxy is quite impressive. As the flagship game for the Wii, Galaxy was expected to make the console shine, and it delivers. The graphics produced are just as vibrant as every other Mario game, but never have they looked so polished and pretty. Mario and company are fluid in action, maintaining a framerate that makes the game flow. The controls are just as spectacular, as the wiimote is utilized to its max potential, and no control feels loose or out of place. The music really pops, as the orchestral soundtrack pumps adventure through your speakers. The sound effects are appropriate and never overpower the music, creating a delicate balance that is rarely achieved.
If the ambience and controls are spectacular, the gameplay is amazing. The varying attacks and newly found abilities given by special suits power Mario through the galaxy at a pace of enjoyment. You read correctly, Mario has regained his power to switch his wardrobe, and it really adds a dimension to the gameplay. Combine this with the wacky yet fun environments that exist throughout the game, and you have a fun factor that eclipses the previous entries. From beginning to end, the game rarely has a dull moment and keeps the gamer wanting to play. The story is actually interesting, albeit standard Mario fare, a la Princess Peach is kidnapped and Mario has to save her. However, the story is presented much better than in the previous games, and isnt a hindrance at all.
For those who are waiting to find a reason to purchase a Wii, Galaxy has provided one. With the delay of Super Smash Brothers Brawl, the Wii needed something to ensure that the console didnt collect dust from hardcore gamers, and Galaxy has provided an out. Those who havent bothered to enjoy a Mario game, come see what the fuss is about. You wont regret it.