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1PStart Review: Super Mario Galaxy

by PacoDG

Wow. A surprise hit has come to the Wii. Unlike Halo 3 or to a lesser extent, Bioshock, this is one game that is living up to the hype and then some (I would have easily accepted a tacked on multiplayer for Bioshock.. look at what it did for Gears of War.. I mean c’mon.. anyways, this is Marios time). I waited until I beat Bowser for my first time before writing this, and I had to quickly open up my notepad.exe and start typing away. For the nostalgic, this is awesome.

The game is all new territory, but if you have played your share of older Mario games, you will notice some throwback Mario feel in characters (of course) and music worked into gameplay (wait until you are chasing notes, you will know precisely what i mean). Difficulty level is set perfectly. Any easy part is either easy because the game is trying to help you learn a new technique and master it or it is easy because it is fun. Hard parts are a challenge, but beatable (so far).

This game has something I can’t just categorize under graphics or gameplay, it has a certain addictive quality, that is so easily accessible. Because there is so many levels and so much to do, I have found I am able to start up the game, play a level or so to get a star or two (that must be collected to beat levels and advance), get a little more of the non-memorable story, and then put it down so i can not be late for work (important stuff). Enough praise, let me tell you the possibly only bad things the game brings about, then back to the love fest.

Graphics are well done. Every once in a great while I will notice jaggies, but now I am nitpicking, I am writing this honestly to find flaws in the game, I can’t compare this to made for HDtv games, but I can stand by most peoples accusation that Wii is ‘GameCube 1.5′ as far as graphics go. No glitches I have noticed so far, no noticeable pop up, colors are all solid and really do look perfect for a Mario game in space. I do consider the graphics a negative only because HDtv gaming is here and I can easily think of how perfect the game *could* look, but to compare it to just Wii games, it is the cream of the crop. I will say that Super Mario Galaxy could easily hold its own and then some if you want to compare it to something like Far Cry on the 360, which was utter crap.

The graphics portion above, I forced that out of me, the game looks good, but a real gripe I have, camera control, I am having a love/hate relationship with this so far. At times you are able to click left or right on the d-pad to move the camera around, then other times not. Same with the first person view by clicking up on the d-pad. I can count on just one hand the times that I have really been pissed about where the fixed camera is, it has not once at all hindered gameplay itself.. but I still wish there was consistency on where I am able to use the d-pad custom views. I kind of wish they didn’t have the option to do custom views at all, because now I find myself pressing up just to see if I am in a spot where I can quickly glance what is to the left or right of me without turning Mario. Like I said though, not once has the fixed camera been in a spot where i would not be able to complete my mission, and honestly I have yet to read anywhere else people really whining about the camera control, however it doesn’t change my personal opinion, but it does show that it must be fine with most folks.

Back to the love fest for this game. It is fun, plain and simple. Mario Sunshine, I skipped over, I played it at a Best Buy when it was new and decided it was just something I didn’t want to have in my memory as a Mario game I have played. This game, brings me back to that feeling of Mario 64. That title brought about a true 3d gaming experience that I remember the PS1 could not bring to the table. Now that just about every game is 3d, what can mario galaxy do? well, if there was any validity to Ken Kutaragi’s statement about the PS3 being 4D, he has been beaten to the punch by Mario actually bringing this idea to the table. This game brings a true feeling of space on some levels as you feel the gravity pull you around, others will be just straight up 3d platforming done perfectly, a few will bring to you a 2d feel with a perfectly placed side fixed camera view, and lastly there will be one level in each galaxy that does it up Mario Party/Wario ware style and give you an opportunity to change the way you are holding the wiimote (space + 3d + 2d + mario party = 4D!!).

Taking a page out of Mario 64 and having different levels and different amount of stars allows you to choose your battles. don’t like a level, most likely you can skip it then, you only need a certain amount of stars to progress to some levels… of course I have no doubts most are like me and can’t wait to get all 120 stars (I will not spoil anything in the game for you, but, just make sure you get all 120, I hear there is a special prize if you do that might make you want to play the game all over again).

To finalize this review, Mario has stepped up to the plate and knocked the ball in the Galaxy (literally, har har). If you have a Wii, I would dare say you must own this title even over Zelda: Twilight Princess. If you were on the fence about a Wii, this could easily be a system seller if a platforming game is your cup of tea, as this is the platforming game to own.

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(Super Mario Galaxy images taken from NWiiZone)

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5 Responses to “1PStart Review: Super Mario Galaxy”

  1. Zeno, Internetographer Says:

    It’s not really 4D… just using 3D in different ways. Not that it was the first to do that, either.

  2. PacoDG Says:

    lol, it was meant as a joke. I am not sure what 4d gaming means, I just remember Ken Kutaragi’s statement about it is all.

  3. SiPie Says:

    This is one fantastic game and I love it and so glad it was a great mario game unlike the mario sunshine. Dont know what you were getting at about bioshock though as it too is a fantastic game and was never hyped to have multiplayer game so how could it of lived up to that?

  4. 1P Start » Blog Archive » 1PStart Contest: Super Mario Galaxy Coin Says:

    […] you here at 1PStart (actually, we have two, but one at a time folks!). Right now up for grabs is a Super Mario Galaxy coin that was only made for those who had pre-ordered the title. Did I pre-order? Nope. I just […]

  5. 1P Start » Blog Archive » 1PStart’s Mandatory Year Ender ‘Best Of’ Type Post Says:

    […] JW’s bestowal: Game you may have heard: Super Mario Galaxy. Duh. ($37 at Target December 23 - December 29, 2007, MUST HAVE) […]

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