REVIEW: Super Mario Galaxy

  • Released: 2007
  • Played on: Nintendo Wii
  • Also available on: –
  • Time to get into: 1 Hour
  • Time to complete: 30 Hours
  • Multiplayer: no

All I can say, after finally playing this game just the ten years late, is thank goodness for The Boy and his enthusiasm for all things Mario. It was he who insisted we pick this up. This is a wonderful game and my favourite Mario game ever – in fact, just one of my favourite games ever, full stop. I won’t be too thorough in reviewing this game as it’s been out for so long but if, like me, you somehow managed to miss this the first time around then let me have a few moments of your time to explain why you need to go and fix that as soon as possible!

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The Nintendo Way
Super Mario Galaxy is huge victory for function over form – it’s all about the gameplay. This is the Nintendo way, isn’t it?! The other aspects of the game are all adequate. The graphics are fine, although even in 2007 they weren’t groundbreaking due to the Wii not being built to compete on specs. The story is the same as every Mario game – you know; Bowser kidnaps Princess Peach, Mario fights through various obstacles to rescue her etc etc. Standard, but that is fine. On the other hand, everything about the actual gameplay is spectacular – the level design, the platforming action, and the controls to combine them.

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Levels and Galaxies
The sheer variety of environments you will find yourself in is remarkable. As Mario jumps from planet to planet – sometimes even within levels – you’ll not only find yourself on solid platforms but in water, in the air, on platforms that are sinking into lava and many more. If anything, what’s most remarkable about this is that it never feels overwhelming – the game does a great job of guiding you to what you need to do. Only once or twice did I get stuck and even then when I figured it out it was simply that I had somehow missed something obvious!
On top of all this my personal favourite thing about the levels was how the game messes with gravity. There are a number of levels where different platforms have different directions of gravity. Some even let you influence that gravity yourself. Mario can then move around levels walking on the walls and ceilings as well as the floor. Gravity is clearly an important part of a game called ‘Galaxy’ but the developers have gone so much further in harnessing that to open up new areas for Mario to move around in.

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Actions and Power-ups
Every action that Mario can take feels totally smooth and natural. Running, jumping and spinning quickly all work nicely and the placement and timing of Mario’s moves can give different results, opening up even more options for getting through levels and defeating enemies. Power ups are also brilliant at adding more aspects to the gameplay. Bee Mario can fly, Spring Mario can leap high, Fire Mario can light torches on fire to open up new sections etc.

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Controls and Remotes
Traversing these wonderful and varied levels with these spectacular and varied moves is made fantastic by the control scheme. Super Mario Galaxy combines normal button-and-stick inputs with motion controls on the Wii Remote. It does this almost perfectly! Moving Mario about is usually the domain of the stick on the Nunchuck. The buttons take care of actions like jumping. Finally moving the Remote around is used to gather the collectibles, pointing when required and shaking to get Mario to spin. This combination quickly becomes second nature – if only more Wii games back in the day could have combined Wii Remote motion controls with more standard controls to such great effect.

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Verdict
What a fun game this is! I always looked forward to what the next level would have in store for me. Run, jump, spin, fly, buzz, bounce, skate – every action was a joy from beginning to end. The ultimate platformer.

Review5

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First Impressions: Super Mario Galaxy

We are supremely late to this party! Super Mario Galaxy was released nearly ten years ago in November 2007. I never got around to playing it at the time and so I had kind of given up and moved on to newer games until The Boy spotted it in a store recently. He’d obviously seen a video of it on the internet as he knew more about it than me so we picked it up.
Better late than never!

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Well my first impressions are that I’m glad for his persuasion. I like the planet-hoping dynamic and the story so far is classic Mario. However, it’s the control scheme that has interested me the most so far. The combination of walking around with an analog stick (as in every other game) with the pointing at the screen with the Wii Remote is fantastic. If more games had employed the Remote this well on the Wii it might have been a better place for ‘serious’ games rather than being overtaken by party games with gimmicky swinging about of the controllers.

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The only flaw we’ve discovered so far isn’t really a flaw at all: this game is hard! We haven’t got far yet and it’s already getting a bit tricky for me and too difficult for The Boy. We try and take it in turns but on each of the last few stars we’ve collected he has ended up just letting me do it.
Hopefully as we continue it will still have enough levels that he can do to be be fun for him.

A full review will follow when we eventually finish it and then we will move on to Super Mario Galaxy 2! With any luck we will get both of these done before Super Mario Odyssey towards the end of the year.

Return of the Wii

Today we dug out our old Nintendo Wii. We had absolutely no idea if it would even work but as it turns out – success! 

All if this stemmed from The Boy and I wandering around our local shopping centre and ending up in a game shop looking at Nintendo games. I managed to steer him away from 3DS games by looking at the Wii games and he wound up looking at Super Mario Galaxy

I’ve never played it or it’s sequel and I feel like I missed out on them as basically everyone said they were amazing. 

We will let you know our thoughts later on. Just gotta find the 2nd Wiimote so we can play co-op!

What about you? Have you played Super Mario Galaxy? And what were your favourite Wii games back in the day? Let us know in the comments below.