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Super Mario Galaxy (Wii)
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- Platform: Nintendo Wii
- BBFC Rating:
- Media: Video Game
- Item Quantity: 1
The ultimate Nintendo hero is taking the ultimate step...out into space.Join Mario as he ushers in a new era of video games, defying gravity across all the planets in the galaxy. When a mysterious creature escapes into space with Princess Peach, Mario gives
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Galaxy steps up as a true contender to Mario 64's throne and whilst it cannot hope to replicate the magic, awe and genre defining magnificence of the Nintendo 64 classic it still throws in a superb performance that finally gives gamers a worthy successor to the original.
Taking the 3D platformer into space opens up many new angles of approach for Nintendo to work their magic on. Most levels contain smaller planets that are travelled between using launch stars, allowing new approaches to puzzle design and exploration. Walking off the edge of a platform for the first time only to find yourself walk around to the underside is an unfamiliar treat, especially when death would be the usual expected outcome. Control in these moments can sometimes be an issue as perspective and directions change. It takes a while to get used to and isn't always intuitive but thankfully this is a small gripe that only rarely prevents a hit to the play experience. Restraint has been shown in the use of motion control. Jumping and movements are still thankfully kept on buttons and the analogue stick with the remote used sparingly for attacks and to shoot gems, that can be collect in the levels, at enemies. Too many games are released where motion control is either an after thought or and over-used gimmick. Nintendo are still the lead runners in showing the best application for the device.
The difficulty for the most part is fairly low but consistent. Whether a case of pandering to the casual crowd or not, I'm not sure, but anyone with experience of the genre should not have any trouble progressing. Saying that, there are some brilliant levels that require maddeningly tight reflexes and precision jumps that show in some areas, the hardcore need only apply. These levels are really where the game's old school platform roots shine and are immensely satisfying (and relieving) to complete. There is an option for a second player to join in using the remote pointer to help the other player out. This makes it a good family game for parents to play with young children as the interaction of the second player is useful but does not get in the way of the main player's actions.
It is a shame that Nintendo don't focus more on their core franchises (or create some new ones) as Galaxy shows just how good Nintendo are at creating magical experiences with superb level design. The game constantly feels fresh and the challenges varied with very little repetition in between. Hunting out all 120 stars is as entertaining as it was in Mario 64 whilst avoiding the choreish nature of blue coin hunting seen in Mario Sunshine.
The game appeals to all ages and abilities, satisfying the experienced and the inexperienced alike. More importantly with so many games coming out with 15-18 certifcates it's great to finally have a game out that kids can play that isn't some insipid Disney inspired cash in dross. There are plenty of moments of genius and with extra suits and a few side-levels that change up the whole experience there is constant motivation to keep playing and see what's around the next corner. It is safe to say it's the best game on the Wii but also one of the best games of this generation, totally essential.
Using the wii controller with this game is very easy to get used to. Much of the game involved making Mario spin by flicking your wrist, which allows him to activate different mechanisms, to jump higher, to swim faster, to pick items up and release them and even to fly. There is a little star cursor that you move across the screen as you are controlling Mario, which will pick up star bits or grab hold of pull stars. You also have the usual range of Mario maneuvers, the back flip, the triple jump, the long jump. So it will seem quite familiar.
The gravity of the planets can take a little getting used to, especially if you move quickly from being right way up to upside down on the screen but that's part of the fun. Similarly, swimming, as in earlier games, can be a pain if you're trying to get Mario to catch a coin but it's a minor frustration.
As with these other two games, there's also a nicely leisurely pace in most parts of the game: you have plenty of space to move around and don't have too many awkward jumps to make. Of course, there are a few parts of the game where there's a time limit which shakes you out of any complacency. The challenges are nicely different to keep things exciting.
And the graphics are fantastic. The opening section with the meteor strike on the Mushroom palace demonstrates how far beyond the gamecube the Wii is.
I don't think anyone could really be in doubt that Super Mario Galaxy would be a signature game for the Wii, but let me just confirm that it is.
My only gripe is I wish some of the purple coins challenges would have popped up earlier in the game, all mine came right at the end.
Only Nintendo makes platforms games this good, buy it now if you have a Wii and don't own it!!!
If you have yet to experience Super Mario Galaxy I would highly recommend it :-)
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