|System: Wii||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Nintendo||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Nintendo||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Nov. 12, 2007||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
As many of you know, Mario is back to his roots and is using his power suits again. Not only will he use the fire flower to shoot fireballs at enemies, but he'll also find ice flowers that freeze water so he can make his own paths, rainbow stars that make him invincible for a short period of time, and other more innovative suits that will turn him into Bee Mario, Boo Mario or Spring Mario.
A fuzzy striped mushroom turns him into a delicate bee; as you might have guessed, he looks cute as can be! When you hold A, he'll be able to fly and buzz around just like a little insect. His flying abilities are limited by a timer. However, he always has enough flying time to reach the next platform or at least a honey wall where he can stick and plan his next destination. With the evil-looking white mushroom, the plumber will turn into a ghost. If you shake the Wii-mote, he'll become invisible for a few seconds, giving him the ability to go through walls and narrow bars. He can also float if you press the A button repeatedly, much like Racoon Mario used to do. The metallic spring mushroom turns Mario into a bouncy spring. Timing landings correctly will make him jump high! Mario will be vulnerable to different things when wearing the suit; water, damage, light, and launch stars could bring Mario back to normal.
Of course, Mario's abilities don't just relay in his power suits. He can nicely jump, wall-jump, duck, swim, dive, ice-skate, climb poles, do cool summersaults in the air, ground-pounds, and more. His specialty in Super Mario Galaxy is the spin. When you shake the Wii-mote, he'll perform a spin attack that usually triggers or breaks something or hits the enemy. You can even discover sproutle vines that will take you from one place to the next; just keep shaking the Wii-mote and he'll spin out like an acrobat! The controls are so easy and intuitive a kid could play. Not everything is based on motion controls; in fact, you'll be using the Nunchuk's control stick and all of the buttons quite a bit. A is for reading signs, talking to people, jumping, etc. B shoots star bits, Z after a jump makes him ground-pound, C adjusts the camera for you, and the minus and plus buttons pause the game and bring you to the main menu. Special moves, like pickup up and throwing things, skating, etc. will be done by moving the Wii-mote. Also, you'll use the Wii-mote as a pointer to pick up the star bits.
The game allows one of your friends to join you at any time. You just need an extra controller and he or she will take charge of the pointer. It can be of great help to have someone else collecting star bits and knocking out enemies while the main player focuses on the gameplay. The second player won't be having much fun, but at least he will be following the story and feel somewhat helpful. It's the ideal situation for parents playing with their kids. They'll be excited just holding the Wii-mote and "helping," so the parent will get all the fun without having to trade the controller at all!
The graphics in Super Mario Galaxy are simply outstanding. The level design is loaded with fluffy and colorful shapes, sharp and bright colors, and lots of detail. It has the same feel as most Nintendo games out there: Mario Strikers: Charged, Mario Party 8, etc. However, the amount of detail here surpasses any other title. This new world is so huge and amazing it will keep everyone occupied, not only playing the awesome levels but also enjoying the visual feast of each galactic theme. When you go from one galaxy to another, you'll be presented with new environments and characters. Each of them follows a main theme; you'll go from Good Egg Galaxy to Bee Hive Galaxy, and even to the depths of the earth later on. If the Wii supported HD graphics, it would have made my jaw drop! I just can't believe how much imagination and creativity has been put into this game. Nintendo always beats everyone else in that department, without a doubt.
The music, voice-over, and sound effects are also terrific. There are several new tunes that accompany the innovative gameplay. They're all reminiscent of other Mario titles, but different and well done. Sometimes, like when you enter certain warp pipes, you'll encounter smaller side-quests that carry old soundtracks with a new twist. This always puts a smirk on my face while I remember, for example, the castle levels of Super Mario Bros. on the NES. Mario's voice hasn't changed a bit; needless to say he still maintains his cute Italian accent. The princess is as peachy as always, maybe a little too sweet for me. The toads are still cheerful and youthful creatures. The new characters all show their great personalities through their voices. The sound effects are authentic and perfect; warp pipes, coins, blocks, power-ups, springs, etc. - everything has the effect you'd expect.
Mario followers: this is your final call! If you haven't picked up the game yet you better go and do it before they run out of copies. This is not an experience you should miss. If you were dissatisfied by Super Mario Sunshine, don't be afraid; this game will give you everything you wanted and much more. It sure was worth the wait!
CCC Site Director