3-2-1, blastoff! It’s time to explore one really wacky universe in Super Mario Galaxy 2 with your old pal Mario.
|SUPER MARIO GALAXY 2
Nintendo for Wii
Replay Value: 8.0
Overall Score: 8.7
Official Web Site
Pros: Yoshi is playable; drill through planets; 2-player multiplayer
Cons: Not that much different from the last game; no online multiplayer
Is this sequel new and cool enough for you to take another interplanetary ride with the plumber who’s always dedicated to saving Princess Peach?
I want to make it clear that Nintendo hasn’t redesigned the wheel here. It’s very similar to the last game. However, if you’re one of the millions who loved Super Mario Galaxy and yearned for more when you were done, you’ll be happy to take another wild trip through space.
WHAT A TUTORIAL LEVEL
As Mario, you’re invited to Princess Peach’s palace to have cake and watch the beautiful falling stars as they rain from the heavens. But mayhem ensues. On your way to the castle, you see that a giant Bowser, so big he takes up the whole TV screen, has kidnapped the pretty princess. He’s fanged, ugly and angry, and he mocks you. Are you going to take that lying down? No way!
On your quest, you explore the outer reaches of the galaxy, planet by planet, each with its own unique environment. There are surprises all along the way, even in the first half hour of play. First, you’ll find Baby Luma under your hat. Not only is he cute, he’ll be the source of all kinds of helpful things as you travel the cosmos on your journey.
The first big thrill happens when you meet a group of friendly Lumas, headed by a tear-drop shaped, purple space mechanic named Lubba. Lubba and his pals don’t care for Bowser and when you promise to help them, their planet turns into a spaceship that looks like Mario’s head—with grass for his hair and mustache!
Essentially, this is your tutorial level. But it’s a lot of fun. Make sure you explore and find the entrance into your ship’s engine room. Check back often for new mysterious rooms that open up.
SAVOR AND SEARCH
Everything is carefully made and presented here, so take some time to look around and explore. Don’t rush through the game. As you spin into enemies to stop their attack, collect the falling star bits, coins and the occasional star. Find the Grand Star, and you’ll travel to a brave new world.
Along the way, search for Comet Medals, the majority of which are very well hidden. When you have enough of these, you can summon Prankster Comets, which make changes to the universe and offer you new (and sometimes really tough) challenges.
Playing Super Mario Galaxy 2 is like having a super-imaginative amusement park fun house right in your own home. You swing, triple jump, leap onto moving platforms, swim underwater, avoid buzzsaws, speed like Sonic through chutes, defy gravity and play upside down. And that’s just the beginning.
You can become a cloud and make your own puffy platforms to get to places you otherwise couldn’t. You can become a boulder, rolling into hard objects that a spin won’t break into. Of course, you can grab a Boo Mushroom to become Boo Mario, a ghost that can pass through walls. All of these powerups don’t last very long. Keep that in mind, or you’ll fall and maybe lose a life.
Mario can soar and glide on a colorful bird with a huge wingspan called a Fluzzard. You can use a handy drill on your adventure, too. Just shake the remote to bore right down through the planet. And you can use the drill on monsters.
If there’s a black hole nearby, you might be in for some heart-stopping action. Watch out for the many Void Marios that emerge. They look like Mario, but they’re black and fast and not very nice at all. Get away because they multiply quickly. The one thing I don’t like is the Star Ball, which has you jump up and balance on a huge see-through globe. It’s sometimes too hard to maneuver.
There’s nothing more fun than playing the game with Yoshi. Hop on and ride as you command him to eat food and enemies with his super long tongue. You can also use that tongue like a handy grappling hook to swing from place to place. Plus, Yoshi can transform into a floating blimp. And when you chomp down a Bulb Berry, Yoshi shines a light that reveals special paths you couldn’t see by yourself. He’s indispensable to winning the game.
Overall, Super Mario Galaxy 2 is a very fine game, one that you can play with a friend in multiplayer mode (sadly, there is no online multiplayer capability). Even though you sometimes wish there were more new things to do, it’s a pleasure-filled experience that slowly ramps up from easy to very challenging. And, hey, there’s nothing like the heroic feeling of saving Princess Peach from that mean ol’ Bowser.