Follow these three simple steps and Mario Galaxy will look like an early Xbox 360 game


Super Mario Galaxy HD
This post goes out to my boy Ben Fritz from Variety. He caught flack on Monday for panning Super Mario Galaxy in his review saying the game “looks old fashioned and lifeless” when compared to PS3 graphics. Aside from dismissing the fact that Nintendo has long since marginalized the importance of HD graphics, I don’t think Ben was following my guide to playing Super Mario Galaxy in a post-HD world:

  1. Buy an HDTV. Many households already have one of these in their home. I’m 99.9% sure Ben was playing Galaxy on one of these beauties. They range from $500-2000 for a 32″ model.
  2. Use component cables. Doing this will afford you the ability to enable Enhanced Definition video (480p) on your Wii. It’s not HD, but it’s far from being SD. I give Ben a 50/50 chance that he used one of these as they sadly DO NOT come standard with Wii.
  3. Sit at least 8 ft away from you TV. This is an important one. Sitting closer than 8 feet while playing Galaxy (depending on the size of your HDTV) will result in undesirous “jaggies” and graphics degradation. The Queen Bee’s furry abdomen looks convincing from five 1/3 cubits — not so much at four. I’m 99.9% sure that Ben didn’t follow this step in his review habitat. Big no-no.

I watch Blu-ray movies regularly on the same LCD that I play Galaxy on. The same goes for the gorgeous and realistic looking visuals of both my PS3 and Xbox 360. But in following the above three steps, you’ll wonder if a little gnome didn’t sneak into your house and duct tape two additional GameCubes to your jerry-rig of a Wii.

“But Blake — how did Nintendo pull this off when we know Wii pales in comparison to its technical superior competitors?” you ask.

Easy. Knowing Wii’s limitations, it’s apparent that Nintendo used the smaller planet levels to their advantage. By doing so, they were able to achieve persuasive lighting, shadowing, and blur effects in addition to the voluminous bosses and ornate deco that would have otherwise been impossible for lifelike sprawling environments commonly found in PS3 and 360 games. Necessity is the mother of invention.


  1. Mario Galaxy is by far the best looking game on Wii, but even on a CRT SD, I can still tell the difference between a 360 game and SMG. Luckily, it doesn’t matter – Galaxy is exactly the kind of game Nintendo is referring to when it says that high end graphics aren’t that important. Unfortunately, most 3rd parties are putting out games that look worse than mid-gen GC games. Far Cry was atrocious. Graphics aren’t a necessity, but they can be a distraction if you make the frame rate awful.

  2. Metroid looks great on my 40inch (1080p) Samsung and Amazon just told me Mario is on his way to me… I dont think graphics really matter but certainly a decent frame rate is important, GC had some much nicer looking games than Wii does simply because people are making crappy ports of PS2 games

    Xbox looks amazing but for the money and having to palm through the hordes of first person shooters / rainbox six esque strategy games I’d rather not bother with the extra cash.

    I cant wait for Mario!

  3. That Variety review was lame, good way to earn some credibility.Mr.Fritz

  4. No.
    Mario does NOT looks as good as 360 games, even early ones, on my 1080P HD LCD. Close? Maybe, to the first 360 games, but still not as good.

    Let it go.
    Mario looks GREAT. On the Wii.
    For the underpowered Wii, we have a new graphical champ. Stop these ridiculous comparisons, I love the visuals of this game, but they are not up there with the 360 or PS3.

    Gameplay is always more important, and Mario is SUPER great in that regards. I love the over all look and feel of this great game.
    But lest not get carried away with fanboyism here….sigh…

    “Mario Galaxy is by far the best looking game on Wii, but even on a CRT SD, I can still tell the difference between a 360 game and SMG. Luckily, it doesn’t matter – Galaxy is exactly the kind of game Nintendo is referring to when it says that high end graphics aren’t that important”
    Yes I agree with you 100%, Andrew-MG . Nintendo hit the game right on the head here! Now back to Mario!

  5. I just don’t get people’s obsession with graphics. Sure they help, Half Life 2’s extraordinarily real world pulls you in like nothing else, but in a game like Mario I’ll settle for 8 bit as long as the gameplay is fun. Galaxy uses the Wii to it’s fullest graphically, but far more importantly is it’s use of the controls and processing power to make the game completely immersive. It’s fun, that’s all that matters in a game. Look at PS3. Hard core system but there have hardly been any *fun* games for it (Ratchet and Clank is apparently great, but pales in comparison to Mario). Give me Metroid, Mario, Zelda, Smash Bros. and the occasional new stuff like Zak and Wiki or Wii Sports and I’m quite content with my only system being a Wii.

  6. I sit about 11 feet back from my 96″ screen. Yes, I see some jaggies, but the absolute gorgeousness of the game makes it not matter. Most of the time I am busy picking my jaw up off the floor from all the cool colors and wizz-bang effects. Having Mario 2 feet tall doesn’t hurt, either. 😀

  7. Guys, one of two things is going on with this guy from Variety. He’s either A: completely closed minded or B: shamelessly trying to boost his hits for his blog/website/ whatever it is. Since I only have a vague understanding of what Variety is and I’ve never heard of this dude before, I’m going with the latter. In which case, I’ll be avoiding that link, that you have so conveniently provided, like the plague.

  8. Fuzz a screen that size would scare me and make me feel like less of a man….when can we have a gaming party at your place?

  9. bOB-

    A screen that big makes you feel like MORE of a man! Everyone should have one. Best media experience ever, and cheaper than Plasma’s and LCDs.

  10. Joe:

    The DVD/Games section on that website is entirely sponsored by Sony.

  11. If reviewers are going to keep comparing Wii graphics to PS3/360, than no Wii games, even high quality games like Super Mario Galaxy, will ever measure up to them. Stop comparing the systems and enjoy the damn game on its own merits. Super Mario Galaxy is an amazing game on any system. Sometimes I really want to smack some of these reviewers up side the head with my Wiimote for being so boneheaded.

  12. I don’t have a HDTV… I’m not a man! ='(

  13. With a name like SergeantSalad, how can you be considered a man! ;P

    I recommend SergeantChiliDogWithExtraChili.

  14. The thing about video graphics is that they don’t have to be technologically advanced, they just have to look good. Metroid Prime 3 and Super Mario galaxy may not be the most technologically advanced games ever released, but they’re both very beautiful games. last time i checked graphics were something you saw and judged with your eyes, not something you judged based on what high end technology was used or how close it came to looking realistic.

  15. I mean to say video game graphics, lol. Oh ya, it looks like I was making that as a reply to the above poster, but it’s not. it’s just a statement wanted to put out there, something that could actually be used against the guy that dissed the beauty of Galaxy.

  16. Real life is sort of ugly, so that must mean Wii graphics are more realistic!

  17. Wow, it’s…it’s like you’re all bragging over how awesome your televisions are. Great work, you chimps.

  18. I rather see nice 60fps framerate than 8MB textures and an original playability, at least for the next 5 years. I just got a 52″ panasonic plasma and the game looks amazing for a 480p game.

  19. now now… that was a bit harsh.

  20. So basically you are telling people to spend a more than significant amount of money on an HDTV and component cables, and then SQUINT, and they will be more satisfied with the lackluster graphics of an underpowered machine.

    Or you could just save your $900-2000+ that you would spend on an HDTV (at least one that is worth anything), and spend $400 to actually buy a 360. Then you really do get the graphics, which even in SD are superb, an exponentially larger game catalog, and an active and robust online service.

  21. lol, arguing about video game consoles

  22. has anyone gotten to the 3rd dome yet? outside there’s a star guy that makes this all water board where you help the penguins, my god its beautiful

  23. “Or you could just save your $900-2000+ that you would spend on an HDTV (at least one that is worth anything), and spend $400 to actually buy a 360. Then you really do get the graphics, which even in SD are superb, an exponentially larger game catalog, and an active and robust online service.”

    Like it’s worth it on any SD set. You don’t have to squint, Mario Galaxy looks just fine on my 42″ 1080p Sharp Aquos, and on pretty much every set out there. And hoo boy, don’t get me started on that exponentially larger game catalog of the 360, filled with crap from top to bottom. I’m disgusted with the lack of quality even at the top end on the 360. Only when you get into the triple A titles do you get your money’s worth, everything below that is unadulterated garbage. And that active and robust online service, filled with whiny adolescents… great.

  24. How exactly has Nintendo “marginalized” HD graphics? As far as I can tell there are still people who gravitate towards that and thus buy a ps3 or 360.

    And by the simple fact that you’re giving tips on how to maximize the viewing pleasure for SMG, you’re already admitting that graphics DO matter, and getting as close to HD as possible on the Wii is still something that a lot of people are looking for.

    And Nintendo really SHOULD provide component cables with the Wii package. It’s not like they’re losing money off of every hardware sale, like some other companies.


  26. While the Variety guy is at it he should review a civic and compare it to a ferrari.

  27. Wii60 FTW.

  28. You could buy a PS3 or 360, but then you wouldn’t ever get a game near as good as Super Mario “98%” Galaxy.

  29. I’ve found that in most BestBuy setups for Wii, they don’t seem to be hooking it up to their monitors with component video cables. This makes the Wii look bad sitting right next to the 360 and PS3 demo games!

    As most people have pointed out, SMG looks gorgeous, even if the graphics don’t look 360-quality. But it won’t help if you play the Wii with the same settings on your HD TV that you use for the 360 or PS3! I have a separate setting for when I play my Wii, which is a little more forgiving with the lower resolution… You won’t feel a quality diffeence between the different consoles if you do that!

  30. I owned a 360 and currently own a wii. Note that I “owend” a 360! I traded that POS in because there were hardly any games on it that I wanted to play. It was like 2 games a year that came out that were worth anything!

    I have an HDTV and at first purchased cross platform games that came out on wii and 360 for the 360 because “the graphics where better”. Long story short, almost every cross platform game that I played, played BETTER on the wii. Game play with (good) visuals is all thats needed to enjoy a game. Hell who of us out there hasn’t played Zelda link to the past, Super Metroid etc now and still loved it! Those aren’t HD, yet they look good enough for you to enjoy the game! Game journalists and the gaming industry as a whole have pushed visuals first game play second in our faces for so long that we get our first impression from a game straight off of screen shots! If it looks bad, you don’t want to play it as much.

    The Wii has proven that graphics should be secondary to game play, graphics are important just not as important as game play! SMG is AWESOME. It looks great, or should I say good enough coupled with the game play to pull you in and make you enjoy the experience they are creating for you.

    I now only own a wii for the fact that they are the only ones that are pushing the industry and giving us new experiences like they have done so in the past! Until 360 or ps3 show us something new other then better graphics, more power etc. I’m sticking with nintendo! Rock on Mario!

  31. Oh my God you mean my game on my 250 dollar Wii doesnt look the same as my game on a 479 to 600 dollar Console. No s*** Sherlock from the beginning Big N said they were not directly competing i.e. graphically. Stop with the Wii game just don’t look as good as the other next gen graphics. You know what the other control schemes just aren’t next gen enough for me the Wii’s are thats whats next gen. Usually controls change how you play games not graphics analog stick introduction more buttons on a controller, RUMBLE! anyone, anyone exactly my point.

  32. I can’t believe how much people on this site are going on about how great their stuff looks. “Man, SMG looks so great on my TV” “Man, Xbox 360 looks so much better”. Compensating abit?

  33. Yeah, seriously, if you want graphics get a PC, quit complaining about the wii not looking as good, it is not designed to, because graphics is not all that matters. Hey, quick fact, did you know nintendo actually makes money on the wii, and it is still sold out and in very high demand? Nintendo is smart like that, they want to make money, I would rather play games on my wii than any other system I own, including the two 360s owned by my roomates as well as the PS3 at school that no one even plays.


  34. wii=awesome gameplay! with cruddy graphics(sorry, its true)

  35. I took it one step further 50″ plasma with surround. The first games I wanted to try out on my new TV was Manhunt 2, Mario Galaxy, and Metroid 3 and they all look amazing! Obviously Mario is visually the most amazing out of them all with Metroid close behind. The Simpsons game (which is hurting visually) looks much better coming out of the component and actually makes it acceptable, no weird stretching which the composite had. I was using composite for a while with Wii on my 32″ LCD. I recently bought a 50″ plasma (Just for gaming,) and I hooked up the component, what a difference. I totally believe in Plasmas and gaming, with anti ghosting etc there will not be a problem.

  36. I think Mario Galaxy looks better than, say, Superman Returns on the 360 or that canceled Frame City Killer game. Simply put, sure Mario Galaxy would looks far sharper, cleaner, etc. if the Wii had similar power like those of competing systems, but more power automatically makes a game look good. At most it’ll look sharper on an HDTV, but then without effort put in, it could be just as poor looking as Half-Life (the original) maxed out on the PC in today’s age. I think there’s this sloppy looking 2D RPG coming out on the PS3 too. To dismiss the Wii in a “why bother” category simply because it’s “weaker” is just a cop-out.

  37. Follow these steps to own the most popular game of all time:

    Step 1) Buy Super Mario Galaxy.

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  39. I still disagree with this. Saying it looks like an early 360 game is a disservice to the game technical prowess and beautiful execution of its’ art style. It could compete with many games out on the 360 and ps3. Maybe not for the amount of current tech used, but in how the final product looks.

    Isn’t that what graphics are all about, how the final product looks? Galaxy looks better than most games I’ve ever played or seen. It also has a great soundtrack, something many games still take for granted. I wish music was given as much attention as a Factor 5 engine.