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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.