Super Mario Galaxy,Â the title we’ve been waitingÂ on forÂ what seems like a lifetime has finally reached our greedy, little gamer hands. AndÂ boy was it worth it.Â Galaxy holds quality that both brings us back to why games are fun, and sets the bar for technical know-how. Though even through all that, Galaxy isn’t a completely perfect title (but what is?). That being said, the time for a review has come. We here at Infendo HQ have gatheredÂ and combined our infinite gaming knowledge to give you the low down on Nintendo’s AAA title. So come gather round and listenÂ to the Infendo elders speak.Â
What started as a slow and disorientating experience has quickly become one of my favorite games released in more than a decade. Some five hours in, I honestly canâ€™t remember the last time Iâ€™ve beheld such creativity in games.
The superlative level design immediately makes you want to double back and play it again. The colorful artwork and convincing lighting display a level of polish rarely seen on any platform. The cohesive powerups make Mario feel new even though heâ€™s been saving the same princess for more than 20 years.
Galaxy is challenging without being inaccessible â€” the music on par with that of a John Williams score, and the gravity effect feels like a mini leap of faith every time youâ€™re tasked with jumping to a neighboring planetoid.
I donâ€™t know how influential this game will be 10 years from now, but I know Iâ€™m playing something special.
My first impression of SMG was that this was going to be a very disorienting experience. The spherical stage structure looked vomit inducing at best even though the graphics looked stellar since the first screen shot was released. I was never the biggest supporter of Mario 64 and felt that if the game got some good reviews then I would pick it up. That was a promise I made to myself that I felt I wouldn’t end up keeping. Once the glowing reviews came pouring in I felt that I had to see what all the fuss was about.
Joy. Pure joy. Thatâ€™s the best word I can come up with to describe this game. It is smile inducing, planetesimal jumping, fun across the gaming board. Better than Ocarina of Time? The coming weeks will prove if this game has the ability to unseat the 9 year champ. From the first few hours of play I’d have to say for the first time we have a legitimate contender.
Super Mario Galaxy. How could I describe it in a sentence? I can’t. The Graphics, while not 360 caliber absolutely blow me away. The colors are vivid, bold, and very distinct. Not only that, It has great lighting, to say the least. It is graphically, the most beautiful thing I’ve seen on a Nintendo system. The Story is definitely not why people play Mario Galaxy. The game was built on fun. It’s fun just to maneuver Mario around. Mario has such good control in this game, (Complements of the Wii-mote) so If you ever screw up, you blame yourself, and never think it’s the game’s fault.
Sound… Beautiful. Not just the music, but the sound design as well. When Mario is balancing on a ball, and you steer him through narrow paths, the music gets slower or faster to match Mario’s speed. Everything is orchestrated, with Violins, Strings, Trumpets, and Harps that produce clear, distinct, melodic music.
Letâ€™s just get it out of the way. Super Mario Galaxy is the best game Nintendo has made in almost a decade.
There, I said it. And though I am only 70 stars into the game, it is likely that I will only be further convinced as I progress. We have been hearing glowing praise with stunning persistence over the last five days, but rather than echo what gamers have undoubtedly been hearing since Tuesday, I have a few nagging complaints about Super Mario Galaxy I need to get off my chest.
Actually, Iâ€™ll pose them in the form of questions, Alex. For $300.
What is an uninspired hub world?
The hub areas in the last two Mario games were spectacular: Princess Peachâ€™s expansive castle in Super Mario 64 and the beautiful Delfino Plaza in Super Mario Sunshine. They were immense, offering players hours of rewarding exploration without entering a single level. In Galaxy, we run around on a comparatively tiny, boring spaceship that seems an easy-fix, an afterthought.
What is a lack of high platforming?
Think back to the sky-scraping seashells of Noki Bay and tight-ropes of Bianco Hills. Super Mario Sunshine was at its best when it offered towering platforming challenges that required precise jumping and relative skill. Though to a lesser extent, the same platforming challenges were utilized in Super Mario 64 in stages such as Tick Tock Clock. More than halfway through Galaxy, I have yet to experience any seriously skyward platforming, one aspect in which Sunshine unquestionably has Galaxy beat.
What is an abundance of lives with no use?
Throughout my extensive play sessions so far, I have collectively attained no less than 1,000 lives in Galaxy. Conversely, I have lost no more than five. I certainly do not expect a Mario game to be as difficult as, say, Contra 4. But remember Tick Tock Clock and Rainbow Ride? And the FLUDD-less stages in Sunshine? A little challenge goes a long way in a Mario game, and speaking of which, the Sweet Sweet Galaxy is criminally, shamefully short.
Hereâ€™s the truth: Galaxy oozes quality, and those who have yet to play it are missing out on one of the best Nintendo games of all time, and easily the best title to hit Wii. But for all its greatness, Galaxy has a few minor issues that, for some, may not even be worth mentioning.
Iâ€™ll take an â€œimperfect perfection,â€ Alex.
These impressions have all been great, but there really isnâ€™t a way to express how great Super Mario Galaxy really is. The main technical element that Iâ€™m quite impressed with would have be the physics engine. Crunching code for Galaxy must have been quite a chore. Iâ€™ve spent hours upon hours just trying to see how many orbits I can accomplish on a metal disk in the Battlerock galaxy (Three, beat that!). Of course on the other technical side of things thereâ€™s the graphics. The beautiful, color filled graphics. Youâ€™ve probably heard this about a thousand times already but graphically, Galaxy blows away all Wii games. Iâ€™d even go so far as to say Super Mario Galaxy matches some mid to low end Xbox 360 titles. All this is running at an amazing 60 fps which should always be played in 480p.
Now Iâ€™ve heard a lot of complaining about a poor storyline in Super Mario Galaxy, but compared to existing Mario games the story is quite nice. Not the most original, but it might just show a tiny hint of a dark side to a Mario game. Iâ€™ve also heard that Galaxy could be controlled just as good with a Gamecube controller. I really donâ€™t think that I could play this game with out the Wii remote and nunchuk. Controlling Mario, both with analog and motion feels soâ€¦perfect.
And Finally I round of my impressions with my favorite game element, the music. Game music really doesnâ€™t get any better than this. 70% of the game is fully orchestrated with the rest being high quality midis. Both Midi and Orchestra give Mario what he deserves. After the disappointed non-orchestrated Twilight Princess, Koji Kondo delivers his finest composition yet.
This is a Nintendo Game. This is a Miyamoto masterpiece. This is Mario.