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November 12, 2007



- Maybe the best-looking Wii game available

- Instantly familiar and new at the same time

- Tons to do

- Motion controls aren’t forced and feel right



- Towards the end the challenge can be a real poke in the eye



Review: Super Mario Sunshine (GC)

Review: Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz (Wii)

Review: Psychonauts (XB)



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Super Mario Galaxy

Score: 10 / 10


Super Mario Galaxy is not a perfect game; never mind the “perfect” score.  It’s just one of those games that I wouldn’t feel right not giving a 10 out of 10.  This is one of those titles which contains just a little bit of magic – an almost indefinable and ephemeral quality that not many games possess – which takes it from being a very good game to the most satisfying game of 2007 (which is quite something when you consider the titles released in the same quarter).


super mario galaxy          super mario galaxy


Actually, to call it “satisfying” is misleading.  It’s more than satisfying, it’s such a completely absorbing experience that it was particularly difficult at the end of each play session to put it down and not try for one more star or to unlock just one more galaxy.


The game starts with an all-out attack on the Mushroom kingdom by Bowser, with the help of an armada of airships and a mysterious source of power.  Rather 




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than just kidnap the Princess, the whole castle is hoisted into the sky and carted off.  Predictably, Mario gives pursuit but he’s blasted into space.  He’s saved from a messy implosion by a mysterious crowned woman named, Rosalina.  She’s also having some problems.  Apparently, Bowser has stolen the Grand Stars which power her Comet Observatory.  Only after the stars have been


returned will the Observatory be able to whisk Mario to the Princess and (another) final confrontation with Bowser.


super mario galaxy          super mario galaxy


The Comet Observatory acts as the central hub to access all the other galaxies (read: levels) where regular stars are retrieved.  These galaxies vary wildly from one to the next.  Mario will ride on the back of a stingray on a ribbon of water; he’ll float through asteroid fields; skate across ice (and even lava); buzz around as a bee; tackle traditional side-scrolling levels; float through a level as Boo Mario; fling fire balls; roll around on a ball; and leap around levels wrapped up in a spring.  You’ll never know what’s coming, even if there are the traditional desert, water, and lava levels.  The complication to nearly all of these galaxies is gravity.


Super Mario Galaxy features gravity that’s about as malleable as Playdoh.  Gravity is constantly changing.  Some of the galaxies are simply loose connections of small planetoids – they may be close enough that when Mario jumps on one he’ll flip and land on the new planetoid.  There are also many places where Mario can run under things or flip a switch and change the direction of gravity.  It’s a little jarring at first but it’s amazing just how quickly it becomes just part of the game rather than some kind of annoying gimmick.


super mario galaxy          super mario galaxy


Something else that starts as a gimmick but quickly becomes essential is the collection of Star Bits, which is most often accomplished by simply waving the Wii Remote icon over them.  The collected Star Bits come in handy to stun enemies or feed to hungry Lumas – star people that seem to be all over the darn place.


If a second Wii Remote is present, another person can also collect the Star Bits or, better, hold minor enemies with a stun beam and even help Mario jump higher.


Usually, I have no problem writing a review.  And once it’s completed I can put away the game and move on to something else.  Particularly during the busy 4th Quarter, this is absolutely necessary, but for the last week almost all of my attention has been given to Super Mario Galaxy.  The game comes together so well and with so much polish and fun, that Wii owners should not let Super Mario Galaxy slip them by.


- Omni

(November 13, 2007)


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