Gaming Perfection..?: Super Mario Galaxy

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A common controversy among the gaming population is what specifically defines perfection, and can it be culminated in a simple score? What is the standard of perfection? What are the requirements to meet the basis of a good game, and how do you exceed that to be defined, perfect?


I want to take a look once again at the thoughts and opinions of the gaming media toward one of the grandest adventures out there. Today, we will be focusing on a game you all voted for a long time ago:


Super Mario Galaxy
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Super Mario Galaxy on the Nintendo Wii is one of the most monstrous entities on the console, selling a whopping 12.7 million copies. It dominated the holiday season it released in, dominated the sales charts, dominated the critics attention, and dominated the living rooms of people worldwide.

You probably already know why the game is so damn great yourself, but how does one put into words what made it so ground breaking? So revolutionary for the system it was on? Retrospectively, we can take a look at what was on peoples minds when they played it, and gain insight into why it was such a damn good game. Dare we say, even close to perfect.

IGN said:
“Expect to be blown away by the fantastic level challenges and galactic variety. Expect to be blown away by the addictive gravity effects -- you will jump off ledges just to see if you can rotate all the way around a structure. And expect to be blown away by the tight controls and beautiful graphics.” – Matt Casamassina – IGN.”

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Its story was simple, but its gameplay was remarkable. Galaxy took the tried and true method of platforming and flipped it, twisted it, bopped it, pulled it, you freaking name it. Defying literal gravity and physics but managing to hone itself into precision platforming and movement is just one of many reasons the game shines brighter than the sun.

And it shines on the Wii despite its gimmicks and peripherals. The waggle and motion meshed in the game in a way that was not just acceptable, but delightful. It made sense, it made gimmicky become entertainment, it made the game itself feel so original that it sparked that little tick inside that made you like games in the first place.

Every tilt, every grapple onto stars or shaken slingshot to the next planet was far from hassle and more enticing and exhilarating as the experience continued.

Destructoid said:
“In creating Super Mario Galaxy, Nintendo had the unfortunate task of besting itself at what it does best: platforming. To say that they've succeeded almost isn't enough; Super Mario Galaxy is so incredible that it improves upon flaws in Mario 64 that I hadn't even noticed until, y'know, Galaxy did it better. And though there's little in the way of "innovation" of the genre, it's the refinement of the genre that solidifies Galaxy as the most essential platforming experience yet created.” – Aaron Linde – Destructoid.

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Linde puts it in perspective better than any of us could. Nintendo REFINED perfection into something that culminated into the Wii's shining star of entertainment. Galaxy was indeed, a massive galaxy of content that kept us entertained for hours upon hours. It had incredibly orchestrated music and gorgeously stylized art that put most early HD games to shame, and it wasn't even an HD game!

Galaxy withstands the tests of time despite its gimmicks, its graphics, and its platform. The game breathes life into the people that play it because it focuses on the fundamentals of gameplay like every Mario game has in the past. Its this drive to continue to push the boundaries of what is possible to do with the property to new levels of entertainment.

Is it perfect? Semantically speaking, nothing is, "perfect," especially to us gamers.

But it's pretty damn close.


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____________________________________________________________________________​

Thanks for reading everyone, and being patient with me on my little projects. This is a second test of my earlier project, "Why did this get a 10/10," where I focused on The Last of Us and the critical but controversial acclaim it received. I would like to continue to do these, which is why i'm including the second poll to see what y'all would like to see me cover next, hopefully in even more excruciating detail. At the end of the day, it's hard to delve into the simplicity yet utter complexity that is a Mario game in detail, but I tried to do it justice, and would like to try my hand at other games.

But all feedback is welcome as I continue writing these! Feel free to vote on what I should do next, and I promise it won't take as long as this one did!
 
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Super Mario Galaxy is maybe my most favorite game of all time. I remember being a kid and going to my friend's house. He had just gotten this cool new game -- Super Mario Galaxy? What the heck was that? He pops it in, loads up a file, and I'm blown away. It's like nothing 7-year-old me had ever seen! I rush home and beg my dad for days to get it, and he finally caves. A few days later, it comes in the mail. I still remember how each of us would race to one of our houses every day after school to play Super Mario Galaxy together. We were terrible at the game, but each time we'd complete a galaxy, it would be a huge success for us! We would get to new galaxies and marvel at how cool they were. The first time we went to that fiery galaxy, or that toy room one, or any other super cool place, we'd giggle in glee and wonderment. The galaxies were so well designed, each one distinct, and so colorful! I remember beating that final level with him -- together. We'd die a lot and took turns trying to beat the hard portions. It took us like four days! It was an incredible bonding experience, and an incredible game. It's soundtrack is still my most favorite in all of gaming.

Love your article, man. And this game totally deserved its 10/10. I've played through it multiple times now, gotten every kind of star, completed a ton of comets, and 100%ed the game. Super Mario Galaxy will always have a special place in my heart <3
 
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FrozenDragon150

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Haha, I do find Galaxy to be absolutely perfect in all areas, even being enveloped by SM64 nostalgia, this game completely blew it away in all aspects (well, they ARE on way different hardware, but still...)
 

Swiftloke

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Ah, Galaxy. Still need to finish Luigi mode. Been playing it off and on for years now. It's fantastic.
Also, my Wii came with the Galaxy OST for some reason. Sometimes, I would plop it in my alarm clock and let it wake me up. Good stuff.
Next up: Mother 3 please
 

Clector

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Yes, Super Mario Galaxy is a very good game indeed that make a good way to make fresh a 3D Super Mario but without losing the essence of it and in a way a lot people won"t complain with that like what happened with Super Mario Sunshine with the one a lot of people complained about the new mechanics.
 

MaskedMarvel

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I think Galaxy 2 is leaps and bounds ahead of 1, but thats just my opinion of course. In Mario Galaxy 1, I thought the galaxies got more elaborate and interesting as the game went on and the last galaxies were the coolest. I thought 2 started at the level of coolness that 1 ended with.
 

medoli900

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I loved SMG, and I fell in love all over again in SMG2.
Great beginning of a new serie, I got to follow up the rest :3
I would love to see Zelda: The Wind Waker, first and only 20/20 game on jeuxvideo.com since 2003. Even Twilight Princess got a 19/20 on this same site.
 

Ritsuki

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I loved SMG, and I fell in love all over again in SMG2.
Great beginning of a new serie, I got to follow up the rest :3
I would love to see Zelda: The Wind Waker, first and only 20/20 game on jeuxvideo.com since 2003. Even Twilight Princess got a 19/20 on this same site.

Yeaaah... The 20/20 for Wind Waker was given by a complete Zelda fan, and I read the test again, it's clearly biased :P

Anyway, not a big fan of SMG, for some reason I don't know I really didn't get into the whole Mario in space theme and the new gameplay mechanisms.
 

Clydefrosch

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tbh, from what i could see in letsplays and my own/families experience with galaxy is, the second this game threw actual 3D platforming your way, was the point where you lose those life you so effortlessly racked up before.

most of the game is simply running and firing yourself to the next planet to run over.
 
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