Super Mario Galaxy Review

Discussion in 'GBAtemp Reviews & Guides' started by ACDCGAMER, Nov 8, 2010.

Nov 8, 2010

Super Mario Galaxy Review by ACDCGAMER at 8:47 AM (2,228 Views / 0 Likes) 17 replies

  1. ACDCGAMER
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    Member ACDCGAMER GBAtemp Regular

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    <div align="center">
    <!--sizeo:6--><span style="font-size:24pt;line-height:100%"><!--/sizeo-->Super Mario Galaxy Review<!--sizec--></span><!--/sizec-->
    <!--sizeo:4--><span style="font-size:14pt;line-height:100%"><!--/sizeo-->By: ACDCGAMER<!--sizec--></span><!--/sizec-->

    <img src="http://www.super-poultry.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/12/mario_galaxy_logo.png" border="0" class="linked-image" /></div>


    Hey everyone! Just decided that it was time to do another game review! Now, this is purely coincidental, but Super Mario Galaxy is almost 3 years old in the U.S. as of the time that I'm writing this (it was released on November 12, 2007), so I just decided to throw it out there. I've also been playing this game recently, and so I thought, why not review it? So, here goes!


    Super Mario 64 was one of the first video games I've ever played, but I played the hell out of it until I moved on to the GameCube. But to this day, it holds a special place in my heart, as well as many gamers' hearts in general, due to simply how awesome and masterful it was. Mario 64 was one of the first big 3D games to be created, and there were indeed some hurdles for Nintendo EAD to overcome during development. But, they figured out how to make it as enjoyable as possible because it just <i>shows</i>. Pretty much every hardcore gamer who had an N64 had Super Mario 64 because it was simply a masterpiece. But what could Nintendo do next for Mario? The sheer thought of what could possibly make such a good platforming formula even better stirred in many of our minds, I'm sure. I certainly was excited for a sequel or follow-up of some sort. But boy was it a long wait, until Super Mario Sunshine was released nearly <i>six</i> years later in 2002, and man was it a long wait! While it was certainly a fantastic game and one that I enjoyed a lot, I think it's safe to say that I wasn't alone when I thought that Super Mario Sunshine wasn't the epic follow-up to Super Mario 64 that I was hoping for, especially since it was six years until Nintendo released their next premier Mario game. In short, I was disappointed, but still hopeful that Nintendo could turn around with their next big Mario game, whatever it would be. I could do nothing but wait.

    Five years later, enter Super Mario Galaxy for Nintendo's latest and "greatest" console, the Wii. From looking at the trailers, I'm sure fans were excited yet skeptical after having experienced Super Mario Sunshine. It appeared that Mario was losing his edge to other great platforming games during this five-year period, and he was slowly but surely losing his reign as platforming king to perhaps another aspiring game series. If Mario were to remain at the top of the platforming hierarchy, Nintendo was going to have to go all out and deliver a gaming experience like no other with Super Mario Galaxy. This would be a huge feat to muster considering that it would have to hold up against the masterpiece that Super Mario 64 was. The question was, was gravity-based platforming the way to go? No one had done it before, but then again, Nintendo had and has been continually known to do things that no other developer has done before, or at least successfully. Gamers were skeptical at Nintendo's seemingly large departure from traditional Mario platforming, of exploring large landscapes to collect his prize, to traversing among and/or between very small planetoids across space. It certainly sounded fun but things, at least from my perspective, looked a tiny bit bleak for Super Mario Galaxy.

    <div align="center"><img src="http://wiimedia.ign.com/wii/image/article/833/833472/super-mario-galaxy-20071107021534979_640w.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" />
    <i>Could gravity-based platforming be the big step the Mario series needed?</i></div>

    Then, judgment day arrived. November 12, 2007. A couple of days beforehand, I had forgotten that I had pre-ordered the game, but was thankfully reminded by a phone call not from GameStop, but from <i>Mario himself</i>. Holy crap! My eyes widened as I heard his delightful voice message on my phone, and I began to realize, Nintendo must be really pushing this game if they had Charles Martinet do this. This could be the Mario game I've been waiting for all along! But I couldn't be sure until I actually got and played Super Mario Galaxy.

    Once I got my copy of the game and popped it in my Wii for the first time, I was absolutely thrown off my feat and onto my ass as I finally began to experience Super Mario Galaxy for the first time. Even after only an hour of so or playing it, I came to the conclusion that Super Mario Galaxy was indeed the spiritual successor of Super Mario 64 that we had been waiting for. With gravity and space travel as the huge emphasis in this game, Nintendo was able to take platforming to a whole new level thanks to SMG's spectacular level design and mechanics, but it only starts from there and that's what my review is going to cover. Sorry for the long story but this is something that deserves to be written about in my opinion. Now, let the review finally begin!

    <div align="center"><img src="http://wiimedia.ign.com/wii/image/article/831/831684/super-mario-galaxy-20071031104235096_640w.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" />
    <i>Power Stars are back from Super Mario 64.</i></div>

    Super Mario Galaxy is something to be admired. I mean, Mario is awesome and space is awesome, right? It definitely seems like a no brainer that putting the two together can result in a nirvana-like state for some gamers, especially Mario fan(boys). But there needs to be more than just Mario's charm and outer-space together. Nintendo needed to make a hell of a lot of effort to make this a gaming experience like no other, and they effectively did just that. And <i>man</i> does their effort show! Alongside the superb physics engine, Super Mario Galaxy is a defining example of a work of art, with absolutely stunning visuals and an epic musical score that no gamer expected to hear beforehand. This is simply <i>the</i> definitive, quintessential Mario platformer that everyone was hoping for since the glorious days of the Nintendo 64, especially considering it was in development for three years. Overall, this game is simply brilliant and extremely awesome that every Wii owner - no - every gamer in general must experience at least one, if not multiple times.

    One of the most striking improvements with Super Mario Galaxy in comparison to Sunshine and even Super Mario 64 in that matter is how incredible its overall presentation is. We're talking striking production values, excellent graphics technology (not just for the Wii, mind you!), the game's great front-end in general, the soundtrack... the list can go on and on and on. But it's these elements combined that show just how ambitious Super Mario Galaxy is for a Nintendo game compared to previous efforts. Virtually everything about Super Mario Galaxy melds together perfectly, with a few exceptions. For instance, the story is exactly what you would expect; it's simply a different variation of - gasp! - Bowser kidnapping Peach and Mario embarking on yet another epic quest to stop him and save the damsel-in-distress yet another time, but really, come on. Mario has never been about the story (although it would be nice). It's the gameplay and its surrounding factors that truly matter and that's exactly why Super Mario Galaxy, along with the best of the best Mario games, have been so damn fun to play. After playing it, my biggest and pretty much only gripe was that the camera had some issues here and there, but these moments were very rare and easily fixed. For 99% of your playthrough, the camera will do an outstanding job of showing you what you need to see at the angle you want, and this is indeed great after having some embarrassing moments with Super Mario Sunshine's camera. Props to you, Nintendo!

    As I mentioned before, Super Mario Galaxy's graphics technology is astounding. This is a gorgeous game that's like candy for the eyes. Not only are Super Mario Galaxy's visuals phenomenal, with very sharp textures throughout and excellent visual effects (notably its particle effects), but it's backed by its absolutely superb art direction that really helps give the game its visual charm. In addition, everything from Mario to Bowser himself is animated incredibly well along with the environments that Mario explores, but that's not all. With Mario Galaxy's spectacular graphics, everything runs at a rock-solid 60 frames per second with no slowdown to speak of at all, and that in itself is an extraordinary achievement given the limitations of the Wii console. Super Mario Galaxy is a game that's made for and takes full advantage of Wii's graphical capabilities with its godly graphics engine, and overall is one of the best-looking Wii games around. It's a shame that this game can't be output in HD because it would look really damn good on any HDTV, but oh well. That's for the next Nintendo console, I guess.

    <div align="center"><img src="http://wiimedia.ign.com/wii/image/article/833/833298/super-mario-galaxy-20071107020423368_640w.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" />
    <i>Super Mario Galaxy is a beautiful game.</i></div>

    Super Mario Galaxy's aural experience is a shining example of Nintendo taking a bold step to make this game an experience to remember - while the voice acting is largely not there save for some occasional phrases from some of the characters and Mario's characteristic whoops and shouts, but this isn't really a problem as Mario games in general don't really need full-on voice acting, while that would certainly be a nice thing to have. What really sets this game apart from other Nintendo games, however, is its soundtrack. For the first time ever in a Mario game, Super Mario Galaxy has gone fully orchestrated for quite a handful of Mario's outings and perfectly sets the mood in levels, making Mario's adventures through the vast void of space that much more epic. Now, not every song in Super Mario Galaxy is orchestrated - you'll run into a levels which will, by Nintendo tradition, use happy and euphoric MIDI arrangements, but these are done just fine; it's the epic score that will really sweep you off your feet because the orchestrated songs are that awesome to listen to while playing thanks to Mahito Yokota and Koji Kondo's strong creative minds as composers. This stuff is simply brilliant and perfectly reflects how high Super Mario Galaxy's production values are.

    But beautiful graphics and an epic soundtrack aren't (entirely) what make Super Mario Galaxy so great. From Super Mario Bros. onwards, it's always, <i>always</i> been about the gameplay and Super Mario Galaxy is most definitely a landmark when it comes to that. There are a huge variety of galaxies (levels) to explore throughout the game with their own unique designs. From the vast reaches of the vacuum of space itself to tropical paradises, and from snowy areas to blistering lava worlds, there isn't a geographical theme that Super Mario Galaxy really ignores, which helps keep the platforming experience fresh throughout the adventure. Nintendo EAD's attention to detail is striking in this game and it really shows - not only are each of the levels incredibly fun to explore, but the level designs themselves are incredible and really set the new standard when it comes to 3D platforming, but one huge relief is that you're not just flying from small planetoid to small planetoid. As you make your way through the game, you will run into a lot of vast horizontal and more open-ended environments to explore as well, and it's still as fun and nostalgic as ever, but there definitely will be times when you can't resist doing a long jump and watching as Mario flies in orbit around a small planet 5 or more times or makes a tremendous leap thanks to the quirky-yet-awesome gravity effects. Your mind will simply be blown as Mario goes from standing right-side up to gravitating towards the ceiling and walls and even more.


    <div align="center"><img src="http://wiimedia.ign.com/wii/image/article/833/833472/super-mario-galaxy-20071107021558118_640w.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" />
    <i>It's Bowser! Run!!!</i></div>

    In addition, the new power-ups that are present in the game are a lot of fun to toy around with. For instance, the Bee Suit will let Mario fly and hover in the air for a short period of time, as well as allow him to climb walls of honey to progress to new areas, and Boo Mario can turn invisible and in turn pass through some walls while floating in the air. There's also the Ice Flower, which allows Mario to turn the surface of water into ice for him to stand (and skate!) on, even to wall jump between two adjacent waterfalls at one point, and the Spring Suit, which Mario can use to jump much higher in the air. But there are some returning power-ups as well, such as the classic Fire Flower which lets Mario shoot fireballs for a short period of time, and the Starman (now a rainbow star) which will let Mario temporarily become invincible (and rainbow-colored). While almost every power-up and item is awesome and a lot of fun to use and even toy around with, I did have some gripes with the Spring suit being generally difficult and awkward to control with, but that's really it.

    The main adventure won't last you for very long; only 60 of the game's 120 stars are needed to complete the main story, which can be done in a few or so hours; admittedly, it's not that much of a challenge either, as fun as the game is. The more challenging part of the game awaits those who are willing to collect all 120 power stars, which will also add in another several hours to the game's overall length, but for the most part the game is fairly easy to play through with a few exceptions which will definitely test the more ambitious gamer in some of us. It can be quite the endeavor to collect all 120 stars, but rest assured, I found it to be a very rewarding task as a whole, thanks to how awesome the platforming is. Seriously.


    <u><!--sizeo:5--><span style="font-size:18pt;line-height:100%"><!--/sizeo-->Closing Comments<!--sizec--></span><!--/sizec--></u>
    In all, Mario Galaxy's astonishing game mechanics combined with its superb level design and physics help push 3D platforming as a whole to new heights, and that's really something to say when you take into consideration just how much of a step up this game is in comparison to other games such as Twilight Princess. Super Mario Galaxy helps redefine the word "innovation" thanks to not only its fantastic gameplay but also its presentational values. It's certainly not perfect, with a few minor quirks, but it's damn close to being so. Regardless, Super Mario Galaxy is one of the most spectacular games ever created and isn't a game to miss. If you have a Wii and you don't have this game, I think you are crazy for not having bought this game already. Get it, and get Super Mario Galaxy 2 while you're at it and you'll regret not buying them sooner as you're overwhelmed by its sheer awesomeness.


    <b><u>Presentation</u></b>: <!--sizeo:3--><span style="font-size:12pt;line-height:100%"><!--/sizeo--><b><!--coloro:#00DD00--><span style="color:#00DD00"><!--/coloro-->9.5<!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc--></b><!--sizec--></span><!--/sizec-->
    Wow. While Mario has been known for innovating gameplay, Nintendo really deserves some brownie points for giving Super Mario Galaxy some really awesome production values overall. The camera isn't perfect but works really well almost all of the time, with minor issues at a few points. Nothing drastic, though!

    <b><u>Graphics</u></b>: <!--sizeo:3--><span style="font-size:12pt;line-height:100%"><!--/sizeo--><b><!--coloro:#48D1CC--><span style="color:#48D1CC"><!--/coloro-->10<!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc--></b><!--sizec--></span><!--/sizec-->
    Since when did a Mario game set the graphical standard for a Nintendo system it was made for? Well, this is certainly the case for Galaxy, with an excellent graphics engine, sharp visuals, and an art style to really be admired. All at 60 frames per second.

    <b><u>Sound</u></b>: <!--sizeo:3--><span style="font-size:12pt;line-height:100%"><!--/sizeo--><b><!--coloro:#48D1CC--><span style="color:#48D1CC"><!--/coloro-->10<!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc--></b><!--sizec--></span><!--/sizec-->
    The sound effects are really great, but it's the epic and beautiful orchestrated soundtrack that will blow you away.

    <b><u>Gameplay</u></b>: <!--sizeo:3--><span style="font-size:12pt;line-height:100%"><!--/sizeo--><b><!--coloro:#48D1CC--><span style="color:#48D1CC"><!--/coloro-->10<!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc--></b><!--sizec--></span><!--/sizec-->
    This is the successor to Super Mario 64 that we've been waiting for - now in outer space! Who knew that it would be so much fun to fly through space, jump and run among small planets? But let's be serious; the level design is truly excellent, and combined with the wacky yet super cool physics and classic Mario elements, this is platforming at a whole new level. Absolutely superb.

    <b><u>Lasting Appeal</u></b>: <!--sizeo:3--><span style="font-size:12pt;line-height:100%"><!--/sizeo--><b><!--coloro:#00CC00--><span style="color:#00CC00"><!--/coloro-->9<!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc--></b><!--sizec--></span><!--/sizec-->
    While the main adventure (and really, most of the game itself) is somewhat easy and won't take you that long to get through, getting all 120 stars is where the challenge is while also adding a few more hours to the game. But thank to the game's great replay value, this is a game you'll come back to, whether immediately or on occasion. I didn't even mention that you unlock another playable character for getting all 120 stars as Mario!


    <!--sizeo:4--><span style="font-size:14pt;line-height:100%"><!--/sizeo--><u>Overall Score</u>:<!--sizec--></span><!--/sizec--> <!--sizeo:6--><span style="font-size:24pt;line-height:100%"><!--/sizeo--><!--coloro:#00DD00--><span style="color:#00DD00"><!--/coloro-->9.8<!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc--><!--sizec--></span><!--/sizec--> <b><!--sizeo:3--><span style="font-size:12pt;line-height:100%"><!--/sizeo-->/10<!--sizec--></span><!--/sizec--></b>

    Credit goes to IGN for the screenshots.

    EDIT: Added screenshots to make this wall of text a more interesting read! <img src="style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smile.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":)" border="0" alt="smile.gif" />
     
  2. nintendoom

    Member nintendoom Nintendoom

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  3. ojsinnerz.

    Member ojsinnerz. Damned

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    Fantastic review, although a bit too late.
     
  4. ACDCGAMER
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    Member ACDCGAMER GBAtemp Regular

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    Thanks a lot! I think that I could have delved into the gameplay section of my review a little more regarding the game's controls, so I'll update that when/if I decide to do so. Yeah, it's late but hey, Guild reviewed games like The Orange Box years after they were released!
     
  5. Ryukouki

    Member Ryukouki See you later, guys.

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    Nice job, VERY text heavy, but for future reference, a few pictures go a LONG way. People like to see visuals, and text walls get very droll. Other than that, excellent. [​IMG]
     
  6. geoflcl

    Member geoflcl Permanent GBAtemp Newbie

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    Oh boy, ACDCGAMER! This is one of the most in-depth and concise reviews I've yet to come across on the 'Temp. Not only did you describe the game, but you did so in a very professional, well-structured manner. Well done!
     
  7. ACDCGAMER
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    Member ACDCGAMER GBAtemp Regular

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    Yeah, I'm quite the wall-of-text kinda guy when it comes to writing stuff like this. I'll make sure to add some soon as an update! [​IMG]
     
  8. Ryukouki

    Member Ryukouki See you later, guys.

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    Just trust me pal, reviews look 932598325x better with pictures. [​IMG] I've been in this trade for a long long time now.
     
  9. ACDCGAMER
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    Done. I could probably put a few more pictures in there but that'll do for now. Thanks for the advice! [​IMG]
     
  10. Ryukouki

    Member Ryukouki See you later, guys.

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    Looks better already! [​IMG]
     
  11. ACDCGAMER
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    Member ACDCGAMER GBAtemp Regular

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    Woot! Thanks!

    I still think I could have been a bit more in-depth regarding Super Mario Galaxy's gameplay though. I made no mention to how well the game controls and how the motion controls work at all. [​IMG]
     
  12. Langin

    Member Langin GBAtemp's kpop addict

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    Wowie text bomb! xD Its a very nice review! I have this game and I think you gave it the right score.

    Edit: POST 1600
     
  13. ACDCGAMER
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    Member ACDCGAMER GBAtemp Regular

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    Thanks a lot, Lightning! [​IMG]
     
  14. Ethevion

    Member Ethevion Wannabe Artist

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    Definitely a great in depth review. I hope to see more reviews like this for newer games. [​IMG]
     
  15. ACDCGAMER
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    Member ACDCGAMER GBAtemp Regular

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    Thanks a lot! I appreciate it, and I hope that any forthcoming reviews of mine will be as detailed and in-depth as this one. [​IMG]
     
  16. Langin

    Member Langin GBAtemp's kpop addict

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    Which is next Galaxy 2? [​IMG] I love that one. Would you like to review it for me?

    Edit: 1800 POSTS! [​IMG]
     
  17. Fishaman P

    Member Fishaman P Speedrunner

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    Why is this 3yr+ old game being reviewed? It's outdated by Galaxy 2, and that's over 6 months old.
     
  18. ACDCGAMER
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    Member ACDCGAMER GBAtemp Regular

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    Why not review it? I reviewed Banjo-Kazooie, which is much older than Super Mario Galaxy.

    Who says that we can't review "old" games?
     

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