Nintendo’s storied mascot Mario is back in an all new adventure for the Wii dubbed “Super Mario Galaxy,” The latest Mario iteration is the sequel to 2002′s “Super Mario Sunshine” for the GameCube. How has the Super Mario franchise evolved since its predecessor, and how does the famed platformer translate on Nintendo’s Wii?
The game kicks off with Mario being invited by Princess Peach to attend the Star Festival in the Mushroom Kingdom. As Mario makes his way to the castle to meet-up with Princess Peach, the kingdom is suddenly attacked by King Koopa himself, Bowser. Bowser unveils his latest creation, his very own galaxy, in which he proceeds to rip Peach’s castle off of the ground and kidnap the helpless Princess. In the chaos, Mario manages to grab hold of the castle as it’s being hurled out of the ground. Soon after, Mario is awaken by three Lumas (star beings who assist our hero through out the game) who prep him up for his latest journey through Bowser’s galaxy.
Super Mario Galaxy is without a doubt the best looking Nintendo Wii game. The game features bright colours and system-pushing textures that edge out any other Wii game on the market. The intelligent spherical level design puts every other modern day platformer to shame as you never get bored of what the game ends-up throwing at you. Super Mario Galaxy is also played through an auto-camera system (eliminating camera issues that plagued previous 3D Super Mario titles) which makes the game accessible to pretty much anyone.
The latest Super Mario title also contains one of the most entertaining and memorable scores to date.
Galaxy features over a 100 different tracks (mixed in with the traditional Mario sound effects we’ve grown accustomed to) that range from revamped classic Super Mario tracks to new orchestral compositions. At times throughout the game, the musical themes play in sync with the gameplay, adding an interactive musical element to Galaxy. Super Mario Galaxy’s orchestral score was composed by Mahito Yokota alongside original Super Mario Bros composer Koji Kondo (who penned four new tracks for Galaxy).
At first glance, the game’s controls might seem a little intimidating to your average gamer. But in actuality, Super Mario Galaxy features one of the most simplified control schemes in modern gaming. The game is played with both the Wii Remote (Wii’mote) and the Nunchuk. Gamers control Mario using the control stick on the Nunchuk while the Wii’mote uses its “A” button for action sequences (jump, swim, grab and speak) and its “B” button to shoot Star Bits while aiming at the screen. The Wii Remote is also used as a pointer to grab Star Bits.
All of the moves Mario moves that gamers are accustomed to are present in Super Mario Galaxy (backwards somersault, wall jump, long jump, ground pound etc.) The only new move comes in the form of a spin attack that is accomplished by shaking the Wii’mote. The spin move also comes in handy when jumping as it will allow you to make a higher jump.
Super Mario Galaxy also includes a new innovative co-op mode that lets a second player interact with the main player while he’s experiencing the game. To play this point-and-click “Co-Star” mode, Wii owners simply need to have a second Wii’mote. With the additional Wii’mote, player two can collect Star Bits, shoot Star Bits, stop enemies, make Mario jump and spin. This mode is accessible at all times during a game session.
If you own a Nintendo Wii, do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of Super Mario Galaxy. If you don’t own Nintendo’s latest console, then this game gives you enough reasons to justify purchasing a Wii. There’s something for everyone in Super Mario Galaxy as it’s simple enough for anyone any family member to pick up and contains enough challenges to satisfy hardcore gamers. If you’re only on the market for one Wii title this year, then don’t think twice about picking up Super Mario Galaxy.
Andre runs gamingcult.com, a blog dedicated to the world of gaming, entertainment and technology