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E3 09: Mario Galaxy 2 shows Nintendo wising up - Rebuttal

Yesterday, GamesRadar’s own David Houghton, a fine journalist in the caliber of Hunter S Thompson, Lester Bangs, and that paparazzi who snapped Britney Spears’ crotch, posted this article. In it, he postulates that Super Mario Galaxy 2 was a mistake and a huge step in the wrong direction for Nintendo. And while I can vouch for my GR comrade’s sanity, to say that this is a provocative, even divisive statement is putting it lightly. What I really mean is: Dave, buddy - could you be more ludicrously wrong? Seriously, when is a new core Mario game a bad thing?

Now I’m definitely not defending the entire Nintendo press conference. Seeing Wii Sports Resort for the second year in a row was incredibly boring, Wii Fit Plus is for our moms and so is Women’s Murder Club. And this E3 indicated that a Wii Remote isn’t so special anymore. But everyone was so ready to hate another Nintendo conference that it can put a negative spin on anything, which is what I believe happened to some with Galaxy 2.

Is it too close to the previous game? The game is probably coming out in holiday 2010, three years after the first game, which is a pretty big gap in this era of annualized exploitation. It gives the developers lots of time to make a sequel to what is arguably the best game on the system.

Will it be too much like the first one? I’ll admit that it’s currently pretty close graphically – a full year before it’s actually released – but the trailer is full of new moves, powers, mechanics and fricking Yoshi, which could change the way it’s played in so many ways. It is extremely short sighted, given Nintendo’s track record of quality with Mario titles, to think they are just going to crap another Galaxy game with nothing new.

And lastly, Mario games have had direct sequels before and they were excellent. Donkey Kong on Game Boy, Mario Land 2, and even Mario World when compared to Mario 3 just built on the previous game instead of changing everything. Looking at other Nintendo titles, Zelda: Twilight Princess, though graphically different, was in the same console cycle as Wind Waker and played very similarly. That was a pretty crappy game, huh? Not to mention the assuredly terrible Punch-Out!! from a couple weeks back. What a mistake Nintendo made there, right?


Above: Henry Gilbert - also the author of The many faces of Mario and Mario's endless supply of costumes - is completely unbiased

This year’s press conference was their best in years and Mario Galaxy 2, along with Metroid: Other M and Golden Sun DS (to name a few), show Nintendo is at least trying harder. It doesn’t fix everything but it turns a corner with a bigger emphasis on hardcore games that they’ll need if Natal steals their casual audience next year. Here’s hoping they continue in this direction.

Jun 4, 2009


E3 09: Mario Galaxy 2 sums up Nintendo's wrongs
How the great hardcore hope could be a terrible omen

46 comments

  • PaperIz - September 27, 2009 7:57 p.m.

    thank you for writing this article, after I read that other one i was upset, now im not lol
  • Harmon20 - June 9, 2009 6:59 p.m.

    well, I have to side with you on this one. It's a game people liked, so why not make an ideal sequel that only builds to what worked to make something even better? Guess we'll have to wait and see.
  • Ravenbom - June 8, 2009 5:48 p.m.

    All I ask is that I get a couple great games and a bunch of good games from a system each year. Hardcore or casual, I want quality. I know core Mario is held to higher standards, but no one complains that other hardcore games are the same game over and over. I think it's funny we keep asking Sonic and Metroid and DK and other franchises to take a step back. We freak out if FPS don't stay exactly the same but with prettier graphics. And yet we DEMAND that core Mario always take a step forward.
  • RamenDragon - June 8, 2009 2:09 a.m.

    IIIIIIIIIIII smeeeeeeeell a flaaaaaaame waaaaaaar...
  • Amnesiac - June 5, 2009 8:07 p.m.

    @crabbo: I know what you mean when you say that not every game needs to be innovative to be good. And like I've said before, I'm sure this game will be good. But I just don't like Nintendo's attitude here. It's like they're trying too hard to give their core audience what they think we want. They know that we'll buy it just because it says Mario on the box, so they don't have to try so hard. In that way, it almost feels like they're treating us like their casual audience. To me, it's like Nintendo is telling us "What, you douchebag hardcore gamers want something? Fine, have some Mario and shut the f&*k up."
  • Amnesiac - June 5, 2009 7:48 p.m.

    @solsunforge: Mr. Houghton's avy is indeed Edgar from FF 6 (3 in the US SNES version) and yes, that is the one with Kefka.
  • Samueltehg33k - June 5, 2009 6:07 p.m.

    What the article befre failed to mention was in japan SMB1 and SMB2 were virtually the exact same game
  • IHateMakingUserIDs - June 5, 2009 5:10 p.m.

    I don't get how when Mario doesn't appear to change much it upsets people. Especially when for a variety of other games people always say 'Just make it like the first one and It'll be awesome.' recaptcha: Knocking rickover was i just rickrolled in recaptcha form?
  • solidocelot - June 5, 2009 2:08 p.m.

    :(
  • NorwegianKingOfNames - June 5, 2009 10:22 a.m.

    @ solidocelot...DENIED! At Mr. Houghton...You may have any wench in my kingdom.
  • somerandomchap - June 5, 2009 3:09 a.m.

    i have a wii and i have nothing against mario games at all, they are fun, especially the nes and snes games i loved, but mario doesnt excite me, its not a game i look forward too,im sure nintendo will make a great game but i definetly wont buy it.
  • GR_HenryGilbert - June 4, 2009 11:55 p.m.

    @ NorwegianKingOfNames - Yes, I know Nintendo is a company that wants profits. Wii Fit sold a shit ton of game, they make Wii Fit Plus. Galaxy sold really well, so they make a second one. But this was way better than I expected to be announced. I was sure we'd get New Play Control Mario Sunshine or Mario Golf Wii.
  • NorwegianKingOfNames - June 4, 2009 11:37 p.m.

    Oh yeah, that's another thing (aimed at people like RonnyLive19881). Why is it when a writer says they love a game they are accused of being a fanboy, or worse, taking bribes, and when they say they hate a game they are accused of being biased? All opinions are biased, thats what makes them opinions.
  • NorwegianKingOfNames - June 4, 2009 11:32 p.m.

    I guess where you stand on the matter depends on what you percieve Nintendo as: a money-grubbing corporation milking its franchises to appease the hardcore before it loses its grip on the casual market to Sony and Microsoft, or a 'nice' company that 'likes' its fans. Though its nice to see some internal debate on GR, I hate to break it to you, Henry: there's a financial reason behind everything. Oh yeah...I'm a Norwegian King...of NAMES!
  • kubes - June 4, 2009 9:46 p.m.

    lol @ c bear and pane shatterson
  • VGFreak1225 - June 4, 2009 9:23 p.m.

    I have no doubt that Nintendo can pull off another amazing game. I think the reason fans are annoyed is that up until this point, all the Mario platformers have had different aesthetics. Galaxy and NSMBW may be the first ones to be similar to ones in the past.
  • Z-man427 - June 4, 2009 9:18 p.m.

    it's hard to pick sides in this
  • GamesRadarCharlieBarratt - June 4, 2009 9:11 p.m.

    Which Mario are we talking about? Lopez or Batali?
  • GamesRadarCharlieBarratt - June 8, 2009 10:27 p.m.

    I still don't know who we're talking about.
  • Ravenbom - June 8, 2009 5:56 p.m.

    I mean, if I have 3-4 great games from each system every year, that's more games than I can finish each year. There's still a bunch of people in the forums who haven't even finished No More Heroes. One of the Questions of the Week (I forget which) showed that many people have never even bothered with the Halo series. NPD shows that no one has bothered with Chinatown Wars. I bet most Wii owners haven't even played Deadly Creatures and House of the Dead Overkill... I just don't know how people can complain about the lack of quality games when they're not playing them.

Showing 1-20 of 46 comments

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