E3 09: Mario Galaxy 2 sums up Nintendo's wrongs

How the great hardcore hope could be a terrible omen

In fact we feel that rather than the glowing beacon of inventive hardcore lovin’ we’ve come to expect, Super Mario Galaxy 2 actually crystalises everything the current Nintendo is doing wrong. It could even be a death knell. Stay with us on this one.

Above: Super Mario Galaxy 2. Or maybe the first one

The reason the core Mario series is so treasured by hardcore Nintendo fans - and trust us, a lifelong devotee is writing these words right now - is the sheer audacious inventiveness of every entry released so far. From Super Mario Bros. to Galaxy, Nintendo completely maintains the deep core of what makes Mario fun while expanding the wider experience each time. It’s incredibly knowing and clever game design.

But now we have Super Mario Galaxy 2, and for once a new Mario game looks like a clone of the one before it. And we’re massively disappointed. It might seem churlish to complain about a game being similar to one of the greatest ever made, but it’s the context and principle that matter here.

Above: No seriously, which one is it?

The core Mario series is the last bastion of the clever, witty, ingenious Nintendo we love, and to see its trademark surprises and reinvention seemingly lacking from a new sequel for first time (no, the re-addition of Yoshi doesn’t count) frankly scares the sh*t out of us.


Long-time GR+ writer Dave has been gaming with immense dedication ever since he failed dismally at some '80s arcade racer on a childhood day at the seaside (due to being too small to reach the controls without help). These days he's an enigmatic blend of beard-stroking narrative discussion and hard-hitting Psycho Crushers.
We recommend