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The first game’s two-player mode was pretty lame – as player one ran around as Mario, y’know, playing the game, you could point a second remote at the screen and shoot star bits at enemies. Or you could collect them for player one, but all in all it was a very detached experience that wasn’t a great deal of fun. Now, player two controls an orange Luma that hovers behind Mario.
As this little Luma you can target enemies and actually defeat them, enabling player one Mario to navigate without additional worry. L’il Luma can still shoot and collect star bits, plus zip out and grab coins and 1up mushrooms. However, you can’t collect power-ups and bring them back to Mario, nor can you acquire special items like Comet Coins. Granted, it’s not a true multiplayer experience like New SMB Wii, but it’s definitely a step up from the first Galaxy.
Remember the Super Guide in New SMB Wii? It let you skip certain parts of levels if you got sick and tired of dying in the same place over and over. In Galaxy 2, that role is filled by this ghostly lady called the Cosmic Guide (or Cosmic Witch), who looks a lot like Rosalina from the first game. Unlike the Super Guide, this lady isn’t available for every stage – she only appears in designated areas if you’ve died again and again, or have become lost and end up fiddling around for too long.
Should you accept her assistance, the star you collect at the end of the level will be bronze, not gold, so if you’ve got any sense of completion, you’ll want to shy away from the Cosmic Guide unless it’s totally necessary. Normally we’d assume no area of a modern Mario game would be so hard we’d have to use this feature, but then again, if Nintendo’s already scouted specific spots as “hard” and offered a way out, we could be in for something truly challenging.
Galaxy 2 arrives on May 23, just barely a month away. We’ll have a review ready to go for the occasion, so make sure your ass is back here to read it. Because it will be amazing. The review. And the game too, probably.
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