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Super Mario Galaxy 2 super review

AT A GLANCE
  • More of Mario's particular brand of magic
  • Tons of neat new tricks, power-ups and techniques
  • Some great references to previous Mario games
  • Dealing with the general imperfections of a 3D camera
  • Some really frustrating levels late in the game
  • Can't Bowser do something new?

Why Mario Galaxy 2 is a 10

Ultimately, we had had one of the finest times in a long time playing this game, and when compared to other Wii games – even great ones, like Muramasa or A Boy and His Blob – Super Mario Galaxy 2 is hands-down the greatest the Wii has seen since, well, Galaxy 1. But can something that even we admit is nearly a remix really garner our highest score? Yes, and here’s why.

Like we said earlier, it always either fixes the limited number of flaws the first game had, or just takes interesting new approaches to much of what worked, while still being a game that stands on its own. You may notice that until now we’ve had few complaints, and that’s simply because there are so few things to complain about. The final worlds and some stars that are all completely unnecessary to finish the game can get pretty frustrating for non-Mario savants, but those areas are just gravy anyway. In a long weekend of play, we got 90-plus stars out of 120, and while we are pretty familiar with Mario, we’re by no means perfect players; there’s just the right balance of challenge in all but the later worlds (which are made for the super-skilled, anyway). Also, very rarely, the camera can be slightly tricky, but it still sets the bar very high for all other 3D games. Sorry, haters, that’s all the negative we’ve got.

Even if you discount the relative ghetto of middling games on the Wii, Galaxy 2 is one of the year’s top games on any system, and one of the few must-have reasons to buy a Wii… outside of weight loss and bowling, that is.


Is it better than…

Super Mario Galaxy? Yes, but barely. It feels newer and more varied, though it isn’t the revolution the first game was. If you just bought a Wii and have to pick one or the other, play SMG2 first, since it’s slightly more inviting and fast-paced than the original. Once you’ve wrapped up 2, by all means go back to first one. Following that, leave your Wii unused for the majority of your year like everyone else, making sure to dust occasionally.

New Super Mario Bros Wii? For the love of God, yes! Maybe NSMBW’s lack of creativity compared to Galaxy 2 makes the latter look even better next to it, but there’s really no contest. NSMBW is a good game, but we expected so much more from the first new 2D, console-based Mario in almost two decades that we were understandably disappointed by how few new things it tried, outside of an underwhelming multiplayer aspect. Oppositely, Galaxy 2 really pushed itself to outperform expectations, not just meet them exactly.

Ratchet and Clank Future: A Crack in Time? Yes, but it’s closer than you’d think. And if you lack Nintendo-tinted glasses, the gap gets even closer. R&C games are always fun, and Crack is a step up, graphics-wise, compared to SMG2. But the annual releases of Ratchet games makes them feel less special, and we’re getting a little franchise fatigue. Meanwhile, a second core Mario game for the Wii, delivered nearly three years after the last one, feels like a real treat.


Just for you, Metacritic!

Expanding on the original’s brilliance, this ingenious platformer only gets better by embracing the Wii’s limited capabilities and adds so many ideas, big and small, that we can’t help but love it. Even if you (mistakenly) believe it’s too similar to the first game, what’s wrong with more of an incredibly great thing?

May 21, 2010

More Info

Release date: May 23 2010 - Wii (US)
Jun 11 2010 - Wii (UK)
Available Platforms: Wii
Genre: Action
Published by: Nintendo
Developed by: Nintendo
Franchise: Mario
ESRB Rating:
Everyone: Mild Cartoon Violence
PEGI Rating:
3+

60 comments

  • REIGNx777 - May 21, 2010 7:15 a.m.

    Can't wait to play it...but I really need to finish the first one beforehand! Ahh summer, you will be a good one. College is rough on me sometimes.
  • allthegoodnameswheretaken - May 21, 2010 7:18 a.m.

    Worth getting a Wii for?
  • WonsAuto - May 21, 2010 8:23 a.m.

    I sold my first Wii last October to help me replace my busted PS3, which wasn't a big deal because I wasn't playing it. After watching the trailers I did everything in my power to scrape together the money to get a new one in time for this game -- I can't wait.
  • zer0hvk - May 21, 2010 9:12 a.m.

    dammit, I really want to play this game, hopefully I will, soon, I loved the first one, and I'm pretty sure I'll love this one, as well, also, what you had to say about it made me feel even more anxious to get it. I'll get to dusting off my Wii. Great review, Henry! Thanks! :) (seems like a deserted island in here, is it because no one has a Wii (or sold it)?)
  • Schnipke - May 21, 2010 10:41 a.m.

    YES!!! though i have to disagree with it having the best graphics (i think SSBB has the best on the wii) i love the fact that this game is a ten, it means that i'll more than likely get my money's worth when I get it.
  • veryweirdguy - May 21, 2010 10:41 a.m.

    Great review! Can't wait to pick this up.
  • OnyxOblivion - May 21, 2010 10:46 a.m.

    I've never liked Mario games before...This isn't changing my mind. I'll skip it.
  • speno93 - May 21, 2010 10:57 a.m.

    wasn't expecting any less from one of my favourite franchises. great review!
  • Psylockerules - May 21, 2010 11:40 a.m.

    i LOVE SMG after playing the game my face would hurt from smiling, also the music was probably one of my fav soundtracks ever.
  • Imgema - May 21, 2010 12:24 p.m.

    Whats with the "1.5" and "2" and "Episodes from Mario Galaxy" arguments? Most sequels aren't that much different than the originals. Is Gears of War 2 that much different than 1 for instance?
  • EnragedTortoise1 - May 21, 2010 12:27 p.m.

    Looks like this'll replace my summer game needs.
  • db1331 - May 21, 2010 1:31 p.m.

    Jesus. I hope I don't ever run out of lives. Seeing that fat purple fuck tell me I should take a break would make me lose my shit. There is no telling how many people could get hurt.
  • MaynardJ - May 21, 2010 2:44 p.m.

    Looks wonderful... but I'm still not getting a Wii. Guess I'll wait for Nintendo's next console.
  • frmonth - May 21, 2010 2:47 p.m.

    I wonder how good my wii owning friend's security is?
  • Xtapolapopotamus - May 21, 2010 4:41 p.m.

    This game (along with Monster Hunter Tri) are what convinced me to buy another Wii. I had one at launch but I sold it last Christmas because I never played it. Along comes Tri and I just HAD to buy a Wii to play it (god damn that game is amazing) and now this, it's another instant-purchase. And just in time, too! School's out for the summer, so it means a summer filled with MH Tri, Red Dead Redemption and Galaxy 2.
  • kiwicrossing - May 21, 2010 5:29 p.m.

    Damn, Just got Red Dead and THIS of all games comes out. Well my summer will be pretty sweet.
  • marioman50 - May 21, 2010 5:31 p.m.

    lol, on the 2nd page, both Cloud Mario and Drill Mario have basically the same expression.
  • slimjim441 - May 21, 2010 5:33 p.m.

    Anyone who is saying, 'I don't think this is good enough of a reason to buy a Wii' is wrong. Pool this game (and the original) plus Metroid Prime Trilogy, Twilight Princess, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, and a shit-ton of Wii-Ware and Virtual Console games, and the Wii just became the best console ever (not really, but you know what I mean). This game is going to be the best. Case Closed. Now I wonder if I will be able to finish my run-through with Luigi (I have 20 stars) before Sunday...
  • Unoriginal - May 21, 2010 6:07 p.m.

    Was going to get Red Dead and with my current financial standing I really can't justify getting more than one game ATM. Now I saw this is coming out. Guess I wont be playing Red Dead soon
  • 510BrotherPanda - May 21, 2010 6:13 p.m.

    Man Henry, you totally wrote off all the Metroid and Zelda stuff that came out. I think SMG2 will be great, but the whole "let the Wii collect dust" thing seemed a little too much. What about Other M and the supposed Wii Zelda at the end of the year?

Showing 1-20 of 60 comments

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