Super Mario Galaxy 2 – the Mario game you've been waiting for

We were one of the few outlets that didn’t cream its pants over New Super Mario Bros Wii. We felt it was too simplistic playing alone and a bit too clumsy with four people, not to mention devoid of the creative spark that made all previous 2D Marios such a genuine treat. On the other hand, we couldn’t adore Galaxy more – it’s a shining beacon of platforming brilliance loaded with fresh ideas. Galaxy 2, despite being “more of the same,” already exhibits the same illuminating joy found in 2007’s amazing original.

It’s friggin’ gorgeous

The first Galaxy remains the best-looking Wii game on the market. It’s simply a dream to see in motion, so good in fact it doesn’t need the usual “for a Wii game” tagline. Galaxy 2, naturally, is every bit as beautiful and imaginative. Each of the floating planetoids has its own rules, appearance and overall feel, and soaring from one to the other is still an exhilarating rush. We’re not sure how many new environments there will be, and so far the worlds we played (Hightail Falls, Tall Trunk and others) look similar to the first game, but it’s still a pleasure to play a Wii title that looks fantastic – by any system’s criteria.

Yoshi is fully integrated

Yoshi popped up in New Mario Wii what, three or four times in total? Hardly a selling point then, especially when you consider that his presence didn’t really add anything to the gameplay that wasn’t already present in 1991’s Super Mario World. This time, entire levels are designed around a much more capable Yoshi.

One area, Bowser Jr’s Flooding Fleet, was packed with Bullet Bills, Hammer Bros and other deadly projectiles that would normally buck Mario off the edge of the world. Now, Yoshi can eat them with his tongue (aimed with the Wii Remote pointer, just like you gobble up all the star bits) and actually fire them back at enemies or objects in the environment. In one case we had to gobble several Bullet Bills and send them hurtling towards glass barriers blocking the path.

Bowser Jr hopped in a giant robot for a boss battle (seen above) that revolved around Yoshi’s new return-fire abilities. Other areas use Yoshi’s tongue as a Bionic Commando-style ripcord that lets you sling from one platform to another. All in all, Yoshi’s featured quite a bit, and not in a half-forgotten kind of way.

It’s tough, but in the best possible way

Galaxy was surprisingly difficult, especially compared to Mario Sunshine and the ancient Mario 64. Part two (releasing May 23) continues the trend with some truly mind-bending areas that’ll make hardcore (read: lifelong) Mario fans far happier than the plain levels of New Mario Wii. The areas we played were fiendishly challenging, causing even our resident Mario expert to replay certain spots again and again. No, it’s not stupid hard, because that’s not fun – it’s that perfect mix of hard at first but encouraging enough to keep trying. Once you do, you feel like you actually accomplished something. In other words, just what we’d expect.

There was a lot to cover during Nintendo’s attractively named “Q1 Media Summit,” so we didn’t get a hand at every single level of the demo. That said, we left no less enthused about the surprise sequel, despite its obvious “sameness” to the original. No doubt the overall impact and ingenuity of the first Galaxy will be gone, but the all-important gameplay looks to be a sharp as ever. We’ll have more, including a luscious Super Review, when it ships this May.

Feb 24, 2010


  • smallfry22 - April 2, 2010 3:34 a.m.

    I for one can't wait until it comes out, it'll be awesome being able to use Yoshi in it.
  • dibber - March 6, 2010 8:28 p.m.

    Nice to see Hooktail making the crossover from the Paper Mario universe to the S.M. Galaxy universe. Perhaps this is a foreshadowing of things to come? Some day we may even see Ms. Mowz bitchslapping Bowser Jr...
  • RonnyLive19881 - March 2, 2010 5:02 a.m.

    Oh, Nintendo confirmed to IGN that the orchestrated soundtrack will be in the final version! Don't worry!
  • RonnyLive19881 - March 2, 2010 3:58 a.m.

    Felixthecat: You guys got Mario Kart Wii way before we did. There have been a few other games you got first too, I just can't remember them...
  • c03n3nj0 - February 27, 2010 11:19 p.m.

    Just looking at the dragon in the middle picture... oh gawd this game looks beautiful! Galaxy was brilliant, wouldn't expect less from this one.
  • GoodGuyWithACrappyJob - February 27, 2010 6:43 p.m.

    That's the stuff! This'll fix the only complaint I had with SMG, that it was too easy. Looking very much forward to this game. It and Other M as well. Now all Nintendo has to do is crank out that Legend of Zelda Wii and I'll never leave my house, even to shovel the what'sit!
  • Hellwilder - February 26, 2010 10:21 p.m.

    wii wantz it naw
  • GameManiac - February 26, 2010 7:29 p.m.

    Damn! It's much more different than what I'd expect it to be from SMG 1!
  • Felixthecat - February 26, 2010 4:11 p.m.

    Actually, the music in SMG2 (eg, the main theme) is just a remix of the SMG theme. I actually quite like it. But now I've calmed down over the release date, I cannot wait to spend my time with this beautiful looking game. I completed the first in about 2 weeks (That includes Luigi, I spent A LOt of time with it) and I hope this will take me slightly longer. I'm looking forward to the challenge.
  • Ultra64 - February 26, 2010 2:40 p.m.

    @ GamesRadarBrettElston the music wasnt the same as in galaxy 2 beacus it wasnt orchestrated, but theyre going to put the orchestra in when its finished.
  • robotechandnarutosucks - February 26, 2010 4:17 a.m.

    this game ezzzzz stupid go play a real game like halooooo
  • Xeacons - February 26, 2010 3:08 a.m.

    Thank God! If I hear another word about New Super Mario Wii, I'm going to freak! Hopefully, news will switch to Mario Galaxy 2 now! THIS is what we want! Geez, Shiggy, what did you think?
  • Kenzo - February 26, 2010 1:44 a.m.

    I was one of the people who slaved over his wii for a week and a half after finishing the main storyline to collect all 120 stars and I finally did so I've seen all there is to galaxy, and I hope the sequel is every bit as good as the first... My wallet is gonna hurt this year
  • marioman50 - February 26, 2010 1:37 a.m.

    This is actually pretty cool if you think about it. This will be the first time, in a while, that Nintendo has made a Mario sequel which takes place in the same universe as the preceding game (ex: no Sunshine 2 or Mario 64 2). This way they've got into their stride before moving on to a completely new idea.
  • TheHolyHandGrenade - February 26, 2010 1:35 a.m.

    @Conman93: Owned My birthday is the day before it comes out. not that it really matters. On the other hand, I did not get the first one because i lost faith on the wii, but i might get this one if my brother will buy the fact that not all good games have "Warfare" in the title.
  • nik41507 - February 26, 2010 midnight

    good thing my best friend has a Wii!!!
  • EnragedTortoise1 - February 25, 2010 11:12 p.m.

    I 100%-ed the first one, can't wait for this one.
  • Schnipke - February 25, 2010 10:27 p.m.

    I've already either pre-ordered it or put it on layaway at Gamestop (not exactly sure which one it is) and now I learn that it's coming out 4 days away from graduation, my day is now all that better
  • soccerclownking - February 25, 2010 10:08 p.m.

    Never thought I'd regret selling my Wii but, after seeing this...dammit.
  • Felixthecat - February 25, 2010 8:26 p.m.

    I'M FUCKING PISSED OFF AT NINTENDO. We get it almost 2 weeks after the US? BULLSHIT. Fuck Nintendo for that reason, they treat European fans like shit. That aside though, I am immensely looking forward to this. The first is one of my favourite games ever, and this looks amazing. Everything looks like it's on a bigger scale, and some of the new features like the drill, and some new enemies like the dragon thing, look pretty damn cool. Still, I'm incredibly pissed off at the, frankly ridiculous, release European release date.

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