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Garden pics. Wife gags. Budget griping. Unimpressive stuff from one of gaming’s greatest minds, but anyone foolish enough to think Shigeru Miyamoto would arrive at GDC with but a handful of silly anecdotes was dealt an almighty told-you-so when he unveiled two pure minutes of Super Mario Galaxy delight. The info drought is over, the sun has set and the sky is full of stars once again - and the Galaxy’s magnificence is clearer than ever.
3D space. The final frontier. We knew the implications before, sure. Running to the edge and not having to stop, watching the portly plumber tumble over and onwards. This footage reveals a new perspective, and that’s just how much Galaxy laughs in the face of perspective. A leap from a twisting beanstalk becomes a fall onto a planet above and before you know it the awesome planet-filled horizon is no longer a horizon, but a vertical strip of cyan light. Worlds twist 90 degrees and back on the whim of a player.
Freeing players from a flat base of land may well revolutionize the platformer - for what is platforming but the leaping away from said base? Remove it and you leave nothing but platforms - distilling the essence of leaping into its purest form. Case in point? Watch how Mario tackles a giant pill-shaped capsule - first sighted with some beautiful depth of field blurring. Approaching by way of elephantine Yoshi eggs, Mario works his way over the capsule - a platform in its own right - before working through an internal platforming challenge to reach the tip. Yep: a platform challenge within a platform. That sound is our minds melting.
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