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Super Mario Galaxy review

Prepare to have a smile permanently branded on your face

Legging it to the edge of a platform and launching Mario into orbit with a long jump? Sublime. Ricocheting off a spinning Topman and guiding a whirligig Mario-copter 360 degrees around the planet? Mesmerising. When surrounded by walls with their own unique pull, prepare to see a wall jump contort into a floor land, and a backflip send you sliding along the surface you just leapt from. Comparing Mario's playfulness to a toy just won't do: there's no toy good enough. These are old-fashioned thrills as only new digital worlds can render them.

Galaxy's old-fashioned, too, in its refusal to pander to the Wii wobble-stick. Outside of spin attack flicks, there's a spot of remote twisting to steer a manta ray (harder than Mario 64's ice chute races) and some ball-teetering with the remote held upright, but little else. Spinning has its creative uses - a propeller for a dandelion glider or a torpedo maneuver - but it's sad to see head-bopping enemy-dispatching play second fiddle to rotational shunting.

Combat aside, jumping still rules the roost. After FLUDD complications in Sunshine, it's back to you exploiting the core abilities that endeared Mario to us in the first place. Triple jumps, wall kicks, backflips, long jumps and butt stomps - controlled as ever, now with a fluid response speed that allows Nintendo to really push the platforming boat out, up and upside-down. Whether clambering up spires of molten lava or attempting to stay on a haywire plate as it ploughs through laser fields and cannon bombardments, you'll feel pushed - but the controls never let you down.

Don't misinterpret this ease of play as easy difficulty. Indeed, coming from the cruel Super Mario Sunshine, Galaxy is one of the more forgiving Mario games we've ever played. The difference is, where Sunshine was difficult for all the wrong reasons - dodgy camera and a jetpack that severely unbalanced Mario's move set - this is easy for all the right reasons. Unfair deaths at the hand of camera malfunction? Nil. Unfair deaths due to awkward geography? Nope. Unfair deaths because Mario didn't do as you said? Nah. No unfair deaths doesn't equal easy, it equals design perfection.

More Info

GenreAction
DescriptionMario's first appearance on Wii launches him into outer space, where you tilt, bob and shake him across spinning globes in Mario 64 fashion.
Franchise nameMario
UK franchise nameMario
PlatformWii
US censor ratingEveryone
UK censor rating3+
Release date12 November 2007 (US), 16 November 2007 (UK)
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