In a way, it's a pity E3 came along when it did. With Super Mario Galaxy 2 out on store shelves, everyone should still be talking about Mario's latest and greatest 3D adventure, but instead they're talking about weird tigers and chopping people's legs off in mid-air.
Well, not us. Not for a few minutes, anyway. Here are ten little things in Super Mario Galaxy 2 that make us feel like everything's right with the world:
The noise Lumas make
With a sound somewhere between a whistle and the squeak of a dog toy, the noise a Luma makes when he talks to you is awesome. Yet more proof that games characters don't need to be voiced.
Drums and Cymbals
You're jumping around the level, learning how to make clouds with Cloud Mario, when you arrive at three large platforms. They look different from the rest of the scenery... and then it hits you as you bounce up with a boom. They're drums. And when you reach the top, you can pound the cymbal to get loads of Star Bits. Tssssch!
Feeding a Hungry Luma
Whether it's with Star Bits or a cascade of golden coins, the flow of coloured items into the mouth of a Hungry Luma is incredibly satisfying. Especially when he looks so pleased at the end he announces he's going to...
Above: Took the word right out of my mouth
You spin, everybody spins
You're talking to Toad, but then forget you're near him and spin. Instead of getting knocked flying or even just taking cover, all the NPCs in the vicinity copy you and spin like a spinning top.
Toad finds a Star Bit
How cute is this? In an effort to help Mario, a lot of the characters will give you items they find. These range from coins to one-ups. But one little Toad tells you he's found a Star Bit and wants you to have it. It's the equivalent of a kid giving you a penny towards rent. All you can do is take it and say it's a big help.
Crystals reflect Mario
This is supposed to be Wii - the crappy machine that does crap graphics, right? Wrong. The reflection effect in the smashable crystal formations reflect Mario in every surface. I don't think there's a player around who hasn't stopped to take a few moments to play with the effect.
Boos hiding their faces in unison
Boos have always covered their faces when you look at them, but Galaxy 2 sees large groups of them moving in unison. Turn around and watch as they all cover their eyes simultaneously. No, fellas. Of course we can't see you.
Rolling giant snowballs
There's a snowball and you can push it along. Sure, its purpose is to help you across lava later on. But what about the first one on the first planet? There's no lava there. Why not see how big you can make it? Dave H swears he can make one bigger than the planet itself.
Above: There's so much imagination in the game. Anything that's fun is in
Eating three things at once with Yoshi
Mario's green friend is back and better than ever. And the new multi-tag system for eating things lets you consume several items at once. Yomp-yomp-yomp: All gone. Not sure how Yoshi's digestive system turns them into Star Bits, mind...
Orbiting Starship Mario
Perform a long-jump from the edge of a platform and, with a bit of luck, you can orbit the entire ship. This also works with small planets. It gives such an impression of near-weightlessness, you might find your stomach feeling a bit funny.
Above: Here we gooooooooooo!
What makes you happy when you play Super Mario Galaxy 2? You DO play it, right? Let us know in the comments. Oh, and don't say 'that they kept the stars on the letters in the logo' - that's just childish.
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