E3 09: Mario Galaxy 2 shows Nintendo wising up - Rebuttal

Now I’m definitely not defending the entire Nintendo press conference. Seeing Wii Sports Resort for the second year in a row was incredibly boring, Wii Fit Plus is for our moms and so is Women’s Murder Club. And this E3 indicated that a Wii Remote isn’t so special anymore. But everyone was so ready to hate another Nintendo conference that it can put a negative spin on anything, which is what I believe happened to some with Galaxy 2.

Is it too close to the previous game? The game is probably coming out in holiday 2010, three years after the first game, which is a pretty big gap in this era of annualized exploitation. It gives the developers lots of time to make a sequel to what is arguably the best game on the system.

Will it be too much like the first one? I’ll admit that it’s currently pretty close graphically – a full year before it’s actually released – but the trailer is full of new moves, powers, mechanics and fricking Yoshi, which could change the way it’s played in so many ways. It is extremely short sighted, given Nintendo’s track record of quality with Mario titles, to think they are just going to crap another Galaxy game with nothing new.

And lastly, Mario games have had direct sequels before and they were excellent. Donkey Kong on Game Boy, Mario Land 2, and even Mario World when compared to Mario 3 just built on the previous game instead of changing everything. Looking at other Nintendo titles, Zelda: Twilight Princess, though graphically different, was in the same console cycle as Wind Waker and played very similarly. That was a pretty crappy game, huh? Not to mention the assuredly terrible Punch-Out!! from a couple weeks back. What a mistake Nintendo made there, right?

Above: Henry Gilbert - also the author ofThe many faces of MarioandMario's endless supply of costumes- is completely unbiased

This year’s press conference was their best in years and Mario Galaxy 2, along with Metroid: Other M and Golden Sun DS (to name a few), show Nintendo is at least trying harder. It doesn’t fix everything but it turns a corner with a bigger emphasis on hardcore games that they’ll need if Natal steals their casual audience next year. Here’s hoping they continue in this direction.

Jun 4, 2009

How the great hardcore hope could be a terrible omen

Henry Gilbert

Henry Gilbert is a former GamesRadar+ Editor, having spent seven years at the site helping to navigate our readers through the PS3 and Xbox 360 generation. Henry is now following another passion of his besides video games, working as the producer and podcast cohost of the popular Talking Simpsons and What a Cartoon podcasts.