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Super Mario Galaxy 2 - first-look

Everything else there is to know about Mario Galaxy 2 in 20 digestible chunks…

1) Item get!
Donning our patented Trailer Specs (capable of turning the blurriest image into the most concrete nugget of speculation), we spotted not only a new item box – which was busy dropping one of many possible objects – but a new object icon to boot. A red and black mushroom? Are the Lost Levels poison mushrooms returning? Our three-segment health bar hopes not.

2) Save the planet
Greenpeace chastised Nintendo for being ecologically unsound; Nintendo respond to the accusations by recycling some levels. Miyamoto says 5% of Galaxy 2 will rework original galaxies. This is clearly the Good Egg Galaxy, given a (literal) lick of paint with Yoshi. And the hulking tower o’ platforms could be Buoy Base, albeit with a cool new time-twiddling mechanic.

3) Drilliant
Mario Galaxy concludes with Mario taking to the skies in his creepy leather dungarees, so it makes sense that the first new powerup in Galaxy 2 should send him in the opposite direction by thrusting him deep underground. Spin Mario while he clasps the drill bit to send him whirling through to the other side of the planet. If something blocks his path he’ll ricochet right back out onto the planet’s surface. Time to start again…

4) Time team
Normally you can sniff out Miyamoto’s best hidden secrets by looking out for conspicuous pieces of level furniture (‘hmm… what are those blocks doing there?’ etc), but the drill lets Mario unearth goods under any patch of dirt. By the time he’s done digging up these treasure pockets, this galaxy will look like the set of Holes.

5) Pulling our leg
Office favourite Megaleg returns, albeit with a leg downgrade. Not-So-Megaleg has a star imprisoned in his belly – only by drilling up underneath with his new gadget can Mario shatter his glass guts. Brilliantly, if Mario drills up into his feet he gets stamped upon and shot back through the tunnel he made. Even messing up in Mario Galaxy 2 is the best thing ever.

6) Bullet (Bill) time
We’d love to have a giant switch to slow down time. A spin next to this switch and not only is time suddenly up to its knees in treacle, but hidden coins appear – presumably they were spinning too fast to be seen by useless human eyes. Like hummingbirds.

7) In the ship
Did you really think Bowser was horrifically burned to death during that black hole collapse? We do. But considering that the Lumas nobly sacrificed themselves to start the universe anew we can easily see Bowser and cohorts returning. Perhaps this airship armada is warping in from whatever dank corner he’s been plotting his revenge in.

8) Oak blokes
Outlandish theory #1: these woodmen carve the wooden platforms littered throughout the galaxies (the wood-sawing galaxy in entry 1 is their workshop). All that wood has to come from somewhere. Don’t say you’re going to side with the creationists – this is evolution in action. Outlandish theory #2: Nintendo borrowed the design from obscure fictional hero The Stinky Cheese Man.See? Uncanny.

9) Cursor curse
Not a feature per se, but a strange little aside. For most of the trailer, whoever’s recording the footage is trying desperately hard to keep you from noticing the pointer. Look, there it is, hiding in the corner, trembling like a church mouse. If they can remove the HUD for the sake of a video, surely they could switch the pointer off? Madness.

10) Snow king
Snowball rolling seems to be the theme of a new winter level but could it also power this unhappy looking boulder boss? The patch of brickwork suggests he’s picking up snow as he goes – if Mario leads him on a merry dance round the planet he might uncover a way off. That or you just smash him in his massive weak spot. On second thoughts, it’s probably the weak spot.

11) Mr. Freeze
If we had any complaints about the original Galaxy, it’s that ice Mario took a back seat to Mario’s own far superior skating. Water now turns to ice at the press of a button, totally eliminating the need for Mario’s sub-zero doppelganger. Shattering the frozen Skeeters, Wesley Snipes in Demolition Man-style, looks particularly gratifying.

12) Star powered
Watch carefully: Mario’s milky Luma is still powering his spin attack. As all those who collected 120 stars in the original will know, Mario’s pale chum was last seen living in galactic bliss with Rosalina in the Gateway Galaxy. Should we expect a trip to where it all began to pick up our friend for another 120 stars of excessive twirling?