What do Vincent Van Gogh, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and Edgar Allen Poe have in common? Besides having three names each, they all died before they were fifty, and are hailed as geinuses of their times in their respected fields. Yet a funny thing about them is that none enjoyed their success. In fact, all three died penniless because they were failures in the long run of their careers. It is only now that we, as a public, recognize their greatness.
In a way, video games is the same thing. Some of the best games ever made go unoticed at times over blockbuster productions. Now, there is nothing wrong with these blockbusters, most of the time, but in the end, some of the most underrated games out there never have a chance to shine in their prime, before they are forgotten by the gaming masses.
Enter Super Mario Galaxy. A game with blockbuster potential, phenominal appeal, and is just about perfect in every way. But what is happening? It is barely making a dent in the gaming world? Why is this?
Super Mario Galaxy is perhaps the most complete game made this year. And in a year where the holiday season has turned into a who's who in video games, like movies and music, it is hard not to see why some of the biggest fish in the sea are swimming upstream now. But fear not, loyal fanboys, Mario, and Miyamoto, delivers one of the greatest games in a long, long time.
The story is a tired but true Mario tale, where Bowser, fully evil once again, swipes the Princesses entire castle from the sky, and goes off into space. Mario follows suit, ready for another adventure, this time in the stars, to rescue his fair maiden in distress.
While the story is as original as a cover band, that is perhaps the only complaint that can be made about the game. Everything else is essentially perfect. First off, the game is graphically a powerhouse on the Wii, even surpassing Twilight Princess as the best looking game on the system. Vibrant colors with no slowdown, and a lot of little detail seeped into the game makes Mario look great in the starry blue skies he will be flying through. And the planet designs look great, from the flower worlds to the giant, floating eggs in the sky,to even a pill capsule in space!
Galaxy is also perhaps the best game to utilize the functions of the Wiimote itself. With the system, you can shoot stars to solve puzzles, walk on the moon of various little themed planets, and even use "star warps" to travel across mini worlds. Each planet is a small level, another platform you can either fall off on or find hidden warps to get some extra shooting stars or lives.
You can twist, jump, punch and kick, run, butt stomp, and fly with the Wiimote, and Mario looks great doing it. What is a great asset is the fact that the camera never seems to lose focus, it is always in the right spot when you need it, making the game one of the best platformers with an automatic camera. Of course this can be used manually if need be, but the fact of the matter is most gamers might not need to go down that pathway.
And jumping from galaxy to galaxy is not the only new addition to the game. New suits, from the real useful Boo Suit to the classic Fire Mario, make apperances again, adding more platforming goodness and puzzle action than ever before. New enemies and friends also fall into the fold quite easily, from the lovely new assistant, Rosalina, to the new duma stars. And hell, it is just fun to watch in awe the scope of the planets various gravitational pulls and the majesty of the detail each planet has.
Finally, if the gameplay mechanics were not enough, then the sound might be a throwback to a greater day. While Mario still shouts little snippets of dialouge, bubble boxes live on in this game. Many gamers groan at the sound of text popping up, but in all honesty, why change something that's not broken. For better or for worse, this style of gameplay works out fine in the grand scheme of things. In fact, all the sounds, from the snazzy background music to the goomba's being squished by Marios buttocks are spot on.
Many, even myself, won't deny that Super Mario Galaxy is mroe of the same in terms of it's storyline But be that as it may, it is the most complete experience on the Nintendo Wii avaliable, and easily one of the greatest games ever made. In time, like Mozart, Poe and Van Gogh before them, Super Mario Galaxy will be revered as a classic in gaming, one of the best there is. And then the supporters of the portly plumber will laugh at those who say they are playing a kids game, or more of the same, because they know that they were right in enjoying video games Italian Stallion on another revolutionary adventure.
Final Score- A