31 Reviews

Super Mario Galaxy 2

It's a-more, Mario

The original Mario Galaxy, though massive, left us wanting more. Much more.

The ladies and gents at Nintendo's Japanese HQ obviously felt the same way, because Galaxy 2 breaks with tradition to deliver the first ever direct sequel to a 3D Mario game.

Nintendo's Japanese team hasn't been shy in letting slip that its second interstellar outing is very much Mario Galaxy part two - and that's exactly how it feels.

When you pick up Galaxy 2 you'll instantly slip back into controlling the plumber like a masterful acrobat as second nature. And though its platform playgrounds and starry boss fights are significantly more difficult than the first time around, you'll step up to the challenge.

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Intergalactic Planetary
Unlike the revolutionary, generation-defining experiences we're used to associating with previous 3D Mario games, then, Galaxy 2 is simply more of what we already know. But just like a second evening in with Megan Fox, familiarity is massively outweighed by the fact that you're having a bloody good time. And by good we mean awesome.

From the get-go, Galaxy 2 has a far more no-frills approach to gameplay than its predecessor. Nintendo has smartly chopped lengthy cut-scenes and ditched the hub-world to-ing and throwing for a more traditional map method of accessing galaxies.

That's not to say there isn't a hub world - there is; a spaceship shaped like Mario's face. You just don't actually access worlds by running to various locations on board - instead simply accessing the map screen via the ship helm.

Galaxy 2 is all about the platforming. And just like the original, the sheer amount of imagination present in every galaxy, mini-game and boss fight in Galazy 2 is staggering.

As you progress through Galaxy 2's celestial selection of platforming playgrounds, no two experiences are quite alike and - as is traditional with Mario games - it's full of surprises.

One moment you'll be buzzing around a 2.5D honey maze as Bee Mario... then you'll be whisked off to a Pepper Dash Yoshi race course in the sky... followed by a grin-inducingly epic boss fight with a skyscraper-sized flying dragon. When it comes to core games, Nintendo really is the master of keeping a smile on your face.

Much of the game's mechanics are carried over from the first Galaxy. As Mario you'll run and jump about spherical-worlds, performing spin-attacks with a flick of the Wii Remote and occasionally shooting off Starbit bullets with the pointer.

Controlling Mario feels fluid and responsive, bolstered by some intuitive gameplay sequences involving crazy power-ups, Wii Remote star-grappling and Galaxy 2's main attraction, Yoshi.

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You're introduced to our long-missed green mate on the very second level, where you get to grips with his floaty jump and whiplash tongue.

Unlike his bodged appearance in GameCube's Super Mario Sunshine, being saddled aboard Galaxy's Yoshi perfectly resurrects the spirit of Super Nintendo - conjuring feelings of near-invincibility as you gobble and grab everything within 20 feet (and then spit it back out).

Green Machine
Although the frequency of Yoshi's appearance is kept tastefully moderate, he personally injects much of Galaxy 2's fresh gameplay, in both how he interacts with the colourful planets and his array of unique transformations. Yoshi can swing from flowery grapple points, pull out platforms with his tongue and, of course, gulp bullet bills and shoot them bolting towards his enemies. It's wonderfully instinctual stuff.

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