Thursday, February 7, 2008

Review Time (At Last)

Super Mario Galaxy Review:

Its the game that Sunshine should have been. At least thats what I've heard several times in the past. But personally I really enjoyed Sunshine and did not see what people's problem was. But this is about Galaxy. And rest assured whether Sunshine burned you or not (no pun intended) Galaxy is a real treat, although i think it has been over reviewed thus far by most.

You've played Mario 64 Ihope? If so you understand the premise, Mario goes for walk, Bowser shows up steals Princess,
Mario runs around and collects stuff (new collectible is shiny star bits, although they might as well be coins).
Then you fight bowser several times and get the classic "your princess is in another castle.

The deal is this all happens in space. Its quite well done in fact. There are these Galaxies (Apparently Nintendo doesnt get the difference between a solar system and a Galaxy, but whatever)
Also apparently Mario isnt allowed to punch in any game that is not Smash Bros. Because they removed that. Mario can jump or spin now. Well he can jump then spin, but no more punching or diving (i adored his dive move).
The camera is annoying. Mainly because when you're upside-down you are upside down, and i want the camera to follow me a flip upside-down so that i can actually see where i am. It is very difficult to accurately land on something when your view is distorted beyond comprehension.
Now this gripe isnt really much of an issue in this game because the game itself is so easy a mildly retarded child with down's could figure out how to beat it. The game is very, very forgiving, and this is in essence my whole problem with the game. 
By the time you start actually enjoying the game the level design is challenging you and working with the controls (not telling you run upside down and jump on a fucking thousand goombas).
There is no challenge to the game. And to me it feels like this was done to compensate for only partially making the controls feel effective at controlling Mr. Stache. 
You can still enjoy the game, but its for a different reason than I want in game. I cant even describe why I like the game. Its doesnt test my ability to beat it. Sure there are the "challenge bits where you have a time limit, or you only get one health, but they literally make up an optional 1/5 of the game. 
My final problem is the length of the game. It is far too short. You might argue that getting 100% will take a substantial investment. But honestly I dont think it would. Maybe 30-40 hours to 100% the game. But only maybe 10 hours max to beat the game. Certainly it might be enough, many games are less and still excellent games. But the strength of those games is that the gameplay itself is so finely compact and refined that you feel like its was amazing.
I guess my point is that Mario Galaxy is merely a fun game. You will enjoy it, but it doesnt do anything unique.
The character of Mario is can be so much. In Smash Bros. He is a bad ass fighter, in the RPGs he is an utterly aloof idiot. But in Galaxy we see Mario as nothing. He's some guy who doesnt speak, who saves the princess and has absolutely no reactions beyond the most basic emotions that you would expect given his situations.
So Who should Buy Super Mario Galaxy And who should simply rent it.
Any self respecting gamer should at the very least rent it. Those with families would do well to buy it. The children will enjoy it for quite some time, and the content is as wholesome as you can find in video games that are actually good.
The Halo fanboys would be advised to stay away, although they too would enjoy the game.
The People who should utterly avoid the game are those who adore Ninja Gaiden and its ilk of trama inducing difficulty challenge based games. 

So go rent it. Sure it sounds like I didnt much enjoy the game. But really its a treat, my tastes have simply moved beyond it. Most will delight in it.

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