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Super Mario Galaxy 2
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Rating: 4.6/5 (1 vote cast)

Super Mario Galaxy 2 Review

The sequel to one of the most original and entertaining platform games ever made has been eagerly anticipated by gamers since Nintendo’s announcement at the 2009 E3. But with the original Super Mario Galaxy receiving perfect or near-perfect scores from many reviewers, does the second instalment live up to expectations?

Super Mario Galaxy 2 (SMG2 from here on) retains the original concept of the first game, with Mario exploring planets of varying sizes and styles in order to collect Power Stars. The back-story, as you’d expect, involves Bowser and Princess Peach and other regular characters, but the cut-scenes are more a formality than anything else because the gameplay is so accessible.

This time round Mario is joined by his dino-pal Yoshi, adding to the range of abilities the player has to hand. As well as the usual munch/regurgitate action of Yoshi we’ve grown to love, he can now also use his tongue to swing across gaps or eat special fruit that grants further powers, such as inflating like a balloon or revealing secret paths.

Mario hasn’t been left out either – some old friends return like the Spring, Boo and Bee mushrooms, as well as some welcome additions: a Cloud Flower that lets Mario create mid-air platforms, a drill that lets Mario tunnel through planets, and a Rock Mushroom that turns Mario super-heavy so he can smash through barriers.

SMG2 is comparable in size to the original, with 242 Power Stars to collect, but the difficulty curve is a little steeper. Some later levels could even be called frustrating, especially when the levels are played a second time around with Luigi, competing against Ghost Luigi on a speed run. It is probably true to say that only the most dedicated gamers will collect all 242 stars and completely finish the game.

The graphics are, understandably, very similar to the first, but Nintendo have done as much as they can to push the Wii. The different planets look incredible and there are few games that look as good as SMG2. Similarly, the music and sound fit perfectly with the gameplay, with a grand, sweeping soundtrack that encompasses the music of previous Super Mario games, remixing and rehashing to bring them up-to-date – Nintendo fans won’t be disappointed!

Overall, SMG2 is a very good game. If you have SMG and liked it then this is an essential purchase. If you have neither then it would be very hard to say which is better – certainly the original had more impact, but the sequel throws more ideas into the mix and gives a more varied experience. The only way to decide is to buy them both and see for yourself!

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Super Mario Galaxy 2 Review, 4.0 out of 5 based on 1 rating
Reviewed by Andy on 30 June 2010

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