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Sunday, May 30, 2010

Super Mario Galaxy 2

Super Mario Galaxy 2 is simply not as good as Super Mario Galaxy. It isn't-- and anyone declaring the opposite is LYING.

Well, everyone's entitled to their opinion. But I can tell you why Super Mario Galaxy 2 is not as good as the first game:

  • Too much pseudo 2-D: the best suit from Super Mario Galaxy is the Bee Costume, which makes a welcome return in SMG2. But, they confine the use to levels with 2-D platforming. HOW can THAT be an IMPROVEMENT over the past game which had levels that let you fly around in 3-D environments??? Verdict: Worse than Super Mario Galaxy.

  • They made a crappy mini-game even worse: SMG1 had the riding-the-manta race levels, which were jittery & a chore to get through. But in Super Mario Galaxy 2, it gets even WORSE with the riding-a-bird levels... you can only use the wiimote, twist it left/right to turn (fine) but tilt down to speed up AND go down, and tilt up to slow down-- but NOT GO UP. Yes, you can NOT fly upwards in this level, ONLY down. It's a completely moronic control scheme where the speed up/down controls could've been mapped to buttons. Verdict: Worse than Super Mario Galaxy.

  • The camera is worse. How do you wreck a camera? By having it too close to Mario we can't see as much of the level... and being able to see a level is KIND OF important in a platforming game. Verdict: Worse than Super Mario Galaxy.

So these factors alone should rate it lower than the original Super Mario Galaxy, yet it's getting higher scores-- perfect scores--- despite having glaring problems. This is like when the final Lord of the Rings movie got all the Oscars, obviously it isn't the "best"-- each movie in the trilogy is just a piece of the story-- but they didn't want to give all 3 of them a bunch of Oscars, so they saved it till the last. Maybe reviewers are trying to make up for not scoring the first Super Mario Galaxy as high as they should've/would like to, and so they're overdoing it now... at the expense of people new to the franchise who don't know about shitty game politics like this.

I'm almost at the final world, and I decided to pop in the first Super Mario Galaxy and play that a bit, to see if things were actually better for the first game. And I'm sad to say that yeah, they were. The music is much better, it feels epic & fun, as well as the level design & even the handling of Mario seems smoother. One of my big gripes about Super Mario Galaxy 2 is that Mario is so damn sluggish. He takes about 3-4 seconds to recover from a hit! So most of the time during his recovery animation he gets knocked off of a platform and dies. Stupid.

All the pseudo 2-D shoe-horned into the game, the galaxy (level) select is made to look just like older Super Mario games like New Super Mario Bros.... how does it make sense to have a linear select path in space??? But much worse is that there's too much 2-D in the levels themselves. All this feels like they're trying to make Super Mario Galaxy 2 more like the older Mario games, which is stupid and a waste of not only 3-D movement capabilities but the uniqueness of the Super Mario Galaxy franchise. Why would it need to "feel" like the previous 2-D Super Mario games???

New costumes like the rock & cloud suit are ok, but Yoshi isn't nearly as fun to play with as he should be. Yoshi levels often require you to aim, eat jump and shoot pretty much simultaneously. All those are mapped to the Wiimote and it feels like too much. Plus the level design for the dash peppers-- whoever came up with those levels needs to be kicked in the head.

Super Mario Galaxy 2 is not all bad. At it's best, it is like Super Mario Galaxy. There's now checkpoints so you don't have to start all the way at the beginning. The graphics may be a little bit better, but I don't think the design is as good so I wouldn't say so. And it is more of Super Mario Galaxy, so for those who need more of it, this is about the only option. The developers were honest when they admitted that Super Mario Galaxy 2 started off as a "1.5" expansion pack, because this is essentially what Super Mario Galaxy 2 is. Not the worst game ever, but it doesn't live up to the very high standards that were set with the first game.

The Crap in Super Mario Galaxy 2

Super Mario Galaxy 2 initial thoughts


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