Super Mario Galaxy Review - The Next Level

Game Profile

Nintendo Wii
Release date:
November 12, 2007

Super Mario Galaxy

Make a wish on 120 stars.

Review by Patrick Butler (Email)
February 19th 2008

Super Mario Galaxy is a vivid composition of the peculiar elements which make us all admire Mario and the adventures he forcibly enrols himself into. It is an immemorial reminder, which after some 25 years of barrel-jumping and princess-rescuing, that still manages to rekindle the lost magic some of us found when we first played Super Mario Bros. back in 1985. Stomping goombas, eating mushrooms, jumping in and out of pipes while fighting giant turtles. It makes absolutely no sense whatsoever, envisioning sensible gaming conventions, but it works!

Yet, in the many ways that Mario is our iconic mustachio image of gaming, the continuity of Super Mario Bros. 1, 2 and 3 are completely accurate and direct parallels in terms of quality and progression to Super Mario 64, Sunshine & Galaxy. As the first games created the baselines of 2D and 3D platforming, the second titles took drastic spins on the originals, creating a general consensus that the changes were not for the better. Therein leaving Super Mario Bros. 3 as well as Super Mario Galaxy, as two games which lifted the bar on their predecessors, all while maintaining the magic and ingenuity which captivated us all throughout the first two runs.

The name alone should transcend beams of happiness into the minds of the curious.

Within the first 10 minutes of Super Mario Galaxy, it's immediately apparent as to why it shines, as the opening conventions of past games slowly begin to resurface – Mario eagerly rushing to Peach’s castle invitation before the inevitable takes place. Peach, as kidnapped as her castle is, lightly floats away, out of the ionosphere and heavily into deep space. A troubled Mario scatters away in space, only to be saved by a Luma and eventually find his own centripetal force in the matter (no pun intended). Rosalina, the sole human habitant to the Space Observatory, the spiritual successor to Super Mario 64’s Mushroom Castle, is a largely scalable floating craft which Mario has to explore kitchens and bedrooms and gardens alike to be shot out of space and into a multitude of galaxies from their mini-observatories.

Each galaxy is always more unique and engaging than the last. You’ll have a blast running through, snatching up the stars, and almost wishing it wasn’t over so briefly. Each star is a bite-sized adventure that always takes a few minutes, unlike past games. At first, it’s a little disappointing judging as how 120 shines moreover feels like 80, but they're all so much fun and so rewarding, that you tend to not mind at all. In some cases, you might replay the same galaxies over and over. The weirdest of additions are the Star Bits. If not the newer iteration of the typical coin collecting, Star Bits are immensely cute and miniscule candy-colored Lumas which disperse out of bushes, mystery boxes and even monsters. Wiggling the Wii Remote’s cursor over them lets Mario collect more and more, which he can use to either shoot at hard to reach places (via the B Button) or unlock Sling Stars to reach new areas, by feeding them to larger, purple Lumas scattered throughout galaxies and externally, the Observatory.

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