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dbarry_22's Video Game Reviews (221)

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Demon's Souls 3.5/5
Metroid Dread 4.5/5
Returnal 4/5
Dead Cells 4.5/5
Mario vs. Donkey Kong 4/5
Bloodstained: Ritual of... 4.5/5
Bloodstained: Ritual of... 4.5/5
Red Dead Redemption 2 4.5/5
Blaster Master Zero II 3.5/5
The Legend of Zelda: Li... 5/5
The Legend of Zelda: Li... 5/5
Golf Story 4/5
Tetris 99 3.5/5
Red Dead Redemption 4/5
Dragon Quest XI: Echoes... 4.5/5
Mega Man 11 4/5
Octopath Traveler 4.5/5
The Legend of Zelda: Sp... 3.5/5
Bloodstained: Curse of ... 4/5
Everybody's Golf 3.5/5
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe 4.5/5
Super Mario Galaxy 2 4.5/5
Castlevania: Portrait o... 4/5
Final Fantasy X / X-2 H... 4.5/5
Final Fantasy X / X-2 H... 4.5/5

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Super Mario Galaxy 2   Wii 

One of the Best on Wii and a Superb Sequel    4.5/5 stars

Super Mario Galaxy is a direct sequel to the first game on Wii and with the streamlining and addition of Yoshi it is arguable better than the original.

By the time Super Mario Galaxy 2 was released on Wii in 2010 I had started to get tired of the Wii-mote and all the wagging and pointing and so while I was always interested in starting this I always ended up taking on a game that was not so involved with the controller. Finally, almost 8 years after it's release, I sat down and played it. I was not disappointed.

When I say this is a direct sequel, I'm not kidding. The story is basically the same. Princess Peach is captured by Bowser and taken into space where Mario follows and must obtain a bunch of stars to reach and save her. The play control, levels, and features are practically identical to the first game. In fact, it's been widely reported that this game was developed based on a bunch of ideas that didn't make it into the first game.

What makes the Super Mario Galaxy franchise different than all other Mario games is the gravity. You're not on a 2D plain running left or right or in a 3D environment where you know what up and down is and everything is "normal". In these games you go from small planet like spheres to others and you can run completely around them. Not every space you encounter is this way, but it often is. This can be disorienting at first, but once you get the hang of it it really turns into a unique and welcoming experience. The game changes things up on you as well. Sometimes you go through a modified 2D environment where there is depth but the camera and level set up is just like a 2D level which brings a nice nostalgia feel to it every now and then.

The story interface to Galaxy 2 is a lot more simple than the first game. You start at world 1 and just start going through levels moving on from one to another much like Mario classics like Super Mario Bros 3 and Super Mario World. Once you finish a world you head to the next and so on. You can easily travel back and play levels you've already gone to at any time. This was nice and refreshing. It's so basic and straight forward. It's been a long time since I played the first Mario Galaxy but I felt like the base where Rosalina was and going from world to world and finding things to do was much more complicated.

This game is on the Wii, so it's not in HD. While we do live in an almost entirely HD world now you get really use to the 480p signal quite quickly. Yes there are jaggies around most things but rich colorful world makes up for it and it's not detrimental to the game.

Game play, while not perfect, is solid and easy enough. Mario can do everything that he could do in previous 3D installments. He can crouch, long jump, triple jump and do back flips. Wall jumping is as easy as it's ever been. Every now and then you might fight with the camera. You can move it by hitting the directional pad on the Wii-mote and you can even go into first person mode to look around but often the camera just won't let you do much. The game wants you to look at levels a certain way and for the most post that's just fine. I didn't like where the height the camera sits as well as other games. I felt like sometimes it was hard to tell if I was going to land on a enemy I was trying to jump on.

Mario contains 3 health points and you can fill his health back up by obtaining coins so very rarely do you die from hits as long as you're not reckless. Mario can obtain several power ups, a few new, a few not like Fire Mario, Cloud Mario, and a Bee Mario. These are not in every level but only the ones where it's specifically designed to use them. The most notable change from the first game is Yoshi. Yoshi isn't in every level but when he is it's quite a lot of fun. You can ride him, eat things, and grab stuff with his tongue much like when he debuted in Super Mario World. As I think about it I think this is the first true inclusion of Yoshi in a Mario game, as in adult Mario rides Yoshi and they work together, since the SNES Super Mario World.

Most levels contain either one or two stars to obtain. You end up going through the level in a different way to get each star usually. Sometimes this means fighting a final boss, sometimes not. The bosses where easy to learn and fun to take on. Then, there's usually a secret star to get or a prankster comet star that appears later which requires you to do more of a mini-game to get the star. This is either obtaining a bunch of purple coins, or a time trial, or dodging shadow Mario's while you take on a task. None of these were overly difficult and I found most of them a fun diversion. However, I do wish the prankster comets didn't appear in such an arbitrary way that required me to play them in a certain order.

In the main game there are a total of 120 stars to obtain and a final fight with Bowser. Of course you don't have to get all the stars but I did. If you do this there are more tasks that appear in the post-game. This requires you to obtain green stars that are hidden throughout all the levels you've already been to. Truly this means going through all the levels with a fine toothed comb. There are no hints as to where these stars are it can really be time consuming. Assuming you do all that you can open up one final ultimate level. I did not do that. I had no desire to fight the camera to try and located all these hidden stars especially since it really didn't provide new game play.

My only other very minor complaint is the linearity to this game. Once you finish an area in a level, you usually hop into a little star that "warps" you to the next part of the level. Once you do this there's no going back. This limits the exploration of levels. While generally I'm fine with that it just feels antiquated. Heck the only game that I really know that does this is the first Super Mario Bros on NES. All other games let you explore levels, going forward and back again, at your leisure. The Mario Galaxy games do not do this.

All in all this a great game to play. It's one of Wii's finest. While there are a couple tiny flaws, worst being the game play isn't quite perfect, mainly due to you having to point the Wii-mote at things and wagging the controller at just the right time, it's a really fun play. For me it doesn't quite reach the level of Mario 3, Mario 64, or Mario Odyssey but it's still high quality.




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