Super Mario Galaxy 2


I grew up with Mario and his gang of strange, sometimes nightmarish bad-trip kind of friends. I mean, I never even bothered to question the likelihood of two Yankee plumbers being pulled into a pipe (large enough to fit both of them) that led them to the Mushroom Kingdom where they needed to save a princess from an overgrown turtle monster that breathes fire. Well, perhaps those Yankees have pipes and turtle monsters like that…

Anyhoo, the only good Mario game to come out in my adult life has been Mario Kart: Double Dash. That game was near perfection. I was a restaurant manager at that time and I would have a few of my employees buy beer and we’d go over to someone’s apartment after work and play the hell out of that game while we got drunk. If I remembered all those nights then I’d probably say “Good times.”

Even the music was better in that game! When you lost the whole Cup race then it would play what we called the “fat kid” music. The “fat kid” music was the song where it whistled the melody and you could easily picture a fat kid walking home, defeated by the urge to eat jelly filled sweets, and that song was playing as he waddled his way back to mommy who would certainly give junior Stay Puft an ice cream to feel better.

Or maybe that was just me.

So I got a copy of Super Mario Galaxy 2 in the mail and was actually excited to play another Mario game. The music in that game is actually orchestrated, a step in the right direction for Nintendo. And by “step in the right direction” I mean the 21st century.

The controls are fairly decent, but I longed to have a second analogue stick to move the camera, a la Ocarina of Time, Wind Waker, or Twilight Princess. True, you can move the camera to fixed positions in parts, but overall it was not very intuitive.

I’ll also be the first to admit to hating the little stars that you collect along the way. I suppose it’s cool that you can point at the screen and shoot things with them, but there are so few enemies that a good flick of the controller next to them anyway would do the job and you weren’t out any stars. Then you can give them to Toad. For no reason.

Some of the mechanics were too much for me. For example, I did not care for the flight mechanics when you hold onto that bird or when you hold onto the turtle shell under water to move about. They just seemed out-of-place and I didn’t much care for it.

The story, of course, is not found in the midst of some of Shakespeare’s finest works, or even his crap that he wrote on toilet paper while drunk and taking a shit. That being said, it doesn’t take a rocket surgeon to figure out that the plot will most likely consist of the princess being kidnapped again. The biggest difference is that Mario gets to save her and have some fat-assed Kirby looking blob to guide him throughout the galaxies.

I think one of my biggest problems playing games today that feature characters that I loved in the 80’s is that I expect them to grow with me. Make the story a little more interesting for me, would ya? I’m not saying that Nintendo needs to hire Tim Burton to make the next Mario game, not by a long shot! I’m just saying that those games are increasingly for people under 10 that it drives me nuts. I just don’t need cute little fluffy bunnies that fire stars out of their assholes in a video game, and Super Mario Galaxy 2 would have been worlds better (see what I did there?) had it not included so many Dora the Explorer type moments. Guess what, Nintendo. I can already count to 10 in at least 3 and a half languages.

OK. Just one.

For all the grief I’m giving it, I must actually come out and say that I really enjoy that game. But it’s kind of like being spanked. A few minutes here and there, but after a while you start to question how much more you can take before you start to cry in a corner. Maybe that’s just me, but that game is just too damn sweet to handle for more than a world or two at a time.

Overall I’d give Super Mario galaxy 3 1/2 Energy Drinks out of 5. Great music, fun worlds, but not a lot to explore and too much of the fluff. If they were to make another SMG, I’d definitely play it and I’d probably enjoy it. Just in small doses.

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