Super Mario Galaxy 2 Boxart
Before you even start the game, you’re treated to some nice box art.

The Super Mario series has over the years become synonymous with the word “fun”. Whether Nintendo creates an epic, 2D Mario game such as Super Mario World, a title which perfects that style of side scrolling platform gameplay or invents a whole new genre with Super Mario 64, truly showing the world how platforming can work in a living 3D world, each Mario outing has been nothing but fun.

Super Mario Galaxy 2 is no exception to the series, as it delivers in every category that makes gaming such a great hobby to be involved in.

The foundation of the game is based around 2007’s hit, Super Mario Galaxy, which to me is the natural successor of Super Mario 64, like how Super Mario Bros. 3 was to Super Mario Bros. Both Super Mario Bros. 2 and Super Mario Sunshine are the two Mario games in between that are very different from their predecessor and successor, but are still solid, unique fun.

It’s kind of fitting then, that Super Mario Galaxy 2 to Galaxy is what Super Mario World was to Mario 3: bigger levels, more gameplay variety, more pieces of music, better graphics, higher level of creativity.

Starship Mario: The mini-hub of Super Mario Galaxy 2
Welcome Starship Mario, your hub.

Galaxy 2 feels like its predecessor, but more refined. There is a great variety in the levels and there are more of them than in Galaxy. Trust me when I say, that Nintendo has created a very well balanced game and that you’re never bored throughout your adventure. Such balance begins right off the bat, in that the game offers both a hub (though smaller than Galaxy’s) which is a planetoid shaped like Mario’s head and a simpler to follow map like in New Super Mario Bros. Wii. Gamers of both preferences are happy this way.

Super Mario Galaxy 2's Overworld Map: Similar to that in New Super Mario Bros. Wii
The Overworld Map will make NSMB: Wii fans feel at home.

I also really appreciate Nintendo delivering a game that offers the old school gamer in me, my fun 2D Mario levels as well as my more evolved taste of navigating throughout dozens of lush, imaginative 3D worlds. Whether you’re playing through a side scrolling zone and have gravitational effects working against you, pulling Mario in different directions (walking on ceilings, etc.) to get the level’s star or being dropped into a breathtaking 3D boss battle where you suit up in the Cloud Mario costume, once again, the variety is there.

Super Mario Galaxy 2's 2D Intro Level is very beginner friendly.
This is Nintendo’s attempt to ease newcomers into this type of game.

In case too much variety is overwhelming to you, the game opens up in a very friendly 2D plane which will make it easy for fans of New Super Mario Bros. Wii to hop into. Galaxy 2 gives you a simple introduction with a small story to go along with it and after several minutes of gameplay, you’ll go from 2D to 3D gaming. It’s a very natural progression that should be simple enough for most non-3D gamers to understand.

Going back to the variety theme, Mario knows how to dress for success. Suits and power-ups are aplenty and there are some returning from Galaxy as well as a few new ones like Rock Mario and the Drill. Plus you get to play as Luigi from a much earlier point in the game, and it’s a fun change of pace. He controls the same, but it’s nice hearing Charles Martinet change his voice for the green plumber. Perhaps the best gameplay addition however, is Mario’s long time pal, Yoshi.

Your buddy Yoshi will help you out a lot
You’re going to need Yoshi’s help to get some stars.

When you hop on Yoshi, who gets his own power-ups that let him turn into a blimp and a speedy getaway, to name a few, a little bit of drums pick up in the background music and you get to control his tongue with the pointer. The Sensor Bar picks up your aiming, and you use Yoshi to eat foes and spit them back out. Speaking of aiming, you get to have a friend come in and join you in a little cooperative action. Player 2 in “Co-Star” mode can freeze enemies, shoot stars, shake characters, and more, becoming quite a valuable asset at times.

This game’s graphics show off the Wii’s best to date, with high polygon models, blur effects, heat distortion, very fluid animation, and wonderfully drawn levels. You don’t need to have an HD pumping processor when you have such an attention to detail and so strong of an art team backing your game up. The game really impresses me, visually, and I applaud Nintendo on maximizing what the Wii can do.

Super Mario Galaxy 2 uses color very well
The use of colors in this game are excellent.

The soundtrack in this game is exceptional, with many tunes being from Super Mario Galaxy’s beatiful, orchestrated assortment, other pieces coming from classic Mario games, and some brand new audio delights. I know a game’s soundtrack is good when I hum the tune in my head throughout the day. Audio makes up a big portion of gaming and when it’s this good, you really appreciate it.

I also appreciate the level of difficulty in Super Mario Galaxy 2. Nintendo is smart, in that you only need 70 stars to technically beat the game. You can skip over some hard stars along the way or a particularly challenging level, completely, and still get to the final Bowser. Plus, the game helps beginners with Hint Monitors and a shadowed Princess Rosalina (if you die too many times in a level…similar to New Super Mario Bros. Wii’s assist mechanic). However, if you really want to test yourself and are an advanced player, you can attempt to collect all 241 stars and really get your money’s worth (some of those Green ones are tough). There are some secrets along the way that I won’t talk about here, but if you’re an old school Mario fan, you’ll love them.

This is an amazing game on all levels, that delivers from start to finish, pure imagination and gameplay excellence. You’re never going to yell at the TV because of a faulty camera, you’ll never grow tired of doing the same actions over and over, and you will always be excited to move onto the next galaxy and world, because it’s such a rewarding experience to advance in this game. It’s just plain fun.

Rarely do I not have anything bad to say about a game, because though nothing can be truly perfect in every sense of the word, usually even an excellent game has some minor issues about it. I love Super Mario Galaxy 2 enough to give it the following score and am confident that you too will walk away very pleased. It’s something that everyone can enjoy, so it’s suitable for the whole family, too. This game gets my full recommendation to buy immediately.

Score: 10/10

4 thoughts on “Paul Gale Network – Video Game Reviews: Super Mario Galaxy 2”
    1. Thank you for the positive comment, and as far as quoting me on your blog goes, if it’s a portion of my review and you link to the rest of it (this page here), then sure, that’s cool with me. And my Twitter account is located here on this page. See you around.

  1. Between me and my husband and now my son, we’ve owned game consoles over the years – more than I can count, including Nintendo NES, 64, Wii, Xbox (classic & 360), Sega Genisis, PS2, PS3, etc. But, the last few years I’ve settled down to one line of consoles. Why? Because I was happy to discover how well-designed and fun to use the widely popular Xbox 360 is.

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