Super Mario Galaxy


Computer :
Produced by:
Price Range: $41-50
Learning curve time: 1-30 min.
Age level: All Ages
ESRB Rating: E (Everyone)

     Reviewed By: Matt Triponey

Overall Rating: ★★★★★
Rating: 5 of 5 (excellent)
Gameplay: 5 of 5 (excellent)
Violence: 4 of 5 (barely present)
Adult Content: 5 of 5 (none)

Super Mario Galaxy.  Illustration copyrighted.

Mario has been the face of gaming for decades. With more games sold than any other video game character, Mario is a cultural icon. He’s been everywhere and done everything, from saving princesses to racing karts. And now he’s even exploring the final frontier.
Super Mario Galaxy is Mario’s third 3-D home console outing. As such, it’s been surrounded with an expectedly high amount of hype, even going as far to receive the Game of the Year award from IGN. But does it live up to all that hype? My answer is, simply- yes. Actually, it exceeds it.

Anyone who’s ever played a Mario game knows basically what to expect of the plot- Princess Peach gets kidnapped by Bowser, Mario goes off and saves her, the end. Super Mario Galaxy doesn’t really change that tried-and-true formula. The only real twist- if you can call it a twist- is that this time, he’s in space. Bowser has once again captured Peach, and he’s taken her to the center of the universe. Mario goes after them, but he gets lost until he meets Rosalina and her star-shaped friends called Lumas. They have a space observatory, which can take Mario to the center of the universe. Unfortunately, it’s out of power. So, Mario needs to find enough Power Stars to get it running again. That’s really as complex as it gets.

Super Mario Galaxy.  Illustration copyrighted.

The Comet Observatory serves as the hub world throughout the game, much like Princess Peach’s Castle in Super Mario 64. From here, you’ll access all of the various levels. The gameplay formula itself goes back to it’s Super Mario 64 roots. You go to the various worlds, and each one has several adventures that will get you Power Stars. You’ll fight bosses, race Boos (little ghost-like creatures that inhabit some of the levels), float around in bubbles, and search for hidden areas. You won’t often do the same thing twice in this game.
The real beauty of Mario Galaxy, however, is the level design. Simply put, it’s breathtaking. In this game, if the area you’re in looks like an area you’ve been in before…that’s because it is. No two inches of this game looks like anything you’ve seen before. The planets, all of which are gorgeously rendered, each have their own unique theme. You’ll have adventures on giant cupcakes, beehives, plants, toys, and even golf courses. Each level is completely unique, and you’ll want to keep playing just to see what happens next.
The gameplay itself is fairly simple. The control stick moves Mario, the A button jumps, and the B button fires Star Bits. The ’s motion sensitivity is used as well, in various ways. Pointing the cursor at Star Bits will allow you to collect them (this is difficult at first, but you’ll find you’re doing it like a pro in no time). Shaking the -mote will make Mario do a spin attack. You’ll also use the cursor to steer Mario as he races on a manta ray and rolls around on a giant golf ball. It doesn’t take much getting used to, which is, in this case, a good thing.
The most innovative part of the gameplay is easily how it messes with gravity. Each planet you’re on has its own gravitational pull. Unlike in Mario’s past games, if you walk over a ledge, you won’t fall. You’ll just get dragged to the other side of the planet. This gravity-warping effect is used often in the game’s puzzles, and it never ceases to be amusing. The puzzles themselves are adequately challenging, but at the same time, they’re not awfully hard. Kids and adults alike can play through this game and have fun.

Mario’s always been known as a family-friendly sort of guy, and this does not change in Super Mario Galaxy. This game is as clean as it gets. There is absolutely no sexuality, absolutely no profanity, and the violence is cartoony. When enemies get hit, they sort of roll around with their eyes spinning until they disappear.

Super Mario Galaxy.  Illustration copyrighted.

deserves serious props, not only for creating a masterpiece of a game, but for doing so without ruining it with any content concerns whatsoever. This game can be played by the entire family, which is why the only negative is that the multiplayer is kind of limited. Other than that, the single-player mode is absolutely perfect, and the multiplayer, though not exactly rich, is still satisfying. For anyone who likes video games in general, this is the one for you. Hey, even if you don’t like video games, give it a shot, because has truly crafted a masterpiece here.

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Year of Release — 2007

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this Spotlight review are those of the reviewer (both ratings and recommendations), and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Eden Communications or the Answers Network.

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