If I was feeling a little more patient, this would be my 120th post and I would be smug with the fittingness of it all. But hey ho, sometimes reality gets in the way....What was he smoking?”
If you do hate it, then a disclaimer is needed: if you play Super Mario Galaxy 2 in a shared living room, then expect to hear it a lot. We are, after all, talking about a game in which friendly bombs approach you to ask favours; in which fortresses transform into colossal fireball-firing tanks; in which you ride a dinosaur which eats grumpy mushrooms with its long tongue and craps out stars.
Galaxy games just shine a light on it. It could be because of the shiny graphics, perhaps the contrast with the gray-and-brown state of modern games. Or maybe, just maybe, it’s the constant emphasis on ideas. Lots and lots of ideas.
Nothing’s really new here: it’s the same set-up, worlds and game mechanics as every Mario ever. Princess gets captured, jump through hoops to save her, in the form of a series of quick-to-play objective-led one-shot levels. It couldn’t be a more traditional game. And yet it feels fresh.
Which is impressive, given that the first Galaxy game seemed to explore every part of the new gravity-orientated approach to platforming. There are tweaks, here and there, but never contains anything as outright mind-blowing as the first time you leapt from planet to planet, terra firma shifting under your feet.
Of which there are plenty. Every level has an alternative objective: sometimes just a speed-run, or collect-‘em-all, or adding Mario clones which follow his every step, meaning you can’t retrace your own steps. Occasionally, though, it’s something much more inventive, a full skewing of the concept the level is built on. The whole game is a series of twists; it is itself a beautiful extension of the first one. It’s not always something new, but it is something special.