When Nintendo makes a mainline, non-sports related Mario title, one thing has almost always been a certainty. It’s not a sequel. At least not in the classical, “more of the same, but more awesome” sense. When Nintendo announced Super Mario Galaxy 2, many feared that Nintendo has finally fallen into the sequel trap. Thankfully, that’s not entirely the case.
So what’s the same? Well, Mario’s still in space. There’s still a bunch of stars to collect. Princess Peach is in distress yet again, and yes, Mario still jumps. There’s more similarities, but if you’ve played any 2 Mario games, you know what they are. Probably the most important similarity between Galaxy 2 and Galaxy 1, and is the main reason this game is just excellent as the first, is the game’s ability to constantly come up with new things.
All of Mario’s new abilities are both fun and useful like this Spin Drill
The most number of times you’ll be doing the exact same thing is 3. What I mean by that is that in one level, it’ll be a classic platforming level, but the next level is something completely and entirely different. Maybe you’ll be bowling through the level with Mario’s new Rock Mushroom that turns him into a giant rolling boulder at the shake of the Wii Remote. Maybe you’ll be wall jumping your way up a frozen waterfall. Maybe you’ll be hovering up a tree with Mario’s trusty “steed”, Yoshi, a truly welcomed addition to Galaxy’s arsenal of goodness. It’s basically impossible to know what’ll happen next.
Perhaps that’s the main reason why this Mario sequel is unlike any traditional sequel. Despite the incremented number at the end of the title, the same core mechanics, and whatever else this game may have in common with the first, Galaxy 2 is like a hundred awesome, little 3D, and 2D, platforming games stuffed into one. Each masterfully crafted to be as fun as possible without taking too much of your time. This formula of small chunks of awesome, unrelenting creativity is addictive as hell. Finishing one level leaves you both wholly satisfied and wanting even more all at the same time. Maybe not all the levels have this exact magic. Afterall, they can’t all be winners, but even at its worst, it still has a certain nougat of fun and wonderment like flying from one sphere to the next or sliding down a giant sand ramp while avoiding boulders.
Even Yoshi has his own power-ups seen here dashing up a ramp thanks to the Dash Pepper
Other faults? I could point out a few, but they just seem so trivial compared to everything else. Don’t let that 2 at the end of title fool you. It’s a sequel only in name, but in spirit, Super Mario Galaxy 2 embodies everything that made the first one magical, which is something that other sequels simply cannot say.
- New power-ups are actually good
- The diversity just keeps on coming
- The art style, albeit the same, is still just as appealing and colorful
- How many times has Peach been kidnapped again?
- The insidious Luigi Purple Coins returns!
Confused about our score? See our Ratings Guide.