Super Mario Galaxy 2

8.5 Overall Score

Written by on June 30, 2010 in

The plumber jumps! The plumber spins! The plumber turns into a cloud pooping machine! It’s-a him, Mario, returning for another round of Super Mario Galaxy in the shockingly named Super Mario Galaxy 2. Excuse me while I set the disbelief machine to 12 so we can properly enjoy this.

For anyone who has played Super Mario Galaxy (which I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume that makes up about 90% of you), SMG2 will be nothing too surprising or new. Bowser, bigger than ever, decides to do something unique and kidnaps Princess Zelda, then scatters her triforce around the…. Oh, wait… That actually would be pretty cool. However, that’s not how this game works. Bowser swings on by to the Mushroom Kingdom and kidnaps his pal Princess Peach then leaves the planet, leaving her panicking fungal subjects begging for help – again – from Mario. (Ever think the Princess might actually like getting kidnapped? Though this quickly devolves into mental images of Peach telling Bowser how big his Magic Scepter is… and… no, not going there. Too painful. Rule 34 and childhood memories and stuff.)

I’ve got to point something out. Mario is a plumber… But when does he plumb? Does the  guy live in Little Italy, hidden deep within the Fungal Ghettos, unable to ever afford a nicer home because he’s always busy saving a princess who can only stay un-kidnapped long enough to play some party games and hit the race track? If all she pays with is cake, that had better be some damned good cake. And I mean GlaDOS designed, Sailor Moon tested, Cake Boss approved and forged in the deepest pits of Mordor good, complete with all the malice and flavor that Sauron has to offer. And it had better have a fu@&!ng cherry on top.

Ok. So the princess is kidnapped (again) and Mario goes to save her (again). The story is nothing new, but long-term Mario fans know that you don’t play games starring the mushroom loving plumber for their stories – you play them for the fun and original gameplay. Of which this game has… some of. Overall, the game is actually pretty close to Super Mario Galaxy 1. I’m pretty sure some of the stages are even directly ported over from the first game. There are some interesting new powerups – such as Cloud Mario, who can create up to three cloud platforms to jump on. Not exactly the most creative new powerups we have seen in Mario games, but then I’m not sure if this game is really meant to be too original. It feels more like it’s intentionally trying to say, “If you liked Super Mario Galaxy, then you’re gonna like Super Mario Galaxy 2!”, because it’s generally the same game. Once again, Mario finds himself jumping orbiting platforms, strange plant-based spaceships and Yoshi’s home. Much of the game also takes place in what I’m pretty sure is the Galaxy Ghetto, because I can’t think of any other reason to have homes sitting above a black hole.

One place I do have to bash this game a bit however is its progression of difficulty. When developing games, I like to keep a line graph that shows difficulty progression throughout the course of a game. Some companies will go as far as writing some additional code that will automatically determine how much difficulty a player is having in a stage and spit out the line graph automatically. These techniques ensure that a game has smoothly progressing difficulty to keep the player engaged and interested while making sure the player doesn’t go from a simple area to a very difficult one.

If SMG2 had a difficulty line graph during production, I suspect it looked something like this:

Stolen from Reggie's office.

The game isn’t just difficult. It’s blazing balls on the table three alarm from Sunday while sitting face-down in a hot spring while watching a Uwe Boll film on Imax in 3D difficult. And this occurs sandwiched between a series of fluffy bunny levels that can be defeated by shoving the Wii Remote up your ass and wagging randomly for three minutes. Not saying I didn’t enjoy the challenge… I just didn’t like sleeping my way through a level to immediately be assaulted with a level that is followed by a glorious pain coma.

Should you get SMG2? Sure, why not. It’s a Mario game, so right there you know it isn’t terrible*. It’s actually a rather fun game, providing you can deal with playing dead-simple levels followed by levels forged by Miyamoto’s goatee-wearing clone from an alternate dimension. The game has the standard cuteness one would expect, and the soundtrack is pretty nice.

Overall, Super Mario Galaxy 2 is a solid title that was developed specifically for fans of the original Super Mario Galaxy. If you really enjoyed the first and want some more of the gravity-altering gameplay it introduced, then you will absolutely love the second one.

* Statement does not include any Mario games not officially made by Nintendo, such as Mario’s Time Machine, which is only a little worse than gargling shards of glass.

A copy of Super Mario Galaxy 2 was provided to The Married Gamers for the purpose of examination and review.

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Author: Dave Calabrese View all posts by
Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Dave has always looked towards creative mediums as a way to showcase untold stories and to entertain others. From a young age, Dave would spend hours in his family's home creating home-made board games and writing stories. His father worked in the game industry, which allowed Dave the early insight on another direction he could take his creative inspirations in. He eventually found a job in the game industry, and seven years later had a stack of published games under his belt and a number of award winning titles to bulletpoint his resume with. Dave continues to pave the way to the future of the games industry by telling stories and entertaining through interactive mediums which will make you laugh, make you cry, and make you come back for more.

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