Tuesday, November 27th, 2007
There’s a new guy on the scene in the world of video games. His name is Mario and he’s a plumber, if you can believe it. He’s starring in a new game for Nintendo Wii called Super Mario Galaxy. This mustachioed, short, pudgy fellow is jumping from planet to planet and galaxy to galaxy in order to save the princess of Mushroom Kingdom. Along the way he’s got plenty of friends to help him including hungry stars, adventurous mushroom people and a brother who’s always getting trapped – emotionally – by his own fears and – literally – by glass domes. It’s a very big world and gamers will have plenty of hours spent exploring every nook and cranny.
Before I get into what makes this game so great, I should probably explain a little bit about the story of Mario. While doing some extraordinary plumbing, Mario gets sucked down a pipe into a magical kingdom ruled by Princess Peach and continuously terrorized by an evil, fire-breathing turtle named Bowser. The princess is kidnapped by the evil terrorist and Mario is off to save her. Walking mushrooms, hammer-throwing turtles and fireball-spitting plants are just some of the enemies he encounters on his quest. His brother, Luigi, is also part of the family-trade and plays a role in Mario’s adventure. He can jump a little bit higher than Mario but he has a hard time controlling his jumps. It’s a fun little universe and Nintendo has put in a lot of work to make sure it’s memorable.
Super Mario Galaxy is a platformer in the truest sense. What that means is the main action in the game is devoted to trying to get to the next part of a level by dodging enemies and taking death-defying leaps to a series of higher or lower pieces of land, or "platforms." Mario has plenty of moves to help him like wall-jumps, backflips and specialty items that turn him into things like bees (so he can fly) and human springs (so he can jump higher). These jumps are accomplished by pressing the "A" button on the Wii Remote (It’s the big button in the middle of the remote that says "A"). The player can also make him do a spin move that will hurt enemies and help him jump higher by shaking the remote.
All movement is done with the Nunchuck accessory. By hooking up the Nunchuck to the Wii Remote, players will be able to move Mario in any direction they choose by moving the joystick accordingly. For instance, if they want Mario to run forward, they can press "up" on the joystick. If they don’t want him to move anywhere, they can just let go of the joystick and Mario will stay put. It’s a very intuitive system and kudos to Nintendo for creating such an interactive experience.
Okay, now let’s get back to what makes this game so great. When I first got home from purchasing the game at Circuit City (for more on how to do that, see my "Video Games Purchasing Tutorial" posted on GameFAQs.com), I opened up the video game case, stuck in the DVD and I was ready to play. Nintendo allows you to do this by including a special DVD player in every Wii system. The DVD player spins the DVD and a laser reads the data from the disc, sort of like a futuristic record player (remember those???). The data is then interpreted by the Wii and the game is transmitted to your TV through the RCA cables also included (pro tip: HDTV owners can purchase a separate cable that allows them to view the game content in High-Definition, or Hi-Def as Dante Terrell Smith calls it).
In addition to being able to play the game, Nintendo has also implemented a feature that allows the disc to be ejected so that other games can be played. It’s just one of the many genius ideas in Super Mario Galaxy that really sets Nintendo apart from other software developers. I’m so impressed by the Wii and Super Mario Galaxy that it would be hard for me to recommend any other video game system or game. I give this game a 7 out of 7 on the amazing scale and you have my word that I am giving you my word.
Okay, seriously, do I really need to give you another glowing review of Super Mario Galaxy? It’s the game of the year and I’m talking about 2008. Just buy it already.Nathan Smart lives here. That's all you need to know.
Filed under: game