Super Mario Galaxy 2 Preview for Wii

Platform: Wii Check Price
Once again you're out to get those stars.
Once again you're out to get those stars.

Once again you're out to get those stars.

How do you improve upon one of the greatest games of all time? It's a question Nintendo has answered countless times before, in The Legend of Zelda series, the Metroid series, and, of course, the Super Mario series. Now, with Super Mario Galaxy 2, it's trying to do it again.

Some have criticised Galaxy 2 for looking like little more than Galaxy 1.5. What tosh. If Mario Galaxy 2 is brilliant - and our extensive hands-on with the game at Nintendo's European Gamers Summit last week suggests it will be - what's the harm? This ill feeling probably has something to do with Nintendo's release strategy - it rarely releases numerical sequels. When we do get a new 3D Mario game, it's usually a new concept: Super Mario 64 to Super Mario Sunshine to Super Mario Galaxy. Now, for the first time, we have two main 3D Mario games on the same console: the Nintendo Wii. Some have deemed this a bad thing, as if somehow Galaxy 2's mere existence is preventing Nintendo from developing the next evolution in the Mario series. To this we say: nonsense.

At first glance, however, you'd be forgiven for leaning towards the naysayers' argument. Galaxy 2 looks a lot like Galaxy. It has the same vibrant, colourful art style and many of the same, planet to planet mechanics. The camera often switches perspective, ranging from following Mario as he walks around the surface of a planet, to old-school side scrolling, via more open plan platforming. The controls are also the same. Basic jumping and running is punctuated by shakes of the Wii Remote to spin. It's simple, accessible, and as responsive as ever.

So, what's new? The answer comes in the form of a little green dinosaur with a long red tongue, namely: Yoshi. That's right. Yoshi, Mario's long-standing companion, is in Mario Galaxy 2, and his presence has made for some interesting new gameplay mechanics. As is his way, Yoshi eats everything. By pointing the Wii Remote at an object, a small circle quickly fills red. Once done, Yoshi can extend his tongue, use it as a swing, pull levers, swallow enemies, or, more interestingly, gain power-ups.

Yoshi is the big new addition, but he's not all that's new.

Yoshi is the big new addition, but he's not all that's new.

For example, the Blimp Berry turns Yoshi blue and inflates his stomach, sending him floating up and away as he exhales air. But the air only lasts so long. When it runs out, Yoshi and Mario will fall back down to earth. Luckily, if he eats or touches another Blimp Berry, his lungs will fill with air again and the countdown timer will be reset. In one level we played, the camera switched to a side-on perspective, challenging the player to float in and out of platforms to gain coins, avoiding enemies and grabbing fresh Blimp Berries in order to reach the end of level star.

The Dash Pepper gives Yoshi a temporary speed boost, allowing the player to run up steep hills. If Yoshi and Mario are still standing on a steep hill when the Pepper runs its course, then they'll slide down. In another level, Bullet Bills fire from all directions. If Yoshi eats one, he can spit it out as if firing his own Bullet Bill - aimed by pointing your Wii Remote - defeating enemies, destroying mines, and smashing bits of the environment, like glass walls. These are only a few of the power-ups Yoshi can gain as a result of eating objects within the game world. Nintendo promises many more.

Yoshi isn't the only recipient of new toys; Mario's got some new tricks up his sleeve, too. The Drill Bit, activated with a shake of the Wii Remote, allows Mario to literally drill through a planet, going through the core and out the opposite side. You can only use the Drill Bit on certain planets, and only then when the earth itself is of a particular type, but it's worth the wait. Perhaps out favourite moment during our hands-on occurred when battling an end boss designed to challenge our Drill Bit skills. The mechanised monstrosity with spider-like legs could only be defeated by drilling through the planet and emerging at the other end underneath the boss, hitting its vulnerable underbelly. It was pure, unadulterated, joy, and classic Nintendo.

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Endless's Avatar

Endless@ MJTH

You'd kinda think they're alienating their playerbase somewhat by making it so hard...hmm.
Posted 07:02 on 04 March 2010
MJTH's Avatar

MJTH

Brilliant preview guys. When I first heard that there was going to be a super mario galaxy 2, I kinda let out a sigh of sadness, at this point in time I was stuck on a level which I hadn't been able to over come for months on the original game, so was a the time saddened for the sequel.
Then New super mario bros wii came out, I final finished that level and the first trailer came out and rekindled my love for mario when it had hit a dull moment. Brought back the joy I had had during NSMB ds, mario kart ds and Super mario bros classic on the GB colour.
I think this year will be a great year for nintendo's long term followers, none of that casual rubbish (ok this is a bit OTT) from 2009, 2010 will be the the beginning of the decade when treated the hardcore, and hopefully this game will at the front of the list. :D
Posted 20:15 on 03 March 2010
Endless's Avatar

Endless

I totally lost interest in mario during and after Super Mario 64, then Mario Sunshine re-kindled my interest and everything else mario-like has just been hash after re-used hash. Mario Galaxy came too late for it to save my Wii from eBay, though I probably would have liked it and subsequently Mario Galaxy 2. But it'll likely be a year or two at least until we decide to get one again. And thats if Nintendo dont decide to release a new console.

I do find it a bit odd that Mario is seemingly above and beyond any form of review. Surely the whole point of being a professional outfit is that you can look past the 'it' factor and deliver an honest breakdown based on fact and emotion in equal parts. Not that I don't think VG won't, the comment just struck a bum note with me is all :)
Posted 19:27 on 03 March 2010
A1J2P3's Avatar

A1J2P3@ A1J2P3

ok i take that back, but give it a chance
Posted 18:38 on 03 March 2010
A1J2P3's Avatar

A1J2P3@ strickers66

nintendo hater
Posted 18:30 on 03 March 2010
strickers66's Avatar

strickers66

I agree with a lot you guys have to say but Mario Galaxy was lost on me.I know it's not a popular view,but I only rate it around a 7/10.Meh graphics,not a fan of Mario art,horrible camera and Wii controls are often not ideal for precision.I actually prefer Super Mario bros Wii despite some terrible design decisions.I remember reading about the amazing,innovative bee suit.rubbish.Many in this industry seem to wear Mario tinted sunglasses.Still I'll be playing this because my 5 year old loves Mario with a passion.
Posted 18:29 on 03 March 2010
SexyJams's Avatar

SexyJams

Almost exactly how he explained it to be on the podcast.
Gosh I want a Wii this year, there's some damn good games!
Nice one Wes!
Posted 08:55 on 03 March 2010

Game Stats

Release Date: 11/06/2010
Developer: Nintendo
Publisher: Nintendo
Genre: Platformer
No. Players: 1-2
Rating: PEGI 3+
Site Rank: 1,022 50
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