Super Mario Galaxy 2( *giddy squeal*) Finally! A Super Mario Galaxy 2 blog! You know, it seems like I'm always late with blogs that could be relevant. Red Dead Redemption was a few months off, this blog is a few months off, and my Oblivion blog was a few years off. Final Fantasy XIII came out in time, but that's about it. What has this to do with the actual game? Fucking nothing! This is relevant, though, let's see how it works: the SATs told me that Super Mario Galaxy:Super Mario Bros. 3::Super Mario Galaxy 2:Super Mario World. Understand any of that? No?
Well, that's how the story worked for me. As I said in my Super Mario Bros blog, the original game is the true story of Mario's journey to free the rightful Princess Peach from the tyrant-king Bowser. However, most of the others are just propaganda meant to make the Mushroom House look good. 64 and Super Mario Bros 2 are canon (sort of; they're actually parts of the original SMB storyline), but that's about it. Notice how I didn't mention Super Mario Galaxy 2. That's because it's as outlandish as all the other non-canon Marios. Mario is still depicted as the great hero, rescuing the princess from the malicious hand of the tyrant-king Bowser, who is now less of a tyrant-king and more of an omnipotent, God-like force. I'm not making that up, he's literally God-like. Mario has to open the door to Kingdom Hearts to face him each time, and the guy's now large enough to devour planets and destroy existence! The only thing scarier than that is the Majora's Mask-esque notion that you're flying through the cosmos on Mario's face, jumping from level to level in a manner that would make excellent desktop backgrounds. (Ironically, I couldn't find a decent SMG2 wallpaper for my resolution.) Oh, and while I'm on the subject of graphics, Super Mario Galaxy 2 looks fantastic, pushing the limits of the Wii in ways you never thought possible. Just like the original.
Yep, here's the big elephant in the room: it's a lot like the original Super Mario Galaxy. Don't get me wrong, the game's still pretty damn good and they didn't mess with that, but you'll encounter some of the same power-ups, jump across very familiar levels, and this is what I found weird: I still had the same damn battery problems. At least this time, though, it had the courtesy to tell me in-game. Near the end, they'd run out every few seconds, Mario still running forward like somebody was dangling a carrot in front of him. Worse yet, sometimes the controller would turn back on before the message to do so popped up, making it seem like Mario intended to run to his swift death the whole time, and that I wasn't let in on the plan. Other than that, though, the game controls pretty damn well. The only complaints I had were minor ones, like the camera being about as stiff as any man near Paris Hilton (synonym: limp) or Mario's non-battery related stubbornness, but they're not real deal breakers.
That actually comes in the semi-unoriginality present throughout the game. Yes, I realize that I started the last paragraph with how much the game resembles the original Galaxy, but that's only one game; I didn't even mention all the old-school Mario (and Sonic, somehow) references, or how much it rips straight from Banjo Tooie. Yet oddly enough, I can't hold this against the game for two reasons: first, it does enough with these ideas to make you beat me up for hinting at it ripping off Banjo Tooie (except for the Hailfire Peaks thing). Second, it never really relies on these ideas to the point of nausea, since it's content with its own, original ideas, like the guest music. Oh, and Yoshi. Yea, I forgot to mention the one character who appears more on the box than the f'ing protagonist. That should give you an indication as to how important Yoshi is to the game in general. After all, Sunshine reduced him to the role of a mountable bulimic. Not so in Galaxy 2. Remember what I said about this being a 3D realization of Super Mario World? Let's revisit that idea, just like how the obsessive-compulsive in me will force me to revisit this game to get all those stars.
Like his Super Mario World counterpart, Yoshi can swallow, spit, let a fat Italian guy ride him, and generally all the things whores don't want to admit to doing. Yet unlike whores, Yoshi can drag stuff and eat some power-up fruits, allowing him to float, run on water, and see that which can't be seen. (Presumably through the same means Seto used to uncover messages in Fragile Dreams.) Yep, Yoshi has his own power-ups, and they work pretty well, most of the time (that hot pepper is still a bitch to control). Mario has his own, as well, but oddly, you can't mix and match with Yoshi. I get why, since they'd either be repetitive or just fucked up, but it still comes off as weird, even for Mario. Why can't I spring along with Yoshi? (Because the spring still sucks.) Why can't I get revenge on the cloud while on Yoshi? Why can't I shoot fire from atop my slutty steed? Am I supposed to be satisfied with simply doing it alone, just because I am? Wait, what? I'm satisfied with the power-ups anyway? Yea, that makes sense. They're pretty creative and put to good use.
This is something that remains consistent throughout the game. Except for the Bowser battles, which consist of smashing his face in with meteors. Other than that, though, the game's pretty damn consistent with its creativity, managing to keep up the pace even past the ending, somehow. Yes, I realize that the original Galaxy was also creative, but I feel like this one's more creative, pulling shit like Red Light/Green Light with gravity, or subjecting water to the same gravity thing that everything else gets. Ooh, I noticed something else with those aspects: both of them are exclusive to 2D, something you'll see a lot more of in Galaxy 2. I'm guessing it's some form of dyslexia where you add a D to the end of everything. You'd think that with such an old-school focus, you'd get more challenging gameplay and such, but you're only partially right. I died a ton of times in the game, granted, but it wasn't due to the batteries running out in my fingers, or even in my controller. It's simply because the game let me die so damn much, handing out 1-ups every five seconds.
And should you manage to die after that many lives were given to you, worry not! This game has kind code, and I was surprised to learn that it didn't come in the form of Luigi, mainly because nobody likes him. What's kind code, you ask? Remember when you were a kid, and you couldn't get past that one level, so you asked your older brother or a friend to do it for you? Remember how embarrassing and emasculating the experience was? Now imagine the game doing that exact thing to you, only in the form of a gooey space princess. We've mixed horror with shame to create kind code. Not wanting to resort to that type of help, I ignored her and jumped straight into a game over...which sent me back to my ship, where I get a 5-up bonus and can pay for more with the useless star bits. With all this help, what could possibly kill me? Three words: motherfucking prankster comets.
Everything about them seems manufactured to bring you to Hulk levels of rage. First, in order to get a prankster comet to show up, you need to collect a comet medal for the corresponding level. They're only available for certain stars in those levels, but whatever, not much to complain about there. No, the real rage shows up when you see a comet zoom past a level. You go to the level, see the new star up for grabs, and...holy shit, you want me to do what? Beat a Goomba without jumping on it? Make it through the entire game on a pair of almost-dead batteries? Fuck you, stars! No wonder I lost all my lives when you asked me to beat Bowser with no life! To make things worse, these comets often pop up in succession, turning Super Mario Galaxy 2 into the most frustrating game of Whack-a-Mole. I can see why you guys put the comets in the game (lengthen it, due to linear map progression and the small amount of worlds, each of which you can blast through pretty quickly), but don't forget that a lot of non-gamers are playing this game. I'm not saying that you guys should've made this game easier than that slut Yoshi, but you could've at least made it less frustrating than trying to convince somebody how much Family Guy sucks. I'd probably stretch that into a superfluous paragraph, but I think my hatred of Spongebob will suffice. Besides, this is long enough as it is, earning it the Final Fantasy XIII Notes Award for Being Really F'ing Long. And that makes three.
- Finally, somebody shoved Yoshi into the third dimension. Sunshine Yoshi doesn't count, since Yoshi aren't bulimic.
- Not much has changed from the original, and to be fair, it rips ideas from the most random of places.
- Fuck the prankster comets.
You wanna know why I haven't beaten Duck Hunt yet? Here's why:
Incredible Crisis( Oh shit, it's Titus!) For those of you unfamiliar with why that's bad, seeing Titus anywhere near this game is like seeing the name "Akitoshi Kawazu" in the opening credits of any game. For those of you unfamiliar with why that's bad, it's like seeing Dan Brown's name on the cover of a book. For those of you unfamiliar with why that's bad, I don't owe you an explanation, because there's a good chance that you can't read. For the rest of us, we have to deal with Incredible Crisis.
I know that I've previously pointed out games that are weird, even for Japan, and this game falls into that exact same category, sort of. Here's how it goes down: there's a family of five, not including the dog. From that point on, things go batshit insane, ranging from shooting down giant teddy bears to pulling an Indy, which conveniently brings me to the one unifying thing in all these scenarios: movie parodies. Each mini-game is either based on or named after some type of movie, the weird thing being how spot-on each movie parody is. You'd think that Titus would fuck up something like a Star Wars or Independence Day, but I guess they saved that for the gameplay. Decent transition, which makes it all the more tragic that I still have stuff to say about the plot, if that makes sense. Not much, though, since it's a funny story very reminiscent of Pulp Fiction, only lacking in the "they don't call it what in France, motherfucker!?" category. We good? OK, onto the gameplay.
As I said, there are five family members, and each quarter of the story consists of their day. (I said "quarter" because this game apparently doesn't like Grandma.) As I also said last paragraph, this game is made up of mini-games, meaning it's the matryoshka doll of video games. This is where the game both succeeds and fails, and I don't think there's a word that c-wait...Resident Evil 3. There we are. Anyway, there's a wide variety of mini-games to play which I described before; what I failed to describe is that they're actually fairly forgiving, allowing you to screw up at least a few times before the stress becomes too much for you to bear. And should you build up enough stress to blow out somebody's brains (with this storyline, anything could happen), worry not, for this game hands out 1-ups like that exact same joke I did in the last part of the blog. Oddly enough, the game cuts off the number of lives at nine.
And this is where the game starts going down the shitter, in the weirdest of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde ways. Remember those 1-ups you get every few seconds? For some of these mini-games, you'll definitely need the hell out of them. Whether it's bad controls, poor instructions, the fact that somebody mixed Guitar Hero with the Japanese lottery, or the game's own quirkiness coming back to bite you in the ass (stupid question game), you will die at some point. Oh, and don't think you're done with a mini-game just because you've beaten it. No, I'm not saying that the first time you play is just practice where you lose lives; just that the mini-games start to repeat themselves after a while. Hell, the game admits this for the boat mini-game it repeats verbatim thrice. Yes, thrice. That's a word. I think it's to hide just how short it is, even if it doesn't do so very well. You'll probably breeze through the game faster than you can read this blog, which is why I give the game the Shorter than the Blog for it Award.
- The quality of the mini-games varies GREATLY.
- Which is odd, given that there aren't that many of them.
- Quirky as hell. Trust me, Hell's a quirky place.