I have really enjoyed my time spent over the past few weeks playing Super Mario Galaxy 2. What really makes the Mario galaxy games so special is just how well they capture the essence of what makes Mario....well Mario. SMG 2 is one of the better plat formers ive played since the first Mario galaxy…incredible design, unhinged creativity, beautiful charming worlds and characters….really great stuff.
Gone is the revolutionary “wow I can walk all the way around the world” wonder from the original, but now we have the more interesting ideas the series could offer us as gamers. A game like this is truly special because the foundations of the original have already been established. Playing through SMG2 I was treated to clever idea, after clever idea, after clever idea.I really felt like Nintendo was just flexing their game designer muscles throughout most of the game, understanding the importance of following up a game many people called one of the best games of the decade, and a revolution in platform gaming. Its not a perfect game, but conceptual speaking at its best, SMG2 is Nintendo at their pinnacle of pure creativity.
Which really got me thinking………where the hell can the Mario series go from here? I guess they could go for another galaxy game. Maybe this time throw a curve ball and go for some odd light world/dark world combination (Zelda style) or attempt to infuse an actual storyline into the series. Maybe nintendo will wait and then create a galaxy game with incredible graphical prowless, finally treating gamers to an HD Mario galaxy journey....but even then were just upping the visual ante. The core idea would be the same that weve experienced before.
However, I am talking about the next chapter in the plumber’s story….the next saga in the Mario legacy.
Conquering worlds was never enough for what is probably the most recognizable character in all of video games…..Nintendo went for the galaxy’s. Taking the tight, fun charming world of Mario to immaculate plat forming heights. But in all honesty…..one your at the top, the only way left….is down.
Mario 64 brought the platformer to full 3d glory like no game before it.....Mario sunshine was a fun romp with the game cubes graphical power building on the concepts of Mario 64 with the only real twist being a water gun that allowed Mario to "cleanse" the world he was exploring. Mario galaxy was the big leap though...the leap to end all leaps. Removing all boundaries and rules of a Mario platform game ( and gravity for that matter) in search of the ultimate Mario experience. Which it mostly achieves right?
Where else can Nintendo really take the series as far as fresh new content goes? Sure leave it to Nintendo to come out of left field with some brilliant idea…but I truly feel like they may have climbed the mountain too fast! Of course we the gamers are all the beneficiaries of this getting to play some of the finest plat formers ever created…..but what now? Super Mario Universe ?
Perhaps we will see different plat formers take the spotlight. During Nintendo’s 2010 e3 conference they released footage of the newly developed DONKEY KONG COUNTRY returns. The sequel to one of the most beloved platform games ever made and a true sequel to the classic series( which hasn’t been seen since the early 90’s). Also there is a lot of interest surrounding the new sonic game “sonic the hedgehog 4” a true 2d heir to the sonic series which also hasn’t been seen since the early 90’s. It will be interesting to see if other plat forming series like donkey Kong and sonic can begin climbing the gaming mountain in pursuit of their own pinnacle....as Mario games will probably only go downhill from this point on( or at the worst feel very stagnant). Sure we will still probably get alot of great Mario games, but nothing as incredible as the galaxy series. Which is why ive really been allowing myself lately to appreciate how great they are. Conceptually speaking, These games may end up being the best of what Mario may have to offer us as gamers.