Super Mario Galaxy 2 Overview 3/3

Posted by ArclightBorealis (1563 posts) -
Part 2
 
Alright, this is major spoiler territory right now. If you’re already well into this part of the game, or honestly don’t care about surprises being ruined for you, read on. 

Super Mario Galaxy 2: New Game +


This is something that should be expected based on Super Mario Galaxy 1. In the first game, you had to beat the final boss after reaching the minimum star requirement, and then a second time with all 120. The reward was that you got to play through the game as Luigi. Once you got all 120 stars as Luigi (using the same process as Mario), you unlock one final galaxy, with both characters able to earn a star for themselves in it. So, first 120, add another 120, and then an extra 2 to get 242 stars. You got that? Well, this game goes sorta like that. Same number of stars total. Only what you do after you get the initial 120 changes quite a bit. In fact, it actually becomes a different kind of game.

The reason I dubbed this section “New Game +” was because it felt like both an old and new game. Old would be that you’re revisiting all the levels you just went through, but the new part comes from the game’s Green stars. And they aren’t used in the same way Power Stars are. I thought getting to play through Galaxy 1 again as Luigi was awesome, especially when people for years (like me) wanted Luigi to be playable in a 3D Mario game, and we got it. Looking back on it now, that was all just playing the EXACT same game over again. I know the New Game + thing sounds confusing because it doesn’t start you over at the beginning with bonuses, but because I chose to go through each galaxy from the beginning again, it felt like it to me. And I'm gonna stop trying to explain it before it gets even more confusing.

Where as the Power Stars were like the flags from Super Mario Bros, the absolute end of the level, Green Stars return these sparkling jewels to their roots from Super Mario 64. You are hunting for them, looking around the levels in order to catch them. Yes, it’s a COLLECTATHON.

On the plus side, as stated before, it’s not an exact repeat of your first playthrough. However, collectathons, or anything that sends you looking around for trinkets and what not doesn’t necessarily bode well with gamers these days, platformers or not. And to be honest, at first, it seems out of place to make you look for stuff in a linear level that doesn’t let you backtrack very much. Luckily, there are a few things about this that still makes it fun in its own way. I certainly found myself wanting to keep playing it more than I was with Luigi in Galaxy 1 (took me six months until I got back on that playthrough the first time).

When looking for one of the Green Stars, there is a tinkling sound you need to pay attention to. Just follow it until it gets louder and you’ll find it, and is very hard to not notice. However, it’s not always easy to get it. Sure, the first Green Star in the beginning Galaxy is both easy to find AND obtain, but a lot of them afterwards are a lot harder to grab.

These challenges REQUIRE you to make leaps and falls that you would not think of doing because they result in DEATH. And for this, it’s a very good thing that the game returns you to Starship Mario after catching it, even if you have to tread repeated ground 3 times in a row. One example I can give of a suicide star would be in the first Bowser level (the end of World 2). One of the Dry Bones heads are eating away at the floor, and below it is a green star, above a black hole. So what are you gonna do? You’re gonna wait till the head eats a hole and jump down praying to God you got your angle right. Some Green Stars had me nearly pulling my hair out because of how near impossible they seemed. It’s certainly more challenging and frustrating than the first half of the game, and at times, the camera won’t allow you to change your perspective, so you need to move at the correct spot in order to get it. But if you’re like me, you’ll remember how to get that star the next time you decide to do it again. Not to mention that there's a feeling of satisfaction when you nail down a sequence of moves, as well as timing, when you get your hand on one of those cosmic jewels.

A Final Level That Makes You Feel Like a Champ


So you get all 120 green stars, and like Galaxy 1, you unlock one final Galaxy. No, it isn’t the prologue level. This is the Grandmaster Galaxy, a level so balls-to-the-wall tough-as-nails that it trumps the hardest Green Stars in the game. Well, the comet challenge for the Galaxy anyway. I did the regular star fine with only a few deaths, but The Perfect Run…Nintendo just created a nightmare.

The level is divided up into six parts, each separated by a launch star and contains a mix of varying gameplay mechanics. You’ll be using Yoshi’s tongue, switches, platforms that flip when you spin, pull stars, clouds, and a bunch of hammer bros with 3 boomerang bros that must be destroyed in order to obtain the star. There’s only one star bit at the beginning, hardly any coins, one hidden 1-up, and only checkpoint. It takes all you’ve learned from the game, limits your resources, and requires good reflexes as well as strategy.

When you unlock the comet challenge, you cannot make ANY mistakes. Get hit once and you’re dead. There’s still that one star bit at the beginning as well as the hidden 1-up, but no checkpoint. All in one go, or back to the start.

I found myself actually taking breaks between near the end of the level before moving on, as I didn’t want to keep stressing my mind and risk failing more. Well, June 4, 2010 after failing and failing all morning, I was able to beat the odds, avoid all the major hazards, and take down the boomerang bros (who were very close together) without a scratch. Expecting the star to just show up there, I saw a launch star instead, and immediately took it before a stray hammer hit me in the noggin. I was taken to a small floating land mass with Rosalina and the final Power Star. I made sure not to fall off accidentally, but I just ran around jumping and flipping as to express my joy for overcoming that horror and reaching the prize. I took the star, and the final addition was made to Starship Mario: Rosalina. Yeah, she only has one line of dialog, but seeing as she says that she gives her thanks, I took it to heart with much appreciation. Oh, and a letter from the staff on the Wii Message Board.

“Dear Player
You deserve a congratulations of cosmic proportions for collecting all the Stars and playing to the very end. Thank You!
You are truly a master a galaxies!
SUPER MARIO GALAXY 2 Staff”

My total playtime was 27:08:08 and my total death count was 308.

Yes. I AM a master of galaxies!

So, I finished the game. I’m not concerned with the Staff Ghosts or anything. Rosalina’s thanks and the staff letter was enough for me. That week and a half of playing was well worth it, and I conquered all of its challenges, great and small. I certainly felt a great deal of satisfaction.
 

Closing

 
And that’s it. That’s all the specific things about this game I wanted to cover. Again, this isn’t a massive review or anything. It’s just me taking a fantastic game and analyzing the things that definitely shape the game into what it is, beyond just visuals, sound, or technical stuff. I might make this a blog feature when another great game comes out, or look back on an old game with the same treatment.

Until then, just consider this the pilot, or something.    
#1 Edited by ArclightBorealis (1563 posts) -
Part 2
 
Alright, this is major spoiler territory right now. If you’re already well into this part of the game, or honestly don’t care about surprises being ruined for you, read on. 

Super Mario Galaxy 2: New Game +


This is something that should be expected based on Super Mario Galaxy 1. In the first game, you had to beat the final boss after reaching the minimum star requirement, and then a second time with all 120. The reward was that you got to play through the game as Luigi. Once you got all 120 stars as Luigi (using the same process as Mario), you unlock one final galaxy, with both characters able to earn a star for themselves in it. So, first 120, add another 120, and then an extra 2 to get 242 stars. You got that? Well, this game goes sorta like that. Same number of stars total. Only what you do after you get the initial 120 changes quite a bit. In fact, it actually becomes a different kind of game.

The reason I dubbed this section “New Game +” was because it felt like both an old and new game. Old would be that you’re revisiting all the levels you just went through, but the new part comes from the game’s Green stars. And they aren’t used in the same way Power Stars are. I thought getting to play through Galaxy 1 again as Luigi was awesome, especially when people for years (like me) wanted Luigi to be playable in a 3D Mario game, and we got it. Looking back on it now, that was all just playing the EXACT same game over again. I know the New Game + thing sounds confusing because it doesn’t start you over at the beginning with bonuses, but because I chose to go through each galaxy from the beginning again, it felt like it to me. And I'm gonna stop trying to explain it before it gets even more confusing.

Where as the Power Stars were like the flags from Super Mario Bros, the absolute end of the level, Green Stars return these sparkling jewels to their roots from Super Mario 64. You are hunting for them, looking around the levels in order to catch them. Yes, it’s a COLLECTATHON.

On the plus side, as stated before, it’s not an exact repeat of your first playthrough. However, collectathons, or anything that sends you looking around for trinkets and what not doesn’t necessarily bode well with gamers these days, platformers or not. And to be honest, at first, it seems out of place to make you look for stuff in a linear level that doesn’t let you backtrack very much. Luckily, there are a few things about this that still makes it fun in its own way. I certainly found myself wanting to keep playing it more than I was with Luigi in Galaxy 1 (took me six months until I got back on that playthrough the first time).

When looking for one of the Green Stars, there is a tinkling sound you need to pay attention to. Just follow it until it gets louder and you’ll find it, and is very hard to not notice. However, it’s not always easy to get it. Sure, the first Green Star in the beginning Galaxy is both easy to find AND obtain, but a lot of them afterwards are a lot harder to grab.

These challenges REQUIRE you to make leaps and falls that you would not think of doing because they result in DEATH. And for this, it’s a very good thing that the game returns you to Starship Mario after catching it, even if you have to tread repeated ground 3 times in a row. One example I can give of a suicide star would be in the first Bowser level (the end of World 2). One of the Dry Bones heads are eating away at the floor, and below it is a green star, above a black hole. So what are you gonna do? You’re gonna wait till the head eats a hole and jump down praying to God you got your angle right. Some Green Stars had me nearly pulling my hair out because of how near impossible they seemed. It’s certainly more challenging and frustrating than the first half of the game, and at times, the camera won’t allow you to change your perspective, so you need to move at the correct spot in order to get it. But if you’re like me, you’ll remember how to get that star the next time you decide to do it again. Not to mention that there's a feeling of satisfaction when you nail down a sequence of moves, as well as timing, when you get your hand on one of those cosmic jewels.

A Final Level That Makes You Feel Like a Champ


So you get all 120 green stars, and like Galaxy 1, you unlock one final Galaxy. No, it isn’t the prologue level. This is the Grandmaster Galaxy, a level so balls-to-the-wall tough-as-nails that it trumps the hardest Green Stars in the game. Well, the comet challenge for the Galaxy anyway. I did the regular star fine with only a few deaths, but The Perfect Run…Nintendo just created a nightmare.

The level is divided up into six parts, each separated by a launch star and contains a mix of varying gameplay mechanics. You’ll be using Yoshi’s tongue, switches, platforms that flip when you spin, pull stars, clouds, and a bunch of hammer bros with 3 boomerang bros that must be destroyed in order to obtain the star. There’s only one star bit at the beginning, hardly any coins, one hidden 1-up, and only checkpoint. It takes all you’ve learned from the game, limits your resources, and requires good reflexes as well as strategy.

When you unlock the comet challenge, you cannot make ANY mistakes. Get hit once and you’re dead. There’s still that one star bit at the beginning as well as the hidden 1-up, but no checkpoint. All in one go, or back to the start.

I found myself actually taking breaks between near the end of the level before moving on, as I didn’t want to keep stressing my mind and risk failing more. Well, June 4, 2010 after failing and failing all morning, I was able to beat the odds, avoid all the major hazards, and take down the boomerang bros (who were very close together) without a scratch. Expecting the star to just show up there, I saw a launch star instead, and immediately took it before a stray hammer hit me in the noggin. I was taken to a small floating land mass with Rosalina and the final Power Star. I made sure not to fall off accidentally, but I just ran around jumping and flipping as to express my joy for overcoming that horror and reaching the prize. I took the star, and the final addition was made to Starship Mario: Rosalina. Yeah, she only has one line of dialog, but seeing as she says that she gives her thanks, I took it to heart with much appreciation. Oh, and a letter from the staff on the Wii Message Board.

“Dear Player
You deserve a congratulations of cosmic proportions for collecting all the Stars and playing to the very end. Thank You!
You are truly a master a galaxies!
SUPER MARIO GALAXY 2 Staff”

My total playtime was 27:08:08 and my total death count was 308.

Yes. I AM a master of galaxies!

So, I finished the game. I’m not concerned with the Staff Ghosts or anything. Rosalina’s thanks and the staff letter was enough for me. That week and a half of playing was well worth it, and I conquered all of its challenges, great and small. I certainly felt a great deal of satisfaction.
 

Closing

 
And that’s it. That’s all the specific things about this game I wanted to cover. Again, this isn’t a massive review or anything. It’s just me taking a fantastic game and analyzing the things that definitely shape the game into what it is, beyond just visuals, sound, or technical stuff. I might make this a blog feature when another great game comes out, or look back on an old game with the same treatment.

Until then, just consider this the pilot, or something.    

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