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SuperfluousMoniker

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Nitpicking great games: Super Mario Galaxy 2

 Mario Galaxy 2 has received almost universal praise from reviewers. Look at its freakin Metacritic page, for crying out loud. There is no doubt that it's a fantastic game. But is it the best game ever? The best Mario game ever? Is it even a five star game?
 
I don't think so. But what problems could I possibly have with this game? Well...
 
All the best material is at the beginning of the game.

When I sat down to play Galaxy 2 for the first time, I was blown away. The game gets you right into the action, eschewing the slightly long intro the original had. And then, one level later, you're riding Yoshi and flying from a Launch Star while a volcano explodes in the background spraying dozens of Star Bits everywhere. I had a nerdgasm.

The first three worlds in the game are densely packed with moments like that; perhaps a little too densely. Creative new bosses and level designs abound. Every star introduces some kind of new gameplay mechanic. And then, suddenly, the creativity just stops and the game moves into filler territory. By the time I reached World Six, I was expecting things to pick up again for the end of the game, but the downward slide continued all the way into the disappointing final boss battle. But the worst was yet to come.

World S is an awful rehash of Mario Galaxy 1.

After beating Bowser you unlock the seventh world, World S. Let me be clear: World S is a travesty. It has exactly two galaxies that aren't ripped verbatim from the original Mario Galaxy, one of which is a ball rolling level (ugh). There is also a galaxy which is simply a collection of the bosses from the original Galaxy, fought one after another, Mega Man style. After coming off the excellent bonus world from New Super Mario Bros Wii, I was left with a very sour taste in my mouth.
 
 Ideas are introduced and never expanded upon.
 
Some of those cool gameplay mechanics I mentioned, mostly involving Yoshi, appear exactly once in the entire game. Using Yoshi's tongue to pull platforms? Happens once in the entire game. Giant fruit? Once. The Spring Mario powerup (which is much improved over the original Mario Galaxy version, and is actually fun to use now instead of frustrating)?  Appears once in the entire game. Usually in a Mario game, when something new is introduced you can expect it to reappear in some more complex fashion later, or just to reappear later, period. Not so much here.
 
Wrapping this up, I guess two of those points are really the same basic complaint: The game starts strong and gets progressively worse the farther you get into it, kind of like a bizarro version of Final Fantasy XIII. Mario Galaxy 2 is by all accounts a great game, and if you own a Wii you are doing yourself a serious disservice if you don't play it. But you might not want to put in the effort to get all 120 stars in this one. Shiggy, see me after class.

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