Review: Super Mario Galaxy 2

Hello, LusiPeople! As some of you may or may not be aware, the Nintendo Wii is a console that occasionally has games released for it. While most of these games are terrible or at best forgettable, every so often one of those rare memorable Wii titles comes around and shows that Nintendo does still know how to make games. Most of these games have “Mario” in the title, and Super Mario Galaxy 2 is one such game.

Waluigi is disappointingly NOT in this game.

Gameplay-wise, Super Mario Galaxy 2 is very similar to its predecessor. There are a few new mechanics, primarily the addition of Yoshi. Unlike Super Mario Sunshine, the Yoshi sections are not terrible, and it is actually possible for Yoshi to touch water without instantly exploding. Yoshi is used relatively little in SMG2; there are relatively few stars that require or even enable the use of the green dinosaur. There are also powerups in SMG2; the most memorable of these is probably the Cloud Flower, which causes a cloud platform to be created under Mario when the spin ability is used. The player gets three of these clouds when grabbing the powerup and these clouds can be used as part of Mario’s repertoire to pull off some crazy long-distance platforming.

SMG2 also adds a drill powerup, a few powerup fruits for Yoshi, and even reuses a few powerups from the first game, though both the spring and the bee are used so infrequently that it is easy to forget they are even in the game at all. The storyline of the game is, much like the first game, incredibly minimalistic and hardly worth mention; it does little to contribute to or detract from the game overall. Bowser has once again kidnapped Princess Peach and it is up to Mario and a crew of Lumas to fly around in a spaceship that looks like Mario’s head (no, really) to try and save her. The story is as usual simply an excuse to go to different levels and collect stars and other items.

Prankster Comets make a return from the first game, though they are less random than before. The player now has a small amount of control over these; collecting Comet Medals in each stage makes comets appear over some of the game’s levels. SMG2 also adds the Green Stars to collect after the player is done collecting the initial wave of Power Stars.

One thing worth noting about SMG2 is its significantly higher difficulty than its predecessor. The initial Super Mario Galaxy was overall a very easy game, and while most of the stars in SMG2 are not very difficult to obtain, there are some, especially later on in the game, that range from challenging to downright frustratingly difficult.

Overall, the gameplay of Super Mario Galaxy 2 is not without its flaws, as the control-changing gravity changes of the first one are still present and some levels are just poorly designed, but the gameplay as a whole is definitely fun and, surprisingly, even the Wii waggle controls are okay.

The dash is probably the most fun Yoshi powerup.
Different fruits give Yoshi different abilities. In addition to the balloon-floating, there are also a dash and a “see hidden things” power.

With the Wii’s less-than-stellar graphics capabilities, it is easy to forget that games made for the system can genuinely look really good, but Super Mario Galaxy 2 is about as good-looking a Wii game as there is. The cartoony Mario art style works really well for this game, and while the game is not a technical HD masterpiece, it does everything it can to look good given its hardware limitations. Like the first game, SMG2 is bright and colorful, and it is a shame that more Wii games do not look this good.

The music of SMG2 is similarly very good, with a nice blend of new music, music from the first game, and remixes of older Mario music. A number of songs from Super Mario World are remixed for SMG2, which is definitely nice for fans of the SNES Mario games. While the game certainly has its forgettable tracks, the music is on the whole better than that of the first SMG.

On the whole, Super Mario Galaxy 2 is simply a better game than the first, and it manages to be everything a sequel should be. While there is not really anything radically different about the second SMG, there is enough different about it to make it interesting and unique compared to the first game. With so few genuinely good Wii games out there, it is certainly worth noting the good ones, and Super Mario Galaxy 2 is definitely one of the good ones. For the Wii owners out there, this is definitely a must-play.


  1. The first SMG was reason enough for me to own a Wii (and close to the only reason). The parts I liked best were not necessarily difficult, but completely flipped gravity, dimension, and perspective, so I had to process what was going on a different way; very psychedelic. Would you say that SMG2, besides the additional power-ups, had some of that?

  2. Galaxy 2 definitely has that, but I’ve always felt like the flipped gravity sections were some of the weaker parts of the game, mostly because of the camera. The way the games treat gravity is really cool but also really frustrating.

  3. @EP: And Deimosion has a TOTALLY different take on it. He praises its platforming brilliance, instead of its huge story arcs, diverse pathways, and fully-realised action battle system.

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