9.5

Pretty much bliss.

I was not a fan of Nintendo's announcement that a new Mario Galaxy game was going to be released before a Zelda tittle. I found the first to be great enough to keep me playing a Mario game far into the future. The idea of a Mario Galaxy 2 in the works was great, but it felt to me that this would be a game that, while most likely great, was unwanted and not needed. If any game on the Wii needed a new installment it would have to be Smash Brothers so its online faults could be worked out.

After 20 minutes of playing Mario Galaxy 2 I was hooked. I feel it necessary to explain why this is important. I am a strange guy when it comes to playing video games. The better the game is, the more I make sure not to play it for long periods of time so I can play a great game for months at a time. I was likely the last person in my High School to get Zelda on the 64 on launch day then beat it. It was well past the 2 month mark by the time I plunged the master sword into Gannon's mouth. It took me 6, yes count em, 6 years to beat Mario 64 and to this day I have not beaten Mario Sunshine (and I am a very big fan of that game as well). I beat Mario Galaxy 2 in under 2 weeks and had I not been working and finishing school it would have taken much less time. It is that good.

Everything you find in the first Galaxy Game is found in the second, even quite a few of the bosses, although there are new ones as well. It is essentially a streamlined version of the first, with a new(ish) story mixed in and Mario's old pal Yoshi for good measure. It plays exactly like the first as well, although it seemed to me that it had more 2d side scrolling that the first did. Each level has fewer missions than the games before it, so unlike the first Galaxy game it is much easier to simply go from one level to the next, and the hub system has been replaced by a flying planet/ship that takes you from one level to the next on a map that screams Super Mario Bros. 3. The real greatness in this game is the level designs, incorporating all of the classic platforming you expect from Nintendo but it is once again refined and shaped in a new way. While the first levels are not a challenge to the experienced Mario player and the game itself, even though the end levels before meeting Bowser are not that hard either, after "beating" the game new levels are unlocked that will give the best platformer players fits.

I could go though all the ins and outs that this game has but it is better to find out of oneself, so go and get this game if you haven't, there really isn't much more that needs said....

Oh, I guess I will tell you the one negative that I found in my play through. I found Bowser to be sort of let down as every time you fight the King of the Koopas it is pretty much the same fight.

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