Our beloved plumber is back in an even better, improved and more varied platformer then its predecessor.
The story is exactly the same as Super Mario Galaxy. Bowser, who definitely had a grow spurt since the last game, has kidnapped Princess Peach again and wants to make his own galaxy in the center of the universe. Mario ends up in space with luma's on a rock that is supposed to look like a spaceship. When Mario retrieves his first power star, the big purple Luma tells you that the Power Stars can be used as fuel to progress and all suddenly the rock takes the shape of Mario's head. This allows them to travel all the way to Bowsers kingdom and start his epic journey.
The game-play is exactly like Super Mario Galaxy. In fact Mario even plays in the same way as you remembered him! Mario jumps with the A-button, shoots star bits with the B-button, performs a spin attack with the Wii-remote and duck with the Z-button. As you can see there are no changes to be seen yet but they'll arrive to you soon.
Luigi is also a playable character at some missions and after beating the game, he becomes fully playable. Luigi controls exactly like Mario but he walks faster and jumps higher.
Like I said before Mario still collects Power Stars to progress but this time he uses a hubworld in the style of New Super Mario Bros Wii. Instead of rooms, we now have 7 worlds including an extra world. These worlds contain several galaxies that have even more variety then in Super Mario Galaxy.
The galaxies themselves still require you to travel from planet to planet. To do this there's most likely a puzzle or enemy that has to be defeated to eventually reach a star or a boss. Besides the usual 3-D platforming, we also have the 2-D segments back that are definitly a bit more enjoyable this time. The galaxies have themes like a lave theme, underwater theme, ice theme, wind theme and some are even combined! There are also Comet Medals. There's one in each Galaxy. By collecting them a Comet mission will be activated for another star. These can go from destroying a boss in one hit to running towards the finish with a time limit.
The power-ups are back, the Ice Flower was left out but more were added and used a lot more then we expected in Super Mario Galaxy. We have the Fire Flower, giving you the ability to shoot fireballs with a time limit. The Spin Shroom, hard to control but gives you a higher jump. The Bee Shroom gives you the ability to fly for a short time. These all still work like how you remembered in Galaxy. We also now have the Wind Flower, this gives you slightly more air time and the ability to summon three cloudy platforms. Then there's the Rock Mushroom, this let's you roll into a ball. It's hard to control and there's no way to stop the attack while performing it. Other then that, the result with it can be satisfying. There's also a drill that you can carry to dig underground. If you get hit you will lose it so be careful!
Yoshi now also makes his return. By holding in A while jumping, Yoshi will perform the flutter jump. This makes him slightly go higher. Yoshi eats enemies by pointing at them with the Wii-remote and by pressing the B-button. There are also two kinds of fruit that will help Yoshi throughout the game. The red fruit causes Yoshi to incredibly fast and the blue fruit causes him to fly for a short time.
The multi-player mode has definitly improved but it's still not really worth checking out. This time player 2 is a luma and not a pointer like in the last game. The Luma can't walk seperatley but he can besides shooting Star Bits like Mario, Stun or hurt your opponents. This can actually be a bit game breaking because the Luma is an invincible companion that can destroy your enemies in the blink of an eye while you, Mario, didn't had to do anything.
It's hard to say if the game is actually more challenging or not. There are some parts were it is but some missions can be a cakewalk. Bosses are also surprisingly easy. Even the final encounter with Bowser isn't a big deal but striking any boss in the game can be extremly satisfying. Another problem are the portals. There times when a portal appears and by entering we see enemies. If Mario defeats them within the invisible time limit he gets three one-ups. There are way too many of these and the game is even more generous with extra lives thanks to dices and other events. Luckily your amount lives are being reset to 5 when you stop playing but by playing non-stop I once ended with 40 lives!! 40! That's way too high, especially for a 3-D Mario game.
Super Mario Galaxy still has limited camera control but it's not as unforgivable as its processor because there was never a part of the game where I actually had to adjust the camera. I didn't minded it at all.
The graphics have improved. Super Mario Galaxy 2 looks better and has more variety of galaxies and the dark space theme doesn't appear as much as it did in Super Mario Galaxy which is definitly a good thing.
The original Super Mario Galaxy already had an impressive soundtrack but it's even better in this game. The sequel offers lots of new tracks but also Catchy soundtrack that combines classic Mario songs with new material.
I don't have any complaints about this game. There are a few nitpicks like always but it never really affected enjoyment I received with the game. so if you don't have a Wii yet then get a Wii. This game is one of the biggest reasons to buy it. Spend your measly fourty dollars and get ready to explore space like you've never seen before. There are 241 stars to collect this time. Will you accomplish this? I give it a perfect 10 out of 10.