Mario’s big adventure for the Wii was, unsurprisingly, another rip-roaring success for Nintendo. This big, bold, brilliant and beautiful game has held its price and so, if your Wii is still sadly waiting to take Mario on his quest through the universe, then now may be a good time to snap it up. Power Play are offering Super Mario Galaxy for just £20.99 and if you use the voucher code “B4U” then you can get an extra 2% off taking the price down to £20.57.
During the Mushroom Kingdom’s Star Festival disaster predictably strikes when Bowser kidnaps Princess Peach, beaming her castle into outerspace! Mario must travel across the cosmos to find and rescue his princess. He meets a race of bouncing stars called the lumas and their leader Rosalina who offers her bizarre spaceship, the comet observatory, to aid Mario in his quest but first he needs to find the “power stars” that Bowser has snatched in order to restore its power. Finding these stars requires Mario to traverse the universe, discovering galaxies and exploring a vast array of vibrant new environments, defying gravity and performing a host of new moves thanks to the Wii remote.
Being set in outer space means that the developers have gone to town, screwing around with gravity and physics so that each world doesn't just look different but often feels completely different too. There are 42 galaxies to explore, each one unique and with at least 6 stars to discover. Highlights for me included darting across the Mario shaped planet in the Toy Time Galaxy, flying through the air above the gorgeous Gusty Garden Galaxy on a giant dandelion clock, racing against a boo in the Ghostly Galaxy and ice skating over a frozen lake in the Freezeflame...There is so much I would like to mention but leaping into the unknown really enhances the fun.
There is very little to criticise here. I do feel that perhaps the game could have been a little more challenging – I am hopeless at platformers but was able to breeze through many of the levels on Galaxy, not a problem for me but I can see how it would bother those who don't have the hand-eye co-ordination of a blind sloth. On a personal note, I just wish that the Boo mushroom had made a few more appearances as floating about, tongue a-lolling, in the Ghostly Galaxy was one of the game's highlights for me.
Super Mario Galaxy is a gorgeous, beguiling game that is fantastically fun to play and controls like a dream. The level designs are inventive, witty and often jaw droppingly brilliant. There is so much new to see, making this an essential addition to any Wii owner's collection but it is also filled with nods to previous Mario outings, reminding us why we fell in love with the series in the first place. This was the first game that really showed what the Wii is capable of and for many provided the justification they needed for their purchase of the console in the first place. It provides constant thrills, spills, surprises and delights. You need just 60 stars to complete the game but grab all 120 and you will be rewarded with the ultimate surprise!