Trinity Dragon's Super Mario Galaxy (Wii)
| [January 14, 2008 02:29:32 AM]
| Gameplay for second round
The ability to continue to utilize new techniques extends further into the game. This keeps the movements from becoming overly repetitive and allows the game to become more complex as it progresses. Instead of a singular use for any given move the game includes multiple uses for each new attack. To reinforce the continued use of these techniques there are often enemies that are only vulnerable to a certain attack.
This does not apply to boss fights. Often the bosses will have only one weakness that doesn't take much reasoning to figure out. Almost the entire level before a boss fight involves training in the method for defeating the leader (who is usually just a larger version of their subordinates, or in certain cases vulnerable to their subordinates being hurled at them).
This system of methodical training for the boss makes the bosses extremely predictable. Once the boss fight is over the pattern becomes completely obvious and the only challenge left is the special circumstances created by the Prankster Comet. This special event starts you directly at the boss battle with the condition that any hit is lethal to you. This keeps the fight interesting (or frustrating) for a few inconsequential lives. Then the boss becomes repetitive and almost laughable despite your lack of health.
The larger galaxies have five or six stars that you can earn through 3 different maps. These variations keep the levels from getting overly repetitive while the wide variety of galaxies maintains individuality of separate themes. The independent puzzle galaxies only appear when you have experienced a certain skill set and seek to test you understanding of those skills for no particular reason beyond that they can.
The game's system of changing gravity and the various means of transferring from one planetoid to the next make this game innovative and interesting. Each planetoid miraculously maintains its own gravitational field while managing to remain static despite all the equally strong forces around it. More miraculous still is that the entire region maintains an atmosphere as a whole and the gravity for each planetoid is about equivalent to earth despite the fact that most of the galaxies could fit inside a football stadium.
The most challenging aspects of this gravity system is the suspension of disbelief. Aside from this, the minimal player control over the camera angle is frustrating and occasionally detrimental to the player as they try to judge angle. Worst of all is the inconsistency of these gravitational sources where jumping can transition you from a floating disk to a meteor, empty space, a black hole (of which there are more than there are pipes), or simply to the other side of the disk.
The galaxies seem to be populated entirely by creatures that either want to hurt you or beg for your help. The easy differentiation is between things that stand still or sit there looking cute and fluffy and anything that looks at you funny or pursues you. Conflicts basically arise because things are trying to kill you without any provocation and everything that isn't begging for help is begging for a senseless death.
The most challenging portions are usually the boss battles although after a certain point the bosses need to get more difficult just because the player's skill set has increased dramatically. Still, the use of the gradual learning curve keeps the levels interesting while you work to unlock more levels.
The reward system relies pretty heavily on the incremental growth of player ability to collect power stars. As you finish more levels and collect more stars you unlock more levels and more galaxies. once you collect enough you can do a regional boss battle, usually with Bowser or Bowser Jr., the former of which is considerably smaller than he was in Mario Sunshine. After a regional boss battle you unlock another region with more galaxies and new skill sets to learn.
This is a very funny review for this particular game, courtesy of The Escapist.
read comments (1) -
add a comment
| [January 13, 2008 05:28:17 AM]
| The game follows the standard plot for any Mario game to date (with the exception of games where you play as Peach and Bowser): Save the Princess and stop the over-sized, spiky, fire-breathing turtle. This time you're traveling from "galaxy" to "galaxy" looking for power stars. You play through different maps that have you jumping from planetoid to planetoid, squishing enemies, running from explosives, collecting stars, and generally making a nuisance of yourself to everyone on Bowser's side. And as always the overall objective is to rescue Princess Peach... but this time you get to do it from a Space station.
The story only seems to differ from the standard Mario setup by virtue of the levels consisting of many independent "planets" instead of the normative linear system of ground and pipes. Speaking of which: There is a surprising lack of pipes in this game compared to most other Mario games, where pipes play a heavy role in the various puzzles. To make up for this the designers introduced localized gravity, where each planetoid has a gravitational field that prevents you from randomly falling into the void.
This localized gravity feature makes the gameplay interesting and difficult at the same time. While the player has a greater freedom of mobility the control scheme randomly switching when Mario is upside down is difficult to adjust to and can be detrimental during a boss fight. The gravity also gives rise to new and strange modes of transportation, namely three different types of catapulting stars.
This system of Jumping from one planetoid to another arbitrarily starts as an inspiring sense exploration. This quickly degrades when the only reason to see these planetoids becomes finding your objective and none of the secondary planets last more than a single level. The fundamental flaw with the gravity system is that any sufficiently large planet only has a gravitational field over the top.
The characters include the three basic characters required for any Mario game (Mario, Bowser, & Peach), the toads of Mushroom Kingdom, and Luigi (just for the heck of it). Then the cast of new characters is introduced with the "cosmic guardian" Rosalina who looks like Peach got transfered to "Stardust" (title, not sarcastic or quote) and back, and her family of star children, several dozen of them.
The seemingly-random gravity and the sense of exploration make the game entertaining for several hours. The gameplay stays interesting because there are random occurrences (more specifically the feature called Prankster Comet) and the intermittent introduction of new skills that the player wouldn't have known about. The major downside is the completely arbitrary camera angles that don't lend themselves to the exploration theme.
add a comment
Trinity Dragon's Super Mario Galaxy (Wii)
Current Status: Finished playing
GameLog started on: Friday 11 January, 2008
GameLog closed on: Friday 25 January, 2008