CptnWaffles's Super Mario Galaxy (Wii)
| [January 21, 2008 10:58:38 PM]
I began this session expecting more of the same and I pretty much got what I was expecting. I admit that the levels varied somewhat with the addition of surfing and ball rolling but they still were as linear as ever. I played up to the halfway point before stopping to continue this and my discoveries were few but profound.
The continuing use of small objects with huge gravitational forces is great but sometimes will wreck havoc on the camera and often makes the controls hard to use conceptually. For instance, after turning upside down I must then continue holding the control stick in the same direction for Mario to go the other way. The camera technically hasn't changed angle which leaves it correct but it's confusing to try and visualize it as a player.
This time I added in a second player to "help" but many times accidents happened that would leave me flying off an edge or very close to doing so. The ability to make Mario jump would also throw me off as my second player randomly would poke Mario and make him spin or jump while I was trying something else. It was helpful at times but more often an aggravation.
There are many innovative new ideas to go with the ongoing cliche Mario theme. First off is their great use of the Wii's graphics. In order to make sure the player could see the objects placed against the black backdrop of space, Nintendo had rings of light cast around each object to make sure everything was in sight. During the third boss fight I saw some amazing graphic details such as Bowsers hair blowing in the wind (wait... wind in space?).
The game has a very clear spacing between levels and the home base. Many times I'd find myself wishing I could go from level to level without dealing with the home base time. While I do understand that it's necessary when a storyline event happens, it's an minor inconvenience I can nitpick about.
The multiplayer isn't very helpful and seemed like a reason to add a 2 to the back of the box instead of 1.
Cutscenes are used very often as "in-between" states to introduce a new area, show a bit of the story line, or to give the player a sneak peek at the level they are about to enter. Personally I found the level sneak peeks most helpful in figuring out how I would approach each level, despite how linear each level was. It would give a very pulled back view to show the theme for the level as well which helped create a mood even before Mario enters the level and begins his adventure.
A great element I saw that will probably be considered when creating my own game is the use of interactive tutorials to get the player used to new control schemes or game ideas. For instance, when Mario first learns to surf they hold you in place while you experiment with the controls and get used to how it works. While I admit that afterwards I still died many times learning the details of how it worked, I was that much wiser for having been shown such a helpful tutorial and probably saved myself a good amount of time.
The music also gave me a lasting sense of nostalgia from the older games that I loved so dearly. It was nice to see a 3d version of this game and I was pleased with how this addition to the series continued. I would have liked to have seen Nintendo step outside the box with such an innovative concept but they still stayed within their "Mario template".
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| [January 17, 2008 04:23:57 PM]
In Super Mario Galaxy you play the part of our always faithful plump plumber Mario. Even fans new to the genre will recognize the main villain, Bowser. It's easily becoming a very cliche game quickly. Bowser arrives and catches everyone partying, takes the princess and runs off to his own galaxy. Once again, it's up to our friend in red overalls to save the Princess. The only question in my head right now is, what was she gonna give him?
In the first few scenes you're shown the most basic movement controls and the use of the star pointer on the screen. So far, this seems like every other Mario game in existance.
The characters are all the same but now they're in space. Does this change this at all? Apparently not, as the vacuum of space doesn't really bother neither Peach, Bowser, or Mario.
Suspending my belief from the game, it's very well built but unfortunately it feels like a mirror of every other Mario game I've played so far. The princess is captured and Mario is sent to save her. While the situation is slightly changed each time, we can assume that the basic principles of Mario are in effect here:
1) By taking the princess, Bowser has somehow damaged some third party group that proceeds to help Mario not only get the Princess back, but also restore their world.
2) We have to collect large amounts of something in order to get the Princess back.
The gimmick this time is that Mario is collecting Star Bits which not only give him extra lives, but can act like treats for the little starlings (the third party that was disrupted by Bowser). This entire time Mr. I-Don't-Need-A-Spacesuit, seems to shoot from one galaxy to another, collecting the Star Bits and Coins in order to get his lady friend back.
The game is interesting to a degree but even at this early stage the controls will sometimes glitch due to the camera angle and small size of the beginning planets. Hopefully this will be alleviated as I continue deeper but for now it's a minor annoyance every few minutes.
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CptnWaffles's Super Mario Galaxy (Wii)
Current Status: Stopped playing - Got Bored
GameLog started on: Thursday 17 January, 2008
GameLog closed on: Friday 8 February, 2008