Kab II's Super Mario Galaxy (Wii)
| [February 15, 2008 04:12:54 PM]
| ENTRY #2
What I like about this game so much is its use of "Super Mario Brothers" nostalgia. What I mean by this is that the game features various elements from older Mario games that haven't been used in some time. For example, many old enemies reappear in this game such as gumbas, kupas, and of course, bowser and his kid. But it doesn't end there. The coins and stars look similar to what they used to look like in older games as do the question mark boxes which contain random aids such as coins or mushrooms. Also the game uses nostalgic sounds, such as when you die or get a one-up.
But perhaps the most enjoyable feature in Super Mario Galaxy is the surprising versatility of the game itself. Mario's playing range is incredibly expanded in this game in comparison with older games, however, super mario sunshine was the first mario game to really expand the playing field. But in Mario Galaxy, not only is Mario himself more versatile, but the levels are as well. The gravity feature adds a lot of depth to the gameplay and the entire game is constructed around this. More example, many levels are designed in strange looking ways but once you play them you realize why. The gravity feature (and distortion of it) allows Mario to travel around levels in various different ways, each way with its own creative elements. For example, some games allow you to switch the gravity in terms of either vertical or horizontal gravity which makes Mario either "fall" upwards or downward, or side to side depending on when you use this feature. All these features are designed around the level goals so the player quickly masters the design and is able to face challenges with more creativity.
The past entry and some of this one have already commented on design features of the game because based on the style and gameplay of this game, it's difficult to describe said features without elaborating on the game design, so if you'd like to read more about the design of the game, read my previous entry on Super Mario Galaxy.
The main game design feature in Super Mario Galaxy which separates itself from older Mario games is undoubtedly the gravity feature. Because there are multiple planets in each level, and each planet has its own independent gravity, there is a wide range of gameplay which never seems to tire. Mario is able to transport himself from planet to planet by jumping into what I call launchers, and then you shake the Wii remote to propel Mario to the next planet.
What I find distinctive in this game in comparison to older mario games (especially the ones from the N64 and older) is that instead of only being able to view specific areas of the level at specific times, is that you can see almost the entire level at all times. (Depending on what level you are in.) Does this technically make this type of Mario game a new platform? What I mean by this is that in the first few mario games you could only go left and right in the levels due to their platform type design. Then a new 3D platform was made for Mario 64, however you could only view a fixed portion of the game as you progresses through it. Then in Super Mario Sunshine and Mario Galaxy (especially the latter) you play in a similar view as Mario 64 however your view of the level is much more broad and you can see almost the entire level no matter where you are in it which gives the game a much larger feel. So what I'm wondering is does this constitute a new platform, or is this the same platform as Mario 64 but just with more advanced graphics?
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| [February 15, 2008 03:40:33 PM]
| Entry #1
Super Mario Galaxy is the new Mario game for the Nintendo Wii. It is the main Mario game for the system following Super Mario Bros (NES), Super Mario World (SNES), Super Mario 64 (N64), and Super Mario Sunshine (Gamecube). Like Mario 64 and Super Mario Sunshine, Mario Galaxy is designed in separate worlds which each have separate levels. You must collect stars in this game to restore light and power to Princess Peach's kingdom which has once again been attacked by Bowser.
You must go through the usual sums of enemies in the previous games and fight bosses to get the stars at the end of each level.
My room mate just bought Super Mario Galaxy and I've been playing for about an hour now. I notice this game has the same type of level design as the previous two Mario games. Each world contains levels, each level contains missions, each mission gives you a star. You must collect these stars to progress in the game. However there are some obvious changes to the game such as the gravity feature. In this game, one of the most enjoyable features is the gravity simulation. In each level Mario travels from planet to planet which can range in size from very big to very small. Each type of planet has its own independent gravity which in my opinion, makes the gameplay considerably more enjoyable. This feature allows Mario to jump off planets but to fall to his death because the gravity of the planet will pull him back towards it. The camera angles do a great job of allowing this to happen smoothly.
Another feature about this game which I noticed immediately was the great use of the Wii controller. Instead of over complicating a game like this with detailed controls, the Mario team has done what they do best, great control versatility, with the most simple executions. In the game, you don't use the Wii remote to control Mario. Instead you use the nun-chuck attachment to move him around and the combinations of buttons on both the remote and nun-chuck will enable Mario to do any of his multiple moves. The remote is used mostly for collecting "sprites" which are like stars you can use to shoot at enemies or collect to progress at certain parts of the game. This simple yet versatile control design is what makes the game so appealing and fun to play.
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Kab II's Super Mario Galaxy (Wii)
Current Status: Playing
GameLog started on: Thursday 14 February, 2008