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    Kab II's GameLog for Super Mario Galaxy (Wii)

    Friday 15 February, 2008

    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?


    This is perfectly fine, and what we're looking for. Good job.

    Your questions about "a new platform" are something you should consider and answer yourself, but one thing to ask would be if you could see all of, say, Mario 3's first level at a glance and play through it, would that be a new platform, or just Mario 1 with more expansive graphics?

    Amy Leek (grader)

    Thursday 28 February, 2008 by MarsDragon
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