Thursday, May 27

Game: Super Mario Galaxy 2 (Wii) Click for more info

It seems like yesterday that I took delivery of the first Super Mario Galaxy, a game I swore was the best thing ever at the time. And it was good, except I found myself losing interest once I had gotten to the end of the story mode; I still have 40 stars or so to collect, but it either became too difficult or too much of a chore to carry on with.

Which is why SMG2 is so surprising. Despite clearly being well rooted in the first game (squint and you can't really tell the difference), it feels much more fresh, much more straight forward than SMG. The levels seems tighter and more straightforward (while retaining all of the fun), and it seems less reliant on non-classic Mario mechanisms than SMG - there's no confusing starship hub, now replaced by a more linear world map; random appearance of comets are now replaced by collectable tokens and bits which should be played in 2D (which actually happens quite often) have to be played in 2D. It's like they've cut out all the fluff of the first game.

Of course it's early days for me yet, having collected less than ten stars. The boredom/time sapping characteristic of the first game could still creep in. But in my old age I don't seem to mind this as much; so I miss a few stars and that coveted 100% I used to need... it's the journey to the end that will make this a wonderful game to play.