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Nega-review: Super Mario Galaxy

Kyle Orland
Kyle Orland|November 8, 2007 11:50 AM

Super Mario Galaxy
"isn't quite perfect." (6) "It doesn't invent new kinds of gameplay" (2) and "It's not as revolutionary as Mario 64." (3) "If you played that seminal game, Mario Galaxy's star hunt progression probably sounds familiar to you." (6) "There's no denying that Super Mario Galaxy predominantly sticks with the tried and true." (8)

"Once again we have a Mario game with a shell of a story, and this one doesn't even have any ridiculous twists." (8) "The title begins with a predictable ... storybook introduction ... told through very basic and boring storybook cut-scenes." (6) "This all certainly sounds par for the course." (7) Sadly, the game seems to have "a complete disinterest in telling a compelling story." (5)

"The concept of running around giant spheres can be daunting at first." (3) "Just be warned that the potential for nausea is high, as it takes a moment or two to adjust to the camera." (4) "There are a few areas where the camera prevents you from seeing things perfectly," (7) such as "times where walls will obstruct your view or you won't be able to rotate the perspective to see where you are supposed to jump next." (5) "Every so often ... you will find yourself in a situation where the camera isn't quite right ... When that happens and you can't center yourself, you have no recourse, which is unfortunate ... It's not perfect." (6)

"One-off modes, which see you doing things like steering a jet-ski-like ray fish by tilting the controller left and right. ... come perilously close to feeling tacked on, and add little compared to simply steering with the analogue stick." (1) "For the most part this game could control on a Gamecube pad." (9)

"The extra costumes and cap equivalents also feel a little flimsy in their implementation." (1) "The spring suit is kind of a pain to control given Mario's perpetual bounciness," (7) and "its unwieldy controls must be manipulated in tight quarters." (8) "A few [missions] involving the bee suit are a bit frustrating." (7) "No matter how adorable Mario's fat little bee booty is, these elements just don't feel well integrated into the main game." (1)

"Galaxy is unforgiving at times." (2) "With the health power meter now reduced from six sections to three, experimenting with new enemies and tactics can be a little fraught - try the wrong thing twice in a row and you're in immediately danger of dying." (1) "There are one-off 'platforming worlds - which are rock hard,k" (3) "and worst of all, for a game that puts such an emphasis on going out of your way to get an extra life, all of your lives are reset when you turn the Wii off." (5) This is "all topped off with a mind-bending final level that might be a bit too demanding for neophyte players who cut their teeth on Nintendogs and Brain Age." (2) "The final areas [are] perhaps a bit frustrating to inexperienced players." (7)

"More disappointing is the lack of a strong sense of identity." (1) "There isn't much of a thread tying together all these disparate worlds," (7) and "the starship in particular doesn't offer the kind of playground freedom that you want in a Mario hub area." (1) "Remain patient through the slow and sometimes tedious beginning hours," (5) and "in the latter half of the game does the design falter -- a copy-and-paste level here, too much doodad collecting there." (2) "There are a handful of anti-climatic star missions." (9) For instance, "it just doesn't feel right to have Mario lighting torches to open locked doors. ... Overall the game can feel a bit fragmented." (1)

"The so-called two-player mode ... felt gimmicky and tacked on." (4) "There's a two-player option where the second player can collect star bits, though it's pretty pointless." (8) "The only thing the second player can do is collect Star Bits with their Wii Remote, which is pretty much useless." (4) "It's not the most involved co-op mode you'll ever experience." (7) "It is a little perplexing that they'd even bother to implement it in the first place." (4)

Welcome back to the Joystiq Nega-review, your one-stop shop for all the small negative points about a critically acclaimed game, all bunched together into an absolutely brutal whole. As always, we do this not because we hate the game in question, but because no game is perfect and because we know it can be easy to miss the small negatives in a wave of hype and praise.

This was a particularly hard Nega-review for me, being a dyed-in-the-wool Mario fan for nearly all my life. Still, reading through all these reviews made me more excited than ever for the proud return of our plumber friend. What's more, now that I know what the reviewers didn't like, I won't have to be unhappily surprised when I come across these bad bits.

(1) Eurogamer
(2) 1UP
(3) CVG
(4) GamePro
(5) Game Informer
(6) IGN
(7) GameSpot
(8) GameTrailers