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Scan_Man
Anyone pick this up?

Maybe it is because I am not very far in, but so far I don't get the hype. Every site and magazine are hailing Super Mario Galaxy 2 as the greatest game ever made. Never expected in a million years a direct sequel would receive these types of reviews. Seriously the number of perfect scores, in reviews, this thing has received is ridiculous. But, so far to me Galaxy 2 seems more of the same.

Admittedly the level design is noticeably better than the first. And there are quite a few new scenarios involving the game's mechanics right when you thought Galaxy covered them all. Also, Galaxy 2 is faster paced. The flying from planet to planet is faster. The overworld map makes things quick too. It just throws you into the thick of things right away. Lastly the music is better than the first, and Galaxy had incredible music.

All reviews say Galaxy 2 is a lot more difficult than Galaxy, and later on the game starts to appeal more to the hardcore. From what I have played so far they seem to be telling the truth. The first two stars are very easy, but after that the difficulty shoots to about the mid point of Galaxy. And there are some extra Stars in those levels that seem about on par to the last levels in Galaxy. This is a good thing. Gameinformer noted frustration at some points because of "choke points" where they got stuck and could not collect a single star for 4 hours.

If you absolutely loved Galaxy I can see how one can say while playing Galaxy 2: "This does most everything better, and expands on it, which I thought could never be possible because the first one was amazing and near perfect. Galaxy 2 definitely deserves a perfect 10." For me it just feels like I've been here. It is going to take a lot more to "wow" me compared to experiencing Galaxy for the first time. Galaxy 2 has yet to hook me like the first did from the start, where I was obsessed with getting "one more star."

I'm prepared to eat my words though when its all said and done. Right now I'm wishing I had not held off on getting Red Dead Redemption first instead.
Alisha
the last mario game i gave a damn about was world. the last one i actually bought was new super mario bros on wii and its pretty boring. by the 3rd sttage i got so bored all i did was try to sabostage my brothers.
Crushinator
Alisha, why don't you just admit you don't like video games anymore? beigeconfused.gif

There's lots of other hobbies out there. Stamps are interesting.

QUOTE
Admittedly the level design is noticeably better than the first. And there are quite a few new scenarios involving the game's mechanics right when you thought Galaxy covered them all. Also, Galaxy 2 is faster paced. The flying from planet to planet is faster. The overworld map makes things quick too. It just throws you into the thick of things right away. Lastly the music is better than the first, and Galaxy had incredible music.

If you absolutely loved Galaxy I can see how one can say while playing Galaxy 2: "This does most everything better, and expands on it, which I thought could never be possible because the first one was amazing and near perfect. Galaxy 2 definitely deserves a perfect 10." For me it just feels like I've been here. It is going to take a lot more to "wow" me compared to experiencing Galaxy for the first time. Galaxy 2 has yet to hook me like the first did from the start, where I was obsessed with getting "one more star."


I don't follow your logic here. If you consider SMG1 a perfect 10 (which I do, btw), then in what world would a version of the same game with more stages, better level design, more power ups, and a more advanced difficulty could you NOT consider an improvement, or at least on the same level as the original?
Scan_Man
I don't consider Galaxy a 10; I think it is a 9. I can't say what Galaxy 2 is because I have not finished it. I'm still trying to gather more impression. Saying it as least on par with Galaxy is fair, I agree.

I was trying to understand the reviewers who gave Galaxy 2 a 10. Which is why I put it in quotations. If they think the game deserves a 10 on those criteria, that is perfectly legit. My criteria would include that, but also includes how the game affects me in the moment. I need to get excited about playing a game. That eagerness to continue playing through the game, and losing sleep over it. Better level design, and more of everything does not always get me excited. Initially, the experience of playing Galaxy 2 just seemed a bit diminished. Back when Galaxy came out it was just so refreshing to play a game so different compared to everything else at the time. But here I've already played this game at its very core, so to me that is not all that exciting or refreshing out the gate. Make sense?

With that said there were parts of this game that are were not fully sitting right as I played them. I needed to play further.


Since, playing a little further after I wrote my initial impressions, the galaxies/stages at mid point of World 3 and then World 4 are mind blowing better than anything in Galaxy. I was going to go to bed, but it made want to see what came next. Really loved what I saw there and wanted more. Up until that point, I was progressing through the game but I was not really enjoying it or having much fun; that's the truth. Then I got into World 4 and realized just about every other stage has a boss battle. Unique at that. I don't remember Galaxy having so many boss battles. The textures and graphics make me cry for Wii HD. You fight this bug boss thing on a giant leaf. And maaaaaaaaaaaan it looks amazing.


I do find it odd how they designed hidden stars. In most cases they are not really hidden. Some of the time you stumble over it because you think you are progressing normally through the stage. However, I have been noting that on most occasions, when I enter a new stage for the first time, I end up with the hidden star instead of the objective one. Getting a hidden star unlocks the next galaxy too. Maybe this is part of what my initial problem with the game was. I'm not fully appreciating the stages because they end prematurely when I unintentionally find a hidden star. Instead of playing the galaxy over, the thought of playing a new galaxy is more appealing. The flow of the whole thing is just weird to me. It's like new galaxy --> play sections of the new galaxy --> find hidden star on accident and exit stage --> play though stage again to actually complete the real objective or move on to next stage. I think I would like this better if hidden stars either did not complete the stage, or open up the next galaxy.

But yeah I'm starting to warm up to it.


And Alisha you been missing out on some great games. I don't think Galaxy or Galaxy 2 should be judged on the standards of New Super Mario Bros Wii. That game is so for the mindless casual Wii owner. And boy there so many of them. Wii Sports is the highest selling game of all time. Really? How can crap like that be good for the industry; you know for developers that want to make something unique and original. I understand nostalgia and all, but games have to continue to evolve.
Crushinator
QUOTE(Scan_Man @ May 24 2010, 04:57 PM) *
I don't consider Galaxy a 10; I think it is a 9. I can't say what Galaxy 2 is because I have not finished it. I'm still trying to gather more impression. Saying it as least on par with Galaxy is fair, I agree.

I was trying to understand the reviewers who gave Galaxy 2 a 10. Which is why I put it in quotations. If they think the game deserves a 10 on those criteria, that is perfectly legit. My criteria would include that, but also includes how the game affects me in the moment. I need to get excited about playing a game. That eagerness to continue playing through the game, and losing sleep over it. Better level design, and more of everything does not always get me excited. Initially, the experience of playing Galaxy 2 just seemed a bit diminished. Back when Galaxy came out it was just so refreshing to play a game so different compared to everything else at the time. But here I've already played this game at its very core, so to me that is not all that exciting or refreshing out the gate. Make sense?


This bring back my complaint about the whole "numbered ratings" flaw. I think we can both agree that SMG is a fantastic game, but then suddenly if we get into the minutia of "No no no no this game is clearly a 9.3, giving it a 9.6 is absurd" it gets down to elitist dick-measuring. Like somehow a 9 on a game is a fucking travesty? Or that a 10 means that no game can ever measure up to this game ever again? Like you said, while a review needs to be objective, it also carries the immediate feeling the game is giving you as you write the review. Quantifying the quality of a game based on a single number is nearly impossible, and situations like this just drive that point home.

Maybe it doesn't tread entirely new ground, but does every single game NEED to forge into uncharted territory to make it worthy of praise? The best titles in VG history are based on iteration and refining of original base concepts. Metroid to Super Metroid, Resident Evil to Resident Evil 4, Street Fighter to Street Fighter 4. You can go on and on. So firing up the latest Mario game and then being disappointed that "its like Mario but better than the last one, whats up with that?" seems a bit strange.

QUOTE
And Alisha you been missing out on some great games. I don't think Galaxy or Galaxy 2 should be judged on the standards of New Super Mario Bros Wii. That game is so for the mindless casual Wii owner. And boy there so many of them. Wii Sports is the highest selling game of all time. Really? How can crap like that be good for the industry; you know for developers that want to make something unique and original. I understand nostalgia and all, but games have to continue to evolve.


Thank you, I don't think this is said often enough. So many core gamers seem to have rose-tinted shades stapled to their eyes, but in reality gaming is better than its ever been, and keeps getting better. You just can't close yourself off to all the new experience we're being offered.
Scan_Man
You are right. And right about games not needing to tread new ground.

I guess that is where some my disappointment is. Reading reviews because I am interested in a game, and then realizatimg that people trying to quantify the quality of game is impossible. And with this game it has gotten out of hand. You have people nerd raging that it got a 10 at some sites, and reputable ones that don't normally hand out perfect scores, because they think it is just on par with Galaxy. Then another site gives it lower because they agree with that sentiment, and they nerd rage that it did not get a 10.

For me it was sort of a dilemma; I know this is a better game than Galaxy but I was not enjoying myself as much at the start of the game. And that is a personal thing I need to explore, maybe after I complete the game. I would say this game has the opposite effect God of War 3 had on me. In that game I could feel the game running out of steam, as well as my enthusiasm, after beating Hades. While I'm starting to see Galaxy 2 pick up some steam.


Yeah gaming is at its best right, despite the problems going on in the industry. This year is definitely the best year for gaming in a long time. Normally you don't get the great games coming until Christmas time. But this year is packed with games throughout. Hell it opened with Mass Effect 2. I know I'm going to check out Red Dead Redemption, Alpha Protocol, Starcraft 2 and Metroid this summer. Then this fall I am interested in the next Zelda(its suppose to come out this year), Pokemon Black & White, Quantum Theory and Fallout: New Vegas.
Alisha
well its not like i can change my gaming tastes over night.
Crushinator
Yeah you can, by being open minded, picking up a new game without prejudging it, and being amazed by it.

Enjoy yourself instead if being a jaded "old skool" gamer who is still trying to recapture the "glory days" that have long since been surpassed.
Wiryu
I gave SMG2 a 9.3499999999999999999999999999. I just don't think it deserved a 9.4 ya know? I just wish they'd return to pixelated mario, ya know, like in the NES days. And while we're at it, ditch this motion bull shit and bring back the joystick with the a and b buttons. Just fucking crap that I have to use anything more. Fuck... At least with stamps I'm reminded of how the pixelated days were with their serrated edges.
Scan_Man
Speaking of motion controls. That one glider stage can go fuck its self.


I'm at 90 stars now. I'm determined to complete it. I would like to state that I think this game aint worth purchasing unless you are going for at least 120 stars. There is less content to see in Galaxy 2 compared to Galaxy if you going straight to the end. Even though the required stars to beat the game is more in Galaxy 2, doing so takes less time. As in you can do it in one sitting. Maybe to appeal to the casual Wii owners?

When you go for 120 stars and beyond there is lot more content than Galaxy. But the difference is in Galaxy, and also in Mario 64 and Sunshine, each level is a full zone with multiple objectives. It actually gives you time to digest the level, and familiarize yourself with it. Completing an objective takes longer too. By the time you get enough stars to beat Galaxy it can feel like you have seen a satisfying amount of the game. On the other hand, Galaxy 2 gives you more environments but you don't spend long in them. You get two objectives, maybe a hidden star, and a prankster comic scenario. Some stars will literally take you 30 seconds to get, which feels cheap and unsatisfying. While others take longer, or are more challenging, which is much appreciated. After beating Galaxy 2, there is a ton more to see.

It is a very different flow for a 3D Mario game. Sometimes its works well. Other times I am left scratching my head wondering where the rest of the stage is when I complete a whole galaxy in 2 minutes. Then the next galaxy takes 20 minutes. Feels a bit uneven. However, this less objectives per galaxy, but more galaxies, offers more variety in gameplay which is an advantage. Though the shortness of some galaxies I would say is a disadvantages to this system.


What I really love about this game though is how they have done the Prankster Comets. This is actually one of the advantages of having more environments/galaxies. In Galaxy, Prankster Comets were a way to extend the length of a galaxy by taking an existing objective and adding a special quirk to it. These were quite predictable. You get Purple Coins, and either a Speed Run or Daredevil Run. And they only were on the main galaxies. They could also feel tedious after a while because you know what to expect. In Galaxy 2, you get one Prankster Comet for every galaxy in the game. Therefore, you never know what to expect. The best part is added Prankster scenarios beyond Purple Coins, Speed Run, and Daredevil. I'm having a blast doing Prankster objectives because Nintendo really mixes it up this time.

There is a lot of throwback stuff from previous 3D Mario games. One is a full galaxy of a stage from Mario 64, and the other two I have encountered is a challenging objective from Galaxy, and a stage that was stupidly hard in Sunshine (though they add a Galaxy 2 power-up half through the area to make it easier).

With 242 stars to be found in this one, and no not playing the game over again with Luigi, the content to see beyond beating the game straight through is where the bulk of the game is at. I booted up my Galaxy file with 84 stars, and I have about 35 hours played. On Galaxy 2, I have 90 stars and I'm at 17 hours played. Worth noting because like I said above you really need to go for 120 stars to justify purchase I think.
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