Super Mario Galaxy 2, a semi-review

And I say semi-review because I've only played it for, what, an hour and a half-ish so far.

Super Mario Galaxy 2

Anyway, remember how cute the first one was? With the squishy poky Lumas and the dino piranha (I hate having to kill it! It's just a baby!) and Mario's adorable little skeleton when you get him electrocuted....

This one's pretty cute too (nothing could be cuter than Yoshi's barrage of sounds and stupidity), but it's also got some better design features--the very first world is set up a lot like the Good Egg Galaxy from 1, comparing the two should show what I mean.

It is a little harder--it's clearly aimed at people who've played the first one, though of course it's not necessary. Plotline wise it's something J.J. Abrams might have conceived: a parallel universe where you're on Starship Mario rather than the Observatory (the latter was much nicer, personally) and Rosalina (or Rosetta) is just some weird cosmic thing that appears whenever you've humiliated yourself too many times in a row.

The Yoshi system takes a little getting used to, but it's super nice to have a mid-range attack that doesn't involve risking Mario's health.

Oh! And the travel system? Is set up like the original Super Mario Bros. thing where you can travel between chapters by moving a Mario icon (though in this case it's Starship Mario).

So they've kept the nostalgia elements, upped the difficulty a bit, and balanced out the cute with some sleeker design bits. It's more gimmicky in the first one--that's part of the difficulty--but that's kind of the point of a video game sequel: building on the awesomeness of the first with newness. My only complaint is the Observatory was much better than this current thing, but it's not like you're supposed to hang out there all the time.

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