Thursday, November 01, 2007
Before popping in Super Mario Galaxy this afternoon, I had to dust my Nintendo Wii. Besides the occasional Wii Sports game, the machine hasn't gotten much use. It's kinda just sat there in the living room, waiting for games — not mini-games, but games. After an unnecessarily long drought, the games are finally starting to hit. Third party-wise Zack & Wiki, which is fantastic, dropped, and today sees the release of Super Mario Galaxy in Japan.
Played through the game a far bit with Crecente at this year's E3. The Wii-mote controls were tight, the graphics were great and the game was a helluva good time. With this being the first console game in the Mario series since 2002, SMG has been written up in detail after every public showing — more so recently with the actual game in demo kiosks across America. Yes, the Wii-mote controls are still tight, the graphics are still great and, yes, it's still a helluva good time. Well, once you begin the adventure part. Everything leading up to that is a bit of a drag.
Like others I'm sure, my earliest gaming memories were of Mario jumping on turtles and throwing fire. Mario was doing stuff. So, when I pop in a Mario game, I want to do things, which is probably why I've never been into titles like talk-heavy Super Mario RPG or Paper Mario, regardless how wonderful those games are. Mario as a platformer made a deep impression on me as a kid (and the entire industry). Not so interested in what Mario has to say! Would rather have the little guy jump around, throw fire and hop on turtles. So, SMGis that in space! Sign me up.
And once you get to that part, it's grand. However, as anyone who has played the game can attest, there's about 10~15 of cut scenes and dialogue. Great, so there's a comet passing over the Mushroom Kingdom, Bowser takes Peach to space, some lady named "Rosetta" ("Rosalina" in English) helps Mario, blah, blah. Do. Not. Care. It's two~three minutes of exposition dragged out to a length three or four times that, followed by a separate tutorial that seems overdone. And yes, the cut scenes are pretty, but who plays Mario games for cut scenes? The first ten minutes were unnecessary, dull and not fun. But once you clear that, damn is this game fantastic.