Quick Info on Super Mario Galaxy 2:
Console – Wii (re-released digitally on Wii U, unchanged)
Release Year – 2010
Metacritic Score – 97
Time it took to beat – 10h32m
How fitting that the first game with this year’s Summer Gaming Challenge is actually the sequel to the first game I beat last year. I hadn’t planned on it being that way, but considering that right before the challenge begun I went through two RPGs (one being the long as heck Persona 5), I needed a bit of a break from the RPGs and settled on Super Mario Galaxy 2.
Ever since beating the first game last year, I’ve been excited to delve into Galaxy 2 and see what it had to offer. I found that the gaming community tended to be split on which one they liked more, despite both being lauded as incredible games, so of course I was expecting more great gameplay from 1 returning to 2. I mean, they even both got the same Metacritic score!
Now that I’ve beaten Galaxy 2, I can say without the shadow of a doubt… that I liked the original way more.
Don’t get me wrong, Galaxy 2 is great. The addition of Yoshi made it so there’s a greater variety of level types to help keep levels from getting stale. Also, since it doesn’t have to waste time/levels introducing the basic mechanics (like planet hopping and star bits and whatnot), it felt like Galaxy 2 was able to get into more original level designs quicker. It’s largely the same as Galaxy 1, but with a few new mechanics and a slew of whole new levels… which makes sense as the game originally started as an expansion/level pack.
But on the whole, Galaxy 2 started to frustrate me. While the Yoshi stages were fun at first, they quickly became tedious affairs, with the controlling of Yoshi during boss battles specifically sticking out like a sore thumb to me. Also, the motion control gimmick levels are back, and they aren’t that much better in 2… Rolling balls and gliding birds with the always finicky Wiimote aren’t my idea of a fun time. Oh, and the spring powerup. Why, why did that have to make a comeback? Does anyone like the spring powerup?
A lot of the things I was able to forgive in Galaxy 1 I find harder to forgive in 2, simply because it’s a sequel and it should improve upon the original. Its less ambitious origins asides, it feels like Galaxy 2 just wears on my patience, especially considering the upped star cost to get to the final level (requiring me to do a bunch of comet stars, which aren’t always fun) and generally annoying levels (again, the spring one). I just wish, deep down that 2 would have fixed some of the (admittedly small) issues from 1, but the fact that they didn’t feel like they did is just… disappointing.
I will say I like the return of the world map, though. Being able to jump in a stage quickly is pretty important to me, and Galaxy 1 made that a bit… difficult at times. Also I feel as though Comet Stars are handled a lot better in 2 than 1, but I’m really struggling to remember how precisely those worked in 1. I don’t think 1 let me queue up like seven of those suckers in a row, though! And while these improvements are important to me, I just wish the gameplay related issues might have been looked at a bit more.
To wrap it up, I like Galaxy 2, it’s a pretty good Mario game. I just like Galaxy 1 more, despite them being largely the same. I’d easily recommend both to someone looking for Wii games to play… and since both got re-released on the Wii U digitally, I’d recommend it even more.