* Prices may differ from that shown
I was never into Mario before, having played several different releases on the Wii and the DS, I thought the games were rather repetitive and generally the same thing just with a different title! But when Super Mario Galaxy was released, I read the synopsis and became rather intrigued....
I managed to get the game at a great price from one of the major supermarkets, at a discounted release day promotion. You can pick up a copy from any of the games stores for around £20 nowadays, or if you aren't fussy, a pre-owned copy may be even less. I do find that a lot of the Mario games tend to hold their price for quite some time, but I guess that is because of the reputation they have developed over time.
The game itself is very colourful, not only do you have the usual surroundings of yellow bricks and little brown monsters you also have the new concept of it being set in Galaxy, giving the developers' free reign on creating the most imaginative setting for the game they can think of.
The aim of the game is to save Princess Peach (yet again), who has been abducted from her home planet by Bowser (he never gives up does he?), leaving her little mushroom friends and Lumas to fend for themselves. As the cut scene leads you on to the first planet, Princess Peach's home, you meet a Luma who offers to help you on your way, having to find as many Power Stars as you can to power the Observatory which is needed to rescue the Princess.
Do you know of the British Gas adverts with the little planets each housing a different family? This is pretty much Super Mario Galaxy! Each level is set on a different planet, each having its own path to cross, its own enemies to defeat, and its own star to collect. Gathering on the way small coloured Star Bits that can be traded in for special items from the Luma who are the little guys that follow you around helping you complete each level. After completing each level or planet, other unlockables become open to play, for example a speed challenge in which you have to complete the level within a specific amount of time to gain another star. The game itself can be challenging at times, depending on the level of your gaming abilities, but obviously the difficulty of each level increases as you progress further, so a little help may be needed for the younger ones!
The game does have a two player mode, but this consists of one person collecting gems using the Wii remote pointer and the other controls Mario. This can get a bit boring for the former, but there's no harm in swapping roles!
Game play is simple. Use the nunchuck as the directional controller, and the Wii remote to attack and collect the gems. A lot of games I find these days tend to have different control options for the Wii, but Super Mario Galaxy relies solely on shaking, tilting, directing the remote to control Mario's attacks and powers, which I personally prefer as this is what the Wii was all about in the first place.
The graphics of the game are great. They are clear and sharp, but obviously not in HD as this is not supported by the Wii. I must say though, HD is not needed.
I must say I was impressed by this game, and by far my favourite of the Mario series (excluding Mario Kart of course!) and I am looking forward to playing the sequel.