Super Mario Galaxy

aka: SMG, Super Mario Wii: Galaxy Adventure
Moby ID: 31282
Wii Specs
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Mario takes to the skies and beyond in another outing to save the Princess. As the Mushroom Kingdom prepares to celebrate the arrival of a comet that appears in the skies every hundred years, Princess Peach sends Mario an invitation to attend. As Mario arrives, Bowser and minions attack the Kingdom and once again kidnap the Princess... and her entire castle. Mario gives chase but is lost as the ship leaves the atmosphere and ends up on a space station built on the visiting comet overseen by the mysterious Rosalina. It's up to Mario to brave new galaxies, find the elusive Power Stars, and bring his friends home.

Super Mario Galaxy plays similarly to Super Mario 64, as Mario explores his latest 3D world defying gravity, crossing various terrains, and even running upside down across the planet surfaces. Bouncing from planet to planet, Mario must collect Star Bits and coins, using his usual jump attacks and spins (now controlled with movement from the Wii Remote). The Wii Remote is also used to collect out-of-reach Star Bits and also can be controlled by a second player.

In addition, Mario can find new suits (similar to Super Mario Bros. 3) that give him the ability to turn into the ghostly Boo Mario, the high-flying Bee Mario, launch fireballs as Fire Mario and skate across frozen lakes as Ice Mario. New challenges also await Mario including ray surfing, balancing on a high-speed ball, floating inside bubbles, and other challenges in his quest to get all 120 stars. Even Luigi lends a hand in the search, making valuable contributions to the adventure.

Players can also take a snapshot of the worlds they've completed along with their best record times and send them to their friends via Wi-Fi.

Spellings

  • スーパーマリオギャラクシー - Japanese spelling
  • 超级马力欧银河 - Simplified Chinese spelling
  • 슈퍼 마리오 Wii 갤럭시 어드벤처 - Korean spelling (Hangul)

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Credits (Wii version)

149 People (129 developers, 20 thanks) · View all

Game Design Concept
Director & Game Design
Level Design Director
Level Design
Script
Program Director
Player Character Programming
Game Programming Lead
Movie Scene Programming
Camera Programming
System Programming
Boss Character Programming
Collision System Programming
Enemy Character Programming
Event Programming
Design Coordinator
Character Design Lead
Character Design
[ full credits ]

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 96% (based on 147 ratings)

Players

Average score: 4.2 out of 5 (based on 160 ratings with 10 reviews)

A Study in Exquisite Game Design.

The Good
Now that some of the glitter-dust has faded, and Mario Galaxy has had time to be played (and played again) in isolation of the heavy promotion and media hype, I think now is a good time to see what this games impact has really been. Also, can Mario Galaxy really give players what they’ve been thirsting for; a worthy sequel to everybody’s revered favourite?

On boot-up of the game, we see that the promoted space-theme is only suggested at, and, after selecting a Mii for our game-save file, we take hold of the Wiimote and nunchuk and begin on the mission of finding and rescuing Princess Peach. Bowser, in his infinite stubbornness and admirable determination, has managed to seize her again for his own ends. This segment is probably one of the more disturbing scenes ever shown inside the Mushroom Kingdom. The grounds outside the Castle look like they’ve been fire-bombed – smoke, debris and lifeless toad-characters litter the landscape. Mario, you enter late and are given proper motivation for tracking the Koopa-King down one more time.

‘Galaxy introduces us to Rosalina, a beautifully designed character dressed in a jade-coloured slip-over. Her blonde fringe covers one eye, and she exudes a class that no other from the Mushroom Kingdom has. She has a manner that is both motherly (she is often referred to as “Mamma”) and almost goddess-like. Already, we see that these character ingredients and designs have been escalated to higher realms than has been in any other prequel – could the game play follow this trend also?

The presentation is second-to-none. There is an inert, world-class crispness to all of the audio and vision. No expense has been spared, and I’m sure that any criticism made to any of the game ingredients can only be chalked up to a difference in taste, not in technicality. This is the first time that I’ve really believed that players on other systems are truly missing out. Sure, Halo 3 is an X360 title only, and Gran Turismo 5 a PS3 exclusive, but when playing Mario Galaxy, you really feel that this experience will never be duplicated, even by Nintendo themselves. It is a vision of game play that cannot be re-packaged or re-mixed or improved on, any more than you can improve on Michelangelo’s David. (And no, I’m not equating this video game to that masterpiece, only its technical prowess, integrity and uncompromising vision). The inevitability of a Halo 4, Gran Turismo 6 is there for any gamer to sense – the inevitability of a Mario game of this ilk is vanishingly small. That is what makes this title special – its own uniqueness come across from Star Collection No. 1, and you are not led into believing that this is Super Mario Galaxy v0.95.

This game is the ultimate Mario experience is because it balances its key elements superbly. The mix of game play styles, the challenging yet intricate controls, the constantly shifting objectives all make this game a true pleasure to play through. No longer are re-visiting areas and re-treading paths with only a marginally different star location. ‘Galaxy has you visiting mini-world, figuring out how to get off them in any number of ingenious ways, all while executing the most smooth move system I’ve ever encountered. The camera, now an auto-shifting masterpiece, helps you navigate the true third-dimension like never before.

Again, the one thing this game exudes is charm. The “hardcore” gamer cares not for charm, and would only sneer at shell-surfing penguin, or a bee with a case of the itches. As quirky-for-quirkys sake as this may sound, it really is one of the core ingredients that make this game such a pleasure to play. So yes, the hardcore gamer may find these things repellent, but I would argue that no hardcore gamer should be without this title. I believe that a true hardcore gamer is interested in all of what gaming may offer, not just that disproportionably represented and aging first-person-shooter sub-genre, or that equally distorted portrayal of MMORPG sub-genre. A “hardcore” gamer should be looking for games that improve and progress gaming experiences, regardless of genre. Their interest should know no-bounds, and care not of company loyalties, only of gamer-loyalty. In this sense, ‘Galaxy is as loyal as Golden Retriever. The whole thing is geared for fun while pushing gaming to a new height. It shares this honour with a very small list of titles.

The Bad
The only thing that got annoying was the routine that you undergo after acquiring a star. The many fan-fares, the pattern of sound-effects, and the save option become a habit that is decidedly irritating (that is, after the sixtieth or so star pickup).

The Bottom Line
So ‘Galaxy improves on it’s predecessors in every single way. I cannot think of one area where this game failed in that regard. The graphics, the presentation, the sound, the controls, the last-ability, the vision, the heart, the passion, the direction are all superior to that other Mario title. And, they are all superior to any other game in this (increasingly mutating) genre. The other Mario game, the one that is on everybody's 5-star list, has now been dethroned, and this time they didn’t need to add a dimension, just explore it to the fullest.

Wii · by So Hai (261) · 2008

Nintendo proves, once again, why they are the king of the 3D platformer

The Good
I don't even know how to begin to approach describing what it is I like about Super Mario Galaxy. The controls are spot-on, the visuals are beautiful, and it is every bit as great as I hoped it could be. The "planet-hopping" mechanic is a nice bit of innovation, and the worlds are diverse enough that you never feel like you're being forced to do the same old chore a million times.

On top of all that, it's really a 1.5 player game, in as much as you can have a second player help you by collecting star bits and holding enemies at bay. If you have a bored spouse, or an interested youngster (and I have both), this is a great way to get them involved, keep them entertained, and actually make the game that much more enjoyable.

There are lots of other little goodies to gush about, but alas, you'll have to find out for yourselves. I wouldn't be able to forgive myself if I threw any spoilers in here.

The Bad
There's not a huge lot to detract from the experience here, but it's certainly not a "perfect" game (such a thing does not exist). The biggest offender is the camera which, while ostensibly controllable, is really fixed for the the most part. Since it's usually exactly where it needs to be, this isn't a huge issue, but you will find yourself in a level where you need to be able to see a certain area, and you need to find just the right spot to stand where the game will allow you to turn the camera.

Beyond that, it's worth at least mentioning that people who are prone to motion sickness may have a little difficulty with the controls and camera movements. The game employs a very Little Prince-esque system where you can walk around upside-down on the bottom of most levels and, for my wife at least, it can be jarring from time to time.

The Bottom Line
In one of his initial announcements, good ol' Reggie Fils-Aime referred to Super Mario Galaxy as the first true successor to Mario 64. Open snub to Sunshine aside, I can't argue with the statement, as Galaxy serves much the same purpose that 64 did. Namely, it proves that a fairly unorthodox console, in this case, the Wii, can provide a robust and fulfilling gaming experience.

Also, it's just about as much fun as you can have with a game.

If you own a Wii, and you don't own this game, you are doing yourself a great disservice. Sell whatever organs you have to and pick it up today.

Wii · by Nick Rycar (155) · 2007

The most sophisticated platformer yet and the best Wii game there is!

The Good
Super Mario Galaxy is, like earlier games before it, made with compassion and attention to every little detail. This game just breathes all the love that went into making it, in almost every way!

This game starts pretty familiar, Mario visits one of Princess Peach's parties when Bowser appears. Bowser kidnaps the princess and takes her into space, blowing Mario to the stars while doing so.

And that's on of the things that set SMG apart from earlier games: It's in space! This allowed the designers to try out new concepts that make for very innovative and interesting new levels

Each of these levels is a galaxy that consists of several celestial bodies. It's that mechanic that makes the levels so great, because it allows for an awesome concept that few games have experimented with: multiple gravity fields !

Each celestial body has it's own gravity field. This means that Mario can sometimes literally jump from one planet to another. It happens often that when you reach the edge of a platform you can simply run onto the other side, effectively making Mario run underneath a platform upside-down. Another interesting object is the pull star, simply point the Wii remote's cursor on it and press and hold the A button to activate the gravity field, pulling Mario towards it. At some points in the game, entire courses are made around this concept. Finally, an important thing to note are the launch stars. These launch Mario towards certain Planets or even whole Galaxies, and are the main means of traversing the Galaxies when you can't simply jump towards the next planet of platform.

They are operated by performing the new Spin Attack. This move is performed by simply shaking the controller. You can also use it to attack, break objects and many more things. Simple, but oh so effective!

The other thing that makes this game a masterpiece, is it's diversity. This game succeeds not only flawlessly at feeling both fresh and familiar but also does it in a balanced way. All the familiar themes are there: from Super Mario Bros.' green fields and Super Mario Bros. 3's deserts and airships to the haunted mansions of Super Mario World and the marine levels seen in Super Mario 64 and Super Mario Sunshine. There are also a lot of new themes such as beehive galaxies, toy galaxies and space station galaxies.

Not just the themes are diverse, the gameplay is too. While some concepts are totally unique, like the ones I mentioned earlier, familiar platform jumping is still a big part of the game, too. These area's usually have black holes pulling you towards them, preventing you form walking on the opposite side of the planet. This results in more familiar gameplay. There is still a good deal of levels that rely on more traditional gameplay such as collecting coins and defeating old-fashioned enmies such as Koopas, Bullet Bills, chain Chomps and Goombas. Even old NES-style sidescrolling sequences are in SMG. Some new power-ups have been added such as a Ghost suit (go through walls) and a Bee Suit (flying power) while being complemented with familiar powers such as Fire Mario.

The main object started in Super Mario 64 about a decade before this game is still intact. Each level has some stars to collect. All levels are collected by a hub world, a space observatory in this game. The more you have, the more levels you can access. Get 60 to open up Bowser's final lair, and defeat him, which is not too difficult, then aim for collecting all 120 stars which is the real challenge.

All the main Mario characters return, such as Peach, Luigi and Toad. There is also a new character called Rosalina, which is a beautifully designed character. She's very much like a fairy-tale being. She looks after the Lumas, star-shaped creatures who grow up into becoming new worlds.

That actually happens now and then when you feed them Star Bits. These colorful meteorite rocks are all over and can be collected by simply pointing at them with the Wii Remote. If you feed them to the Lumas they will transform into launch stars or planets so you can reach new areas. You can even shoot them to attack enemies. This makes the Wii remote actually surprisingly useful in a platform game and adds another layer of innovation.

I could go on for hours about how awesome and diverse the gameplay is, but you'd better just find it out for yourself. This game has something for everyone, both younger and more experienced gamers.

Then there's the graphics. This game really is the first game that uses the Wii's full graphical potential. It's easily the best looking Wii game with advanced lighting effects that really fit the celestial theme nicely. Each world is presented in a different colorful style that's always nice to look at. There is no sign of dropping frame-rates. 480p and 16:9 wide-screen is supported.

The music is just as great. From classic Mario tunes to a majestic waltz and from rock to dramatic classical tunes. And to make it better, it's all fully orchestrated! Everything is complemented with Mario's familiar screams and yelps and some positively old-school sound effects.

With 120 stars to collect, accomplishments that can be shared with WiiConnect24 and lots of things to see and do, you won't have to worry about the replay value here. And this game is so awesome you'll want to go trough it again, anyway.

The Bad
Shaking the Wii controller around for the spin attack all the time may get slightly irritating after a while.

The Bottom Line
A game with a diversity unmatched by any platform game and as good of a balance of old and new concepts as you can possibly desire. There's something in there for young and old. One may argue that Super Mario Galaxy is a bit less revolutionary than its predecessors, but there is no denying that it's definitely the most sophisticated Mario game, as well as the most sophisticated platform game in general!

Wii · by Rensch (203) · 2009

[ View all 10 player reviews ]

Trivia

1001 Video Games

Super Mario Galaxy appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

Cover

In the fall of 2007, it was discovered that certain letters on the box cover are marked with stars, and they spell the phrase "UR MR GAY" (you're mr. gay). The question is, how did this get past Nintendo's proofreaders?

References

The airships from Super Mario Bros. 3 make an appearance complete with the original music.

Sales

According to publisher Nintendo, Super Mario Galaxy sold 12.59 million copies worldwide (as of September 30, 2015).

Awards

  • GAME British Academy Video Games Awards
    • 2009 - Best Game
  • GamePro (Germany)
    • March 28, 2008) - Best Console Game in 2007
  • GameSpy
    • 2007 – #4 Game of the Year
    • 2007 – #3 Console Game of the Year
    • 2007 – Wii Game of the Year
    • 2007 – Wii Game of the Year (Readers' Vote)
    • 2007 – Wii Platformer of the Year
  • Official Nintendo Magazine
    • 2010 - Game of the Decade 2000-2009

Information also contributed by optrirominiluikus and sgtcook

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Guy Chapman.

Wii U added by Michael Cassidy. Android added by firefang9212.

Additional contributors: Sciere, Freeman, gamewarrior, samsam12, Cantillon, ymihere, CalaisianMindthief, Patrick Bregger, Grandy02, provisional_account, FatherJack, Shaw Li.

Game added November 25, 2007. Last modified February 17, 2024.