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Developer: Nintendo EAD Tokyo
System: Nintendo Wii
Release date: Available now
Review by: Christopher Troilo
Mario has come a long way from his days of jumping over barrels on a 2D screen while attempting to save his beloved from the clutches of Donkey Kong. Nearly 10 game systems later, he finds himself in 3D, on the Wii in a brand new adventure spanning the universe, aptly named Super Mario Galaxy.
The famed plumber, on his way to the Mushroom Kingdom to visit Princess Peach, witnesses from afar that his archenemy Bowser is up to no good. With his mighty airship, Bowser literally steals Princess Peach’s castle and carries it, with her in it, off into outer space. Mario leaps into action and onto the castle, only to be knocked off and sent hurtling into space by one of Bowser’s minions.
Mario comes to find himself in the company of several creatures, who closely resemble plump stars, called Lumas. The Lumas live on an Observatory which flies through space visiting various galaxies. The Observatory is powered by Grand Stars, which have been stolen by Bowser as part of his dastardly scheme. It’s up to Mario to find these stars, restore power to the Observatory and rescue Princess Peach.
The Observatory acts as the player’s home base. From there, they can travel to the various galaxies or levels of play. As stars are collected, power returns to the Observatory, and more galaxies are unlocked for Mario to explore. Each galaxy has a unique feel and look. Some, like the Space Junk Galaxy, are set deep in space, and Mario must jump between small spherical objects, each with their own gravitational pull. Other levels are laid out in the more traditional sense — a wide open area to explore in the style of Super Mario 64. A good example of this is the Dusty Dune Galaxy, which has a desert theme and finds Mario contending with sand tornados that launch him into the air.
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