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Customer Review

85 of 109 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fun but frustrating....a step back to arcade Mario, January 20, 2008
= Fun:3.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Super Mario Galaxy (Video Game)
If you are a great fan of the days of pure Mario platform gaming, then you will love this game. It is platform gaming at its finest...and most frustrating.

My complaints are these:

The camera angles are often locked, but when the camera is not fixed, your control over it is extremely limited. This can be quite toublesome, considering you are in a fully 3D environment, and to make a successful jump - especially onto a moving target - can depend entirely on your view. This also can make spotting extras and secrets a matter of luck.

Since Mario 64, the first two Paper Marios, and, most signifiantly, Super Mario Sunshine, I have come to expect a certain level of RPG gaming in my Mario games. There is virtually none of that in this game. And there are no side quests to speak of. Many folks who love the original Mario platform games will be thrilled with this aspect. I, however, was disappointed.

Along the lines of RPGing, you do go around collecting stars and coins. But these lead to another complaint of mine. The stars you collect become superfluous by the time you are done with the first set of galaxies. You'll never, ever need as many of those stars as you collect. Unlike Donkey Kong 64, where you needed to find all the bananas or never meet up with all the bosses, you will have more than enough stars to open up all the special galaxies many times over. And although collecting 50 stars will give you extra lives, as soon as you turn off your game, those lives are gone. You start at 3 lives each time. The coins, too, are barely useful. As soon as you die in a level, your coin count drops to 0. So although you may be vigilant and capture every coin leading up to a point, once you restart a level midway through, you've lost all that work, AND you cannot go back and recollect without restarting the entire level. To me, this means there is just no point in wasting time and effort collecting the darn things in the first place.

I also found the loss of control of Mario to be too frequent, and very frustrating. Spring Mario has a mind of his own; there are no subtle movements with him. The best you can hope for is that he lands about where you meant him to. And, as always, any Mario hit by flame runs around like a madman, and if you are trying to navigate some small platforms at this point, you can kiss your life goodbye. I do fully realize this is not exclusive to this game, but because of the 3D environment and difficult camera angles, there is very little you can do to save the idiot once he's been burned and is not near a rather large piece of land.

And finally, a problem I found most irritating with the Wii Super Paper Mario, and now this game - there is no getting around cut scenes or dialog. Grrrr! You're fighting Bowser at the last level. You die. Again. You start from the beginning. Again. And you have to watch the cut scene. AGAIN. And you have to read the dialog. AGAIN! And all you want to do is get back on that stupid planet and have it out with Bowser! The best you can do is to slightly speed up the dialog by holding down the A button, but that is small consolation. Heck, just getting to the last Bowser fight forces you to sit through the same cinema, again and again.

Okay, what DID I like? It was beautiful. Thriving, lively graphics. Some clever levels (oh, a complaint is coming on - not nearly enough puzzles...heck, were there really any puzzles? were lead right to the goal, with nothing really to solve or figure out in order to get there, just some fast hand-eye coordination needed).

Bottom line...I found this game to have more things that were irritating than were fun. For those of you who loved Super Mario Sunshine and Donkey Kong 64, maybe Ratchet and Clank and Spyro, but are not such fans of the first three Super Mario Bros. games, or other strictly platforming games, you might also be disappointed and find this game frustrating.
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Showing 1-10 of 10 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Aug 14, 2008 9:43:41 AM PDT
Clark Beyer says:
To be honest, the old platforming Mario games were the best ones; collecting power-ups like mushrooms, coins, etc. Fighting goombas, throwing koopa shells...good stuff. Fast hand-eye coordination is what makes a lot of Mario games fun. And the fact that you only have 3 pieces of health makes the game that much more challenging.
As for spring mario...he needs to be difficult to use, what's wrong with adding a touch of difficulty to a power-up?

Posted on Oct 21, 2008 3:04:54 PM PDT
Mr Zero says:
Your review hits the nail on the head completely!

Posted on Feb 10, 2009 3:15:00 PM PST
starsweet says:
Great review.. what would you recommend for fans who DO like the first three Mario games and didn't like Super Mario Sunshine?

Posted on May 17, 2009 11:31:27 AM PDT
sandpiper says:
My thoughts EXACTLY!

I've been a huge Mario fan since the 8-bit NES. Everything you found frustrating, I did as well. I can't believe the lack of camera control. I didn't even bother to search out coins unless I needed energy.

Posted on Jan 22, 2010 10:13:16 AM PST
J. Bowman says:
Fair review, but to add a few comments:

The game never advertised itself as an RPG or having RPG qualities. Therefore, how can you be disappointed it wasn't RPG-like? The Paper Mario series (starting with Mario RPG!) were advertised as RPGs, and I never really played Sunshine. To me, it is very similar style to Mario 64 (but I haven't played that in years), which leads me to: what did you find to be RPGish in 64?

Personally, I liked the fact that you don't need all the stars in order to make it to the end of the game. It allows the casual gamer to have fun and skip over the occasional tough levels without getting frustrated, but also lets the hardcore gamer complete 100% of the game (I think there's a special unlock if you do so...?).

Posted on Feb 22, 2010 12:03:46 PM PST
Coogs says:
Excellent review. I agree with all your negative points, and although most of them are relatively minor, there are so many of them. This game has received endless hype, glowing reviews (tons of 100s at metacritic), and now it's winning not just game of the year prizes, but game of the DECADE awards! It's a good game, but the best game of the 2000s? Seriously? For something to get that kind of recognition, it needs to be flawless. With all this game's minor flaws and annoying tendencies, it is very far from flawless. Personally, I couldn't wait to collect enough stars to beat Bowser, because I desperately wanted this game to end. Even though there are still 54 extra stars for me to collect, I'm not interested.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 24, 2010 7:44:55 AM PST
GarionOrb says:
No RPG elements? You're complaining because it has no RPG elements? Since when was the main Super Mario series ever about RPG elements? No "side quests"? I think you're a bit confused...

Posted on May 20, 2010 8:03:54 AM PDT
I can only partially agree for the controls aspect cause that is the one thing you talk about that got to me. But in retrospect, you have to consider how the controls themselves work to their best potential when given the idea that there is no "right or wrong." For the most part there's always ground to run on. But that's about as much guideline the game actually gives. The controls compensates the idea of you running upside down, on your side, right side up, not to mention the polarity in your jumps and which gravitational mass your going to be pulled into. I think they do the job extraordinarily well. But here's the flaws:

Underwater levels. They are a pain in the ass. They are the most difficult to control. Spring Mario isn't so much about controlling Mario himself, as much as its about finding a distinctive path that takes you where you want to go depending on the power enforced with your jump. But Underwater levels CLEARLY need help. I have way more fun swimming in previous 3D Mario games than I do in Galaxy. It's as if it was an after thought.

As for your gripe for the lack of RPG elements, I'm with everyone else who disagrees. The game is a Platformer. Not an RPG. Period. However, saying that there is a lack of side quest can be argued as well. You really don't need to find the rest of the stars in order to complete the game. You also don't need to help Luigi. Those in gaming terms are considered side quest.

However, if you have a problem with the retelling of a story when you die, then who are we really blaming here? The game for re-instituting the story-line or you for dying in the 1st place?

Overall, I loved this game for its good points as well as its bad ones. It revolutionized platforming games and that is the reason it is critically acclaimed more so than ever. No other game in the market plays like it. I am an avid fan of the Ratchet and Clank series as well, and I acknowledge that Insomniac were one of the 1st Developers that pioneered intergalactic gameplay. Mario Galaxy just brings it to a whole new level.

Posted on Jan 16, 2013 12:59:27 PM PST
Elena Winter says:
This review was really helpful to me, because after reading it I was absolutely sure that I would love this game. I've been playing Mario games since I was a child and I loved my 2D platformers. If I play Mario, I want old school platforming without any RPG elements or difficult puzzles, but with lots of challenges for the hand-eye coordination. It's a good thing that you pointed out what you disliked about the game, but what other people with different tastes might love.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 3, 2013 11:39:28 PM PDT
Mino Guy says:
"For something to get that kind of recognition, it needs to be flawless."

There is no such thing as a flawless game. There has NEVER been such thing as a flawless game. Even Portal is not a completely flawless game, despite people claiming that about it.

There are always ways for the game to improve. Saying a game must be absolutely flawless to get that recognition is shortsighted, because then no game would ever get it. Even Ocarina of Time, said to be a perfect game, had problem areas. Portal, also said to be the closest thing, was also not entirely flawless. This game, to many people including me, is among those as being one of the closest games to ever achieve this level of quality.

A lot of the complaints the reviewer mentioned I find to be a bit invalid. A lot of it is about, "I'm used to this being in the games I play, so why is it gone now?" It got me aggravated how he raged on your coins disappearing if you die, but forgetting that star bits now serve their purpose and ARE in fact consistent even when you die. In a game where extra lives are so much more abundant, coins actually serve a much better purpose here--keeping track of high scores on the levels. It aggravates me how he claims there's not enough RPG to it, then rants on it for being too open-ended with which galaxies you can go to next (it also aggravates me how when Nintendo tries to truly revive the platformer with this game, he doesn't like how there are no RPG elements to it...). It aggravates me how he hates on Spring Mario's controls, when it's SUPPOSED to be unwieldy by nature and actually practicing with it makes it really good to control (I got really used to him and now I can use him extremely naturally). It aggravates me how he hates on Mario being lit on fire getting uncontrollable, when really, you have more control of his trajectory in this game once burned than in any other 3D Mario (you can actually control him jumping and circling around to avoid hazards in that condition).

The only legitimate minor complaint is not being able to skip cutscenes after seeing them once. That's the only fault I agree with in this game. All of the above I found were less faults and more, "Why did they change this?"

You know what? Maybe this game is less of an RPG. Maybe it is returning to arcade Mario. But is that really a step back? Using the Wii, Nintendo created an extremely marvelous platformer that controls incredibly 98% of the time, has some incredibly innovative elements, and does an incredible thing by proving that a PURELY platforming-based experience can in fact still be fantastic today just as much as it was 20 years ago.

I dunno, I feel like what you were doing was expecting a drama movie out of Star Wars...sure, some moments are like that, but the movie is truly a space fairy tale, and should be acknowledged as such. Similarly, this game must be acknowledge separate from its other 3D brethren, and you must realize that this game was meant to be a purely platforming experience. It actually emphasizes that we DON'T need RPG elements in all our games, or any other norms that seem to start being more and more prominent in too many AAA releases.
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