I bought Super Mario Galaxy 1 & 2 at the same time, and I was really disappointed with the first game. It sees Mario on small planets, and the camera doesn't follow you around well, so you'll be at the bottom of a planet with your head facing down, and pressing forward on the control stick moves Mario toward the camera instead of away from it. It is very disorienting, and I am a serious gamer, and I couldn't cope with the controls and quit after 5 hours. So I didn't have high hopes for Super Mario Galaxy 2. I'm happy to report that Super Mario Galaxy 2 is a much better game than the first one! The sections where you are on small planets are fewer in number and somehow easier to handle. The platforming is great and controls well. Mario gets special abilities from mushrooms like a cloud mushroom that allows him to create up to 3 cloud platforms whenever he double-jumps. There's also a bee mushroom that allows him to fly/float for a short period of time. There are many others, and they all contribute to excellent platforming puzzles. The bosses are fun challenges in figuring out their weaknesses.
The only negatives I had about this game were the gates, repeated sections, and difficulty. At the end of each world, you collect a star. To progress in the game, you'll need to have a certain number of stars to pass the artificial star gate even though you've beaten all of the levels leading up to it. You are forced to go back to the previous levels and beat them again to find the alternative exits and their stars. This is unnecessary backtracking that's not as much fun as experiencing the levels for the first time, and beating a level only to find you have to go back and do 10 more levels to find stars is frustrating. I did go back because it was fun and I wanted to see what new levels were in store for Mario, but it is still an issue. When you finally do make it to the last level, the difficulty ramps up extremely, and I lost all of my lives many, many times in the last galaxies where I hadn't lost all of my lives at all leading up to it. The difficulty curve will be unfair to the little kids that had been enjoying the game up to that point.
Overall, I would recommend Super Mario Galaxy 2 to anyone who likes platformers, as it is the best one on the Wii. 3/5 stars.
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