Super Mario Galaxy
- 3D Platformer
- Nintendo EAD/Nintendo
Where Nintendo ventured into new areas during the 7th Generation, we would thankfully still get entries into some of their most revered series. Among them the 3D Mario platforming adventures and what we got with 'Super Mario Galaxy' was one of the prime examples in the genre as a whole.
Like any Mario game, Mario needs to rescue Princess Peach. Bowser has taken her and the castle into space however and each level is a collection of small planets, around which Mario can move in a spherical motion, in a tiny "galaxy". The concept and mechanics of moving 'upside-down' was actually tested briefly in 'The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess', with the Iron Boots on magnetic surfaces. This gameplay idea gives the game a very fresh premise, which is instantly interesting in the way it opens up new gameplay experiences and surprisingly fresh level-design. There are however also 'flat' classic-styled levels and slides, plus additional collectable Stars for which special objectives need to be completed, which means the game offers plenty of platforming variety.
Besides that, the small confined spaces made for the Wii to even be able to unexpectedly shine in a graphical way, and the game doesn't look out of place next to games from the much more powerful competitor systems. The second game looked even better, but I feel the hub-world and the hidden story in this game, presented as a bed-time fairy tale, make it come out on top. In any case, after a period of disinterest, 'Super Mario Galaxy' made a strong case to me in favor of returning to console gaming.