We sat down with X-Play Producer-Extraordinaire Mike Benson to get his fresh-off-the-console impressions of Super Mario Galaxy for the Wii. As always, we’ll leave the full, detailed review to X-Play, but here’s what Benson had to say about what will surely be the among the biggest Wii releases ever:
“Super Mario Sunshine was a little bit of disappointment for a lot of Mario fans. Gamers wanted a true sequel to Super Mario 64, but instead, Sunshine is a departure from the standard stuff we’re used to. It’s more of a spin-off than a sequel. Galaxy avoids these problems. The game contains an amazing number of callbacks to classic Mario games. From music cues from Super Mario Brothers 3, to the reappearance of Magikoopa, This game feels like a true Mario 64 sequel. The goombas are back; question mark blocks are back. Fans will be very, very happy.
Personally, I’m ranking it as the third best Mario game of them all--behind Super Mario Brothers 3 and Super Mario 64. it’s just a really, really fun game to play.
The gameplay is consistently inventive and interesting, with the Wii-mote motions organically ingrained in the game as opposed to feeling like an add-on. While the Wii controls feel spot on, they’re not super prevalent. Shake the ‘mote to attack, point at the screen, etc.
The visuals are great. This is the best-looking Wii game yet. Textures feel real and detailed, for example, the Queen Bee in the game has the bee fuzz, like you might see in a 360 game. Galaxy proves you can do really sharp graphics on Wii, even if not in 720 or 1080.
The areas feel smaller than Mario 64, because everything is segmented. But that’s because you’re flying from planet to planet. Some are very small, some are quite large. Everything is much more driven than in SM 64. You never feel lost or like you don’t know what to do.
Some fun, new stuff (Obviously, massive spoilers)
Sproing Suit: This new suit wraps you in a giant metal spring so you can jump to great heights. The control is hard to get used to, but it’s really fun after that.
Fire Suit and Ice Suit: Hot and cold running Mario.
And Bee Suit: Check out the video for details on the new levels of adorable Mario reaches in his lil’ Bee costume.
There are other abilities that might surprise you, but I don’t want give too much away.
It’s about 13-15 hours of gameplay to the last boss, if you take your time, but you could race through it in around 10, maybe less. You won’t want to, trust me. You’ll want to look at everything.
There are 120 stars, but you can “beat” the game with 60. It would take quite awhile, like 20-25 hours, to get 100% completion.”
Super Mario Galaxy goes on sale November 12th.