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Mario Galaxy 2 Wii new details, video, impressions
Gameing Industry

2010 is shaping up to be a big year for fans of the Wii, in no small part due to the fact that we're finally getting another entry into the Super Mario Galaxy series. With the game's May 23 release date fast approaching, many fans have been wondering just what kinds of delight Nintendo has in store for them. As it turns out, there's quite a lot to look forward to with the game.

A number of journalists got to travel to Nintendo's Redwood City headquarters for some hands-on time with the game. Based on what they got to experience and have now shared with the rest of the Web, it sounds like Mario Galaxy 2 is going to be even better than we expected.

Mario will be traveling between star systems on the Starship Mario, a small planet that looks like our favorite plumber's head. According to various articles, the vehicle also serves as an evolving open world for Mario to practice his moves in. Moving from one galaxy to another is apparently "a snap," and when you visit a galaxy you'll be shown how many worlds you've discovered, as well as how many more you have yet to find. As the game progresses, the mini-planet gains new features like a Yoshi egg that appears on Starship Mario's nose after the dinosaur appears in the game.

Journalists were able to play with a total of five levels outside of the good Starship Mario: the Haunted Halls Galaxy, the Puzzle Plank Galaxy, the Boulder Bowl Galaxy, the Cosmic Cove Galaxy, and the Honeybloom Galaxy. Each of them offered some very distinctive gameplay, and players can look forward to a healthy mix of things both new and well-loved.

The Haunted Halls Galaxy, unsurprisingly, involves ghosts and a haunted mansion. The Boo Mario Suit will reportedly be making an appearance in the game, though it wasn't actually on display. Partway through the level, players will encounter Yoshi himself and discover the "Glimmer Bulb" power-up item. This will allow Yoshi to act like a lantern, which lets players navigate later areas that are shrouded in total darkness. It turns out that Yoshi needs to consume this power-up on a regular basis, otherwise Mario will fall away into a void when the light goes out.

Ben PerLee of Destructoid seemed particularly entertainedby Yoshi's play style: "This 'ghost house' has disappearing floors, and when Yoshi eats a Bulb Berry, he glows and makes the floors and walls visible, which reveals the only ways to reach certain stars. Just like in previous previews, Yoshi's tongue is very important, capable of grabbing objects and enemies, as well as swinging from specially placed flower devices."

The Puzzle Plank Galaxy is much more focused on puzzle platforming. Some levels rely on using Mario's attacks to create new platforms, while others use the moving level strategy, where players have to constantly stay on the run in order to keep from falling off screen. Randy Nelson of Joystiq's description made the end of the level sound like a total blast, since, "the stage concluded with a giant sliding block puzzle. Running around its edges, I had to ground pound the right spots in the correct order to complete the puzzle picture and nab my first star."

The Boulder Bowl Galaxy has already generated a lot of interest, thanks largely to the newly revealed "Rock Mario" suit. The power-up is presented as a stone mushroom; when it's picked up Mario transforms into Rock Mario; shaking the Wiimote turns him into a boulder that can tear around the world, smashing pillars and crystals as players control him with the analog stick on the nunchuck. While this area sounds fun, it's also apparently somewhat frustrating, as it's not too hard for Rock Mario to fall off the edge of these worlds when he's using his "boulder dash."

According to Chris Kohler of Wired, "Once Mario smashes something, he reverts to walking around, and you can turn into a rock again by shaking the Wiimote. You can jump while in rock form, which I am pretty sure will translate into some really hard levels that will involve rock-jumping."

Enemies in this level were shaped like bowling pins, which were easily defeated once enough ramps had been knocked down to create a bowling lane. The boss of this section is Rollodillo, a Godzilla-sized rock armadillo that rolls around its own small planet in an effort to crush Mario; after missing players twice in a row, the creature becomes vulnerable to attacks from Rock Mario.

The Honeybloom and Cosmic Cove Galaxies appear to be based around flight and swimming gameplay, respectively. The Honeybloom Galaxy gives players access to the Bee Suit (last seen in the first Super Mario Galaxy), which grants Mario limited flight time. The level on display was entirely side-scrolling, with players working to fly past "pointy enemies" that are on patrol. A meter lets you know how much longer Mario can stay in the air, while clouds serve as platforms to rest on when the Bee Suit is active.

The Cosmic Cove Galaxy, meanwhile, is set to contain underwater worlds. The enemies here are pretty varied: penguins, plankton, and "the classic red and white 'Mario Bros. fish'" were all on display. According to Craig Harris of IGN"This is an underwater swimming level where you can stomp on a koopa shell and use it to propel Mario through the depths just like in the first one. In this level you eventually make your way up to the surface to hit a switch, which will then blanket the water in ice."

However, this level had no boss. Instead, after players convert the water to ice, they then skate across and to two giant frozen waterfalls so they can wall-jump up them in order to reach the level's star.

Unsurprisingly, every hands-on account of Super Mario Galaxy 2 is incredibly enthusiastic about what was on display. Based on what these journalists have described, it's hard to blame them for their excitement. Needless to say, May 23rd can't get here fast enough for those of us looking forward to joining Mario on another adventure.

Via arstechnica.com

Posted on Thursday, April 01, 2010 @ 19:40:48 UTC by NB


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