Number Three – Super Mario Galaxy

Platform: Nintendo Wii

Mario is back (again) and even though this must be the hundredth game to bear his name, it still manages to feel fresh and inventive – grasping hold of the brilliance of Super Mario 64 and slipstreaming past it, towards excellence.

Super Mario Galaxy is a simple premise – the Princess has been kidnapped again and there’s only one plumber in the world with the guts to get her back. Unfortunately, that plumber ends up getting a bit lost and comes to on the Cosmic Observatory, a travelling telescope which runs on Power Stars. The rest of the game is then spent collecting Power Stars to charge the Observatory so that Mario can search for Peach and bring her back to the Mushroom Kingdom.

Super Mario Galaxy is one of those games that is as much evolution as it is revolution. Sure, it’s yet another Mario game and yes, it is pretty much just Super Mario 64 in space and with different abilities – but that’s no bad thing!

bit-tech's Top 10 Games of 2007 Three
Super Mario Galaxy, click to enlarge

Super Mario Galaxy is a perfect singleplayer adventure-platformer, with all the chaff and crud blasted off and the game reduced to just the core fun-making components. It’s pretty much the only thing the Wii can run anyway.

bit-tech's Top 10 Games of 2007 ThreeMiyamoto’s little Italian pal has come a long way since he first started out under the name of ‘Jumpman’ and never is that more clear than in Super Mario Galaxy, which sees Mario exploring strange new worlds and ways of playing. Sometimes you’ll be rolling around on top of balls, tilting the Wiimote to control speed and direction. The rest of the time you’ll be flying around as a bee, drifting through walls as a ghost or bouncing around as a spring.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a Mario game if it didn’t have an adorable child-like appearance and array of characters too. Super Mario Galaxy has these both in spades – cutesy little Star creatures who demand you stuff them with delicious star bits so they can “TRRAANSFOOOOOORM!” into brand new planets. There’s even a storybook section to the game which lets you learn more and more of the back story.

There are admittedly a few flaws in the game, but the fact that they are so incredibly few is a testament to the quality of the game. Who cares if there’s no really decent co-op?

Stuffed with reasons to play and with a control system and presentation which is easy to pick up, Super Mario Galaxy appeals to kids and adults alike and is the type of game which will keep couples and families playing together for months.
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