Nintendo returns to the stars and brings a few changes that make an already amazing game design perfect. Just don't come in expecting a gripping narrative.
There really isn't much to the story, and what little there is, it's just absurd. Set 100 years after the first Super Mario Galaxy, Mario and Peach are once again celebrating the return of the comet. Bowser shows up and kidnaps Peach, time to go rescue her again.
Nintendo has made a few minor tweaks to the physics and controls that you won't really notice until making some of the more difficult jumps. I found myself no longer dying to jumps I thought for sure I was going to make, death was now entirely my fault. The level design has been perfected, from large expanses of space to the 2D gravity puzzles, every level the player hops into feels like so much care was put into where each object was placed.
The switch to a classic Mario map instead of a hub world is an interesting one, but it allows the player to get right into the action instead of having to run all the way to the Galaxy's entry point. This is a welcome change from past entries where it could take several minutes just to get to the entrance of some later areas. (I'm looking at you Sunshine) I do miss the secrets that a proper hub could provide, but the ease of access to the actual levels is worth the trade off.
My only issue is that a few levels seem to be placed earlier than they should have been, with some difficulty swings that can catch the player off guard. Thankfully there is usually a way to bypass these problem worlds and it rarely halts progress.
The 480p presentation is offset by the bright art design and the never faltering 60fps. Each new Galaxy, and even each new level is distinct and stands out with it's own visual style. Many past Mario levels are represented and given a face lift, expect to get nostalgic when playing through these updated worlds.
Voice work is limited to a few clips, mostly of Mario making jumping noises. The music is simply amazing, sometimes you will just stop and listen to it. Classic remixes of old Mario favorites will get stuck in your head for days.
Super Mario Galaxy 2 fixed every minor gripe I had with the first game, to the point that it just doesn't feel right to go back and play the original. I was quite disappointed when Nintendo announced Super Mario 3D World instead of the obvious Universe, I really wanted to see what new gameplay ideas would have come with some extra power under the hood. Still, there is a reason this series has competed with Ocarina of Time in the review charts, it really is that good, don't miss it.
480p widescreen running at a flawless 60fps
Played to completion on my Sharp 70LE732 with stock speakers.