January 27, 2008

Super Mario Galaxy Review Blog 1

So what's a review blog?

Well, for starters, a review blog consists of a series of posts that contains comments about one part of a certain game. Usually, one post chronicles the game in a span of an hour. And what better way to start a review blog with the game I have waited for quite a long time- Super Mario Galaxy.

I still can't believe it, but I've finally got a copy of Super Mario Galaxy! So far, I'm having a hell of a lot of fun, even if it's a bit easy so far. I've also got my siblings to help me out for co-op action, and frankly, it's a great thing Nintendo did that, though I think it would've been even better if the second player was Luigi. But anyway...

7:00 - I bring up the transformer and plug everything in, open the TV and the Wii and insert the CD in the slot. I press A after the Health Notice and open Super Mario Galaxy after a few seconds.

7:03 - I get to the title screen and press the A+B buttons. I create a new file (marked by a spherical planet), select an avatar (Mii) as an icon (in which of course I picked mine), and wait for the opening which explains the annual celebration of the "Toads" of the Star Festival which occurs every hundred years. Princess Peach's invitation to Mario is then read by well, her voice, and the action starts.

7:05 - I'm treated to a brief shot of Mario jumping giddily after reading the invitation and I instantly gain control. In the aesthetics department, the graphics look beautiful... beyond expectation, and beyond Wii capabilities. I mean, minor details like water, is even mesmerizing and realistic and though I would've wanted to look at it more, it seems that there is imminent trouble.

7:07 - A beautiful cutscene then appears, and Bowser arrives to cackle and kidnap Peach on a spaceship. Actually, the cutscenes are not pre-rendered, it uses the in-game engine, though comparing from the shots in Super Mario Sunshine, its predecessor, the cutscenes and the game itself look a lot better.

7:09 - I gain control once again, star bits start to fall and my sister helps me collect them. A few steps further into the castle and another cutscene occurs. Bowser starts to put his uhh... crane onto the castle and Peach hugs her fat star in fright. She then screams "Mario!" in desperation, and Mario goes nearer to the castle. Bowser cackles even more, and lifts the castle into space. Of course, Bowser wouldn't be one to let Mario ruin his plans this quick, so he gets this magician to cast a spell and send Mario into, you guessed it, another planet. The same fat star goes down to him and wakes him up (because he was unconscious at the time) and he wakes up.

7:13 - Control is restored and I go near the three stars. The stars then instruct me to jump using A, and they say that if Mario plays hide and seek with them, they can say whatever planet he's on. So I am put on a "challenge" of hide and seek. It took a few minutes to find one of them, as they would be persistent little things. When you step on flowers or grass, star bits also appear and the occasional coin. If you point on these colorful 3D stars, you instantly get them. There are lots of uses for these stars, but they would be introduced later into the first hour of the game. Oh, didn't I mention that they transformed into rabbits?

7:15 - One of them would finally be caught by shaking the Wiimote when I was near it, and it hints that "I should've hidden in the crater", so I look for craters and find another star/rabbit. Actually, I wasn't quite ready for the fact that the camera would display Mario upside-down if you went to the lower end of a world, but it wasn't very confusing at all... OK, maybe a bit. Moving on, I caught the second star/rabbit and it also hinted about where the third star was hiding.

7:18 - They would transform back to their chubby starry forms, and agree that Mario could help "Mama". This "Mama" would be in the form of a "hot momma" called Rosalina. She tells about the starship and as to why it was in an immobile, blackened-out state. She gets this so-called "Luma" to grant Mario powers to spin attack and travel in space and I wave my remote to this sort of catapult to send me to the tutorial level. It would be full of Shrooms (the brown mushrooms) to spin, star bits to collect (I get my first 1UP here after collecting 50 of them), and coins.

7:20 - I get to this structure after going down a pipe, and I collect coins, lose my first life after getting electrocuted, and collect the coins by going on this sort of moving thingy. I would get surprised as to why my life would be restored when time passed, so I surmised that the life system was quite pointless at that point. I also spin a few Shrooms, collect a few more coins and finally get to that machine.

7:24 - Well, this is when I discovered that I had to step on these yellow blocks to deactivate the machine, so after stepping on the blocks around the machine, I went back up to the part where there were those moving thingies, and activated de-activated those blocks. I would get electrocuted again, and I was surprised again that it didn't heal overtime, so I thought, there should be some reason as to why the HP gets restored...

7:26 - The machine would finally get turned off, and the Grand Star would restore its shiny luster. I went near it, and got my first Grand star! A cutscene then shows the star restoring power to a part of the spaceship, in which Rosalina would be after the fade-out. She tells the story about it, and how you would start the real journey.

7:28 - I go to the Observatory and this chubby star would say that the blue star would transform so that when I pointed and pressed A at it, I could get a bird's eye view of the whole galaxy. I pressed the planet that had "NEW!" labeled on it, and it eventually became "The Good Egg Planet". Complete with a huge egg and all.

7:29 - I would catapult myself there and an exhilarating scene would occur. It would let me choose a level, and of course, it would only have one called "The Good Egg" (I think). The scene would continue, and star bits would follow me (which you could actually collect). Mario lands on the planet, and spin attack a few uhhh... creatures. There's this locked house and a garden. Knowing that they would contain, I walk on the flowers to get coins and stars and go down the green pipe to see another chubby star that would say that I should collect as many Star bits as I could. I did, and I then went down to this orange pipe which would give me a 1UP after completing the legendary Super Mario Bros. 2nd level melody. The walking on walls thing is quite cool, and surprisingly fun as well. I get back up the orange pipe, and collect more star bits.

7:32 - I would then get up on this silly flat bridge and spin attack a Shroom and catapult to another part of the planet.

7:33 - I would land to the part of the planet with the huge egg. Well actually, I landed on the egg itself, which would partially crack. Cries could be heard, and it would signal me to further crack it. But I didn't because I had a few more Star bits to safely collect, but without thinking, I spun attacked the creature's tail, which would lead to the full cracking of the egg. The piranha (venus fly trap in the Mario world) would roar and invite me to a fight. I did. And it was frankly easy. You should spin attack the tail for three times and the thing dies. Afterwards, you get a Grand Star and get back to the Observatory.

7:38 - By this time, my sister would get bored and my brother would take the Player 2 post. I would catapult to the next level in the same planet after I get this tutorial from the star in the observatory about shooting star bits on enemies to stun them and feed hungry Lumas. Anyway, I went back to the catapult thingy to go to Good Egg planet and selected the second level called the Hungry uhhh... Star? I forgot the exact title. But anyway, the same exhilarating scene would occur (I'll be expecting a lot more of this...) and I would land on the same place with the house and all.

7:40 - I went up the stairs to see this chubby star talk about the hungy Luma and he would catapult me there after I shook the Wiimote. I would then see the hungy Luma who demands a hundred stars. I fed her by pressing and holding B until she forms a new part of the planet. Actually, she's pretty darn funny when she's full, 'cause she's adorably fatter than usual.

7:41 - I shook the Wiimote at the star-shaped ultra-trampoline to catapult myself to that part and I was tasked to collect a few star pieces to form the same star-shaped trampoline. It wasn't that easy, though as there were hazardous boulders rolling around the sphere. I got hit when I was gonna get the last piece, but I restored energy when I discovered that collecting coins would heal me.

7:43 - I catapulted myself to this sort of mountain like sphere and I would spin attack my way to the next trampoline, as well as the little piranhas that grow these vines to climb up at.

7:48 - I would then reach this sort of capsule thingy that would get me playing a 2D mini-level of sorts. The down arrows would indicate that the gravity of that part is high, and the up arrows would indicate that the gravity is low. After a few attempts at getting through a certain obstacle, I would finally get to the last catapult of the level.

7:54 - I landed on this star and I had to form star pieces to get the Grand star. Of course, you had to think differently because the star pieces weren't readily shown on the surface. Instead of you being scared of falling down, you had to go down because you would just get... flipped into the lower part of the planet. I collected all 5 star pieces and I would be tasked to aim the pointer at the them and try to collect the star. It wasn't easy I'm telling you, because it took great timing and precision to do that. The star would be located in the center, and you had to point to one part of the star and press another one after a few milliseconds, as I discovered. It took quite a bit of time, but I nailed it.

7:57 - After collecting the Grand star, I would be redirected to the Observatory, and a new planet would be available. I saved instead and opted to turn off the Wii. But it seems that after we switched controllers in the middle (because it was almost out of battery) and connected the Nunchuk, it seemed to worked just fine. Why is this important you ask? Well, it's because that I have been nagging about it being broken and all for a hell of a long time, and guess what? IT'S FINALLY FIXED! YES!

7:59 - I would perform a few tests with the other Nunchuk, and it worked fine, too.

8:00 - Turned the thing off, switched off the transformer and the air-conditioning breaker and went down to do this blog post. Haha.

Stay tuned for the next edition... 'coz, this is the end of this one.

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