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Mario Galaxy Has me a Little Worried

July 13, 2007
by

I love Mario. I feel comfortable enough with myself that I can admit that. Just seeing a little toy of him giving me his “it’s a me!” grin can put me right at ease. I can still pick up any of the Mario games, and enjoy them in a way a lot of other franchises just have never been able to do. Mario games are key to pointing out just what video games can achieve with a simple concept executed in a masterful way. I even like Mario Sunshine despite it’s numbing difficulty!


But what I have seen so far from videos of Mario Galaxy, I am a little put off. I somehow realize that once it’s out my fears will be squashed, I will feel silly for ever doubting. But for now I can’t help but feel nervous about where things have gone. I’ve had a Wii since launch, but I still not sold on the controls. I still have not finished Zelda:Twilight Princess simply because it annoys me to play it that way. I may have to restart with the Gamecube version! But the Wario game proved that the Wii was capable of doing a lot more with the Wiimote than we thought. But I suppose if any games are going to do it right, it will be Galaxy and perhaps Metroid Prime 3. That also reminds me to get around to that copy of Resident Evil 4 I have somewhere in my growing stack of games in my living room that I need to play.

I don’t know what it is exactly that makes me wince watching Mario Galaxy footage. What should be joy and anticipation, turns into scrunched eyes and pursed lips. Jumping from little planets and weird falling star attacks … it just seems all TOO different for me. I thought I was alone on this until today I heard 1UP’s Shane Bettenhausen say “it doesn’t feel like real worlds” after his hands on which he talked about on a podcast. He went on further to say “Yeah I’m playing a new Mario game and that’s great.. but it isn’t exactly what I wanted..” He did say he thought it was a great game, but something was there that threw him off. These are the points that worry me, and to hear them echoed from a respected journalist who has actually had a chance to play it is a little unsettling.

I surely hope that I am way off the mark, and worried for nothing. And I ultimately think it will be a great game. I suppose I’m just being an old fuddy duddy who wants things to just all stay the same! New Super Mario Brothers on the DS was a great diversion to tide us over, but Galaxy is the title that may justify my owning a Wii at all. Please please let it be great! I love innovation, but I don’t like it just for the sake of it!

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. July 13, 2007 10:25 am

    It looks like a good game, and definitely a Mario game – I think maybe that elusive quality you are referring to might just be the fact that the whole thing resembles an episode of AstroBoy. You remember AstroBoy? Big-booted little kid, flew around the galaxy, often perched precariously on strangely-sized planets? (Originated an entire school of anime? You know, him? 😉 )

    The warped perspective theme just isn’t enough to carry a whole game. Sunshine, you could immediately grasp what the big ‘wrinkle’ was. Every Mario has a wrinkle. Paper Mario, again, totally innovative, really unique, etc. Galaxy… you run on the ceiling. Except when you are flying. It ‘feels’ small. I heard the Bettenhausen comment as well, and from the videos I can see what he means in that each level looks a hell of a lot smaller than, say, a Mario 64 level (first time I got vertigo looking off a cliff in a videogame, that one. Good times).

    As always we should reserve judgment till we can play it, but I am in complete agreement with your reservations. Galaxies isn’t really blowing me away. It seems to exist right now as a Wii graphical showcase more than an innovative platformer.

  2. July 13, 2007 2:12 pm

    I do remember a lot of critics voicing their doubts about the transition to 3D with Mario 64… even shortly after its release. I wonder if this is what we are experiencing here… a fear of the unknown not being fun…

  3. July 13, 2007 11:39 pm

    well look, Wii needs a game that showcases its graphical capabilities as well, so if Galaxy can do that then it’s not a total loss eh?

  4. July 14, 2007 4:50 am

    I hear a lot about bee suits and whatnot, but i feel similarly. Galaxy was easily my most anticipated Wii game last year, but ever since it’s been kinda dead. Getting excited for a Mario game is sorta difficult in this day and age of epic games. I mean yea, that simple fun is cool, but it’s no revolution.

    Does it even matter anymore that Wii can’t dazzle graphically? I could care less. Just stick to toon games and you’ll be set, Miy’.

  5. Ruben permalink
    July 15, 2007 3:43 pm

    I think the game is looking great. What worries me is the same thing that worries me about every Wii game. The goddamn controls! If I can play this game with the Wiimote/Nunchuk and NOT think to myself, “I wish I was playing this with a regular controller,” then Nintendo has succeeded in my book.

  6. JojoB permalink
    November 21, 2008 9:19 pm

    I hear you Ruben… ARE there any games that your can play with a regular remote? IS THERE a regular remote? I want a wii.. but I’d almost rather buy a ’64 at this point haha
    You can play gamecube games though right, with a gc remote?

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