From the moment this game was announced, it had me interested. 3 of my favorite Japanese designers were attached to the title. Suda 51 (Killer 7, No More Heroes), Shinji Mikami (Resident Evil) and Akira Yamaoka (Composer of Silent Hill). Its like a trio of badass that I feel secure giving my full 60$ to for their game. All 3 of those, I woulda trust with my money, but all 3 together? Thats just a recipe for amazing. Suda 51 is a nut, I love everything he does. He has a great and bizarre sense of humor, and that certainly shows up in this game almost always. Mikami is great at making just really fun games, that I love going back to. Akira Yamaoka…well… hes my favorite composer of all time. His music and ambiance are so great, especially his music with Mary Elizabeth McGlynn. All those traits of all three of those guys are present in this game, in full force.
The game plays a lot like Resident Evil 4. Having loved Resident Evil 4 to death, this is an awesome thing to me. You play as Garcia Fucking Hotspur (yes, he actually adds the “Fucking” part in his sentences) and his flaming skull sidekick, Johnson, who also acts as Garcia’s torch to light the way in the underworld, and also transforms into guns. These two characters are probably my favorite duo I’ve seen in recent memory, or even ever. Their dialogue is so goofy, and sexual. If you don’t have a sense of humor, you’re probably going to dislike them, and this game in general. Its littered with toilet humor, and other goofy jokes. I personally loved the jokes, they’re silly and just what I’d expect of Suda51. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
As I said, Johnson is both a torch and all the guns in the game. The game starts you off with “The Boner” which is the name for the standard handgun in the game, as well as the shotgun, which I think was called the Monocusionor, but I don’t remember. The handgun works well and fires pretty fast. Getting head shots with it is a total blast. If your aim is perfect, the games camera will shift to the bullet going towards the enemies head, in slow motion, as the enemies head just explodes. Its a very satisfying headshot, though sometimes it can be tough to pull off. I don’t know if it was me or the actual game itself, but sometimes the aiming felt a little off, I don’t quite know how to describe it. I may just be bad at aiming, but I don’t know. Its not game breaking, but it is noticeable and worth mentioning.
The shotgun they start you off is extremely powerful, and will tear up enemies most of the time in just one shot, but its ammo is limited (at first, but later you’ll have tons of it) and it only holds one shot. After each boss fight you’ll get a blue gem to “insert” into Johnson, which will unlock a new powered up gun. The first one you get is the Teether, which is a machine gun, and probably one of my favorite weapons in the game. It shoots fast, and its just very satisfying to shoot with. After unlocking the teether, the blue gems will give you upgraded versions of the 3 guns that Johnson can transform into. (Examples: The teether gets several barrels added to it, and it gets pretty destructive. The shotgun can hold more bullets, etc)
The game has a darkness mechanic too. Since the game takes place in the underworld, there is a mechanic where sometimes all the light will go away, and the area around you is bathed in a blue tinted darkness, that will kill you if you stay in it too long. Enemies are also invincible while you’re in the darkness. Fortunately, there is almost always an exit to safety where you can safely stay for a moment before going back into the darkness to try to find a Goat head to shoot, which will expell the darkness. Once the darkness is expelled, the enemies that were in the darkness, are still covered in a blue tinted darkness, and cannot be harmed. However, you have to options to fight this. One is the light shot, which you have an unlimited number of. All guns can use this shot, and will expell the darkness from each enemy you aim it at. It will also stun an enemy who has no darkness protecting it, allowing you to shoot it, or simply run up and do a melee finisher (if you’ve damaged it enough).
Your second choice is to use the Johnson torch, which basically lets you slap an enemy in the face with your Johnson. You can also charge this attack up, which will make for an extremely powerful melee attack, and sometimes even a finisher.
Boss fights in the game are very simple, but very fun. It uses the old hit the weak spot technique, and it works well. All the bosses are pretty easy, but really fun, even on hard mode. (Though some bosses on hard mode are tougher then you’d expect) One of my favorite aspect about the bosses is that every major boss in the game has a little story book that describes some back story, in a twisted, but also goofy manner. Garcia and Johnson will read the books out loud and make funny comments about the happenings in the story. All the stories were interesting, and also highly ammusing.
I really liked the visual style of this game too. It uses the unreal engine, but it actually has color diversity, and not washed out shades. I always love it when games running on the unreal engine have nice colors, because its kind of a rarity (at least from what I have personally seen, there might be ones I don’t know about). The game also runs very smooth. I don’t think I ever experienced any slow downs at any point during my 2 full playthroughs (so far) of this game. The game does have a ton of texture loading during gameplay, which is basically the game shows the raw textures and then quickly loads the layers on to the texture to make it look pretty. Its a common occurrence with the unreal engine, and I don’t really mind it that much.
The music in this game is so good. Like I said, I’m a total fan girl of Akira Yamaoka. His music in the game is top notch. It fits the theme and mood of the game, ranging from crazy screaming mixed with ambiance, eerie ambiance, goofy music to fit the goofy mood of the game, and even some stuff that sounds right out of Silent Hill. There are 3 songs in the game I noticed which Mary Elizabeth McGlynn (the singer for the Silent Hill songs) and they all sound great. One of them even has the voice actor Troy Baker as well, and he sounds great as well. According to Grasshopper (the games developer) the full soundtrack will be available late summer this year, and I cannot wait to get my hands on it!
I absolutely adored this game. I always love it when I can find a shooter that I actually can get into. One thats not the typical military or things like that. Just something really out there, and different. This was probably one of my favorite games this generation, so far. Much like 3rd Birthday, I played this game twice in a row, on Normal, and Hard mode. That’s really something I almost never do, but this games humor, gameplay, and just overall everything are too good to me. I really love it, and I think the only complaint I can really think of, is that you can’t skip cutscenes. I love the scenes, however, when I die in the game, I really don’t feel like rewatching cutscenes. Especially when its a part I die on multiple times (Looking at you, Chapter 4-1). Perhaps it could be patched in later. Its just a minor complaint.
If you have ever enjoyed any games / music by the three involved, enjoy whacky humor, or even enjoy games with guns, give this one a look. Its a short game, but very, very fun and worth your time. I know I’ll be replaying this game again again, even if it has no new game +. It doesn’t bother me, because I feel the way the game is balanced, there really is no need for a new game plus.
I’m over a month late writing this one, and I have two more reviews coming relatively soon as well. I have a bit of a backlog on my reviews here, but I’m working on it! I played and finished this game back in like…April I think it was. So I’m writing this from memory, (my memory is not that good… which is actually the reason I started to write these reviews! To help me remember what I played, and how much I liked / loved them) so I may have forgotten some things.
Ever since I got my back in 2009, I’ve been reconnecting with my favorite Nintendo franchises. I had forgotten how much I really love Mario games, and Nintendo first party games in general.
Mario Galaxy 2 is so addicting. Its a lot like Mario Galaxy 1, but so much better. The levels are better, the music is better, and its just generally more fun overall.
I think one of the best changes from Mario Galaxy 1 (which I loved) was the removal of the over world. There is a mini hub world which is basically a mini Mario head that you can talk to people on / find little extra things like a 1up or extra star bits. Beyond that though, you just have a generally straight forward map screen where you select a level on, kind of similar to Super Mario Bros 3 / Mario World. It just makes for easier, faster navigation.
There’s something really addicting about playing this game. While I may have loved Mario Galaxy 1, I certainly did not get into as much as I did with Mario Galaxy 2. I think its for a number of reasons. For one, the difficulty in this game. Its absolutely perfect. Every star in the game isn’t too hard, nor too easy to get. I’ve heard a lot of reviews say its a really hard game, but I felt it was just right. None of the stars that you collect to be able to move forward in the game made me feel like “Theres no way I can ever get this one” which to me, thats “hard”. Some stars took me multiple tries to do, but it was nothign that made me feel “I can’t handle this”, which really did make the game that much more addicting.
I think another thing is, that they removed pretty much all the stages that annoyed me in Mario Galaxy 1. For example, the stages in Mario Galaxy 1 that were entirely just using the Wii mote to make this weird…space plant thing (I have no idea how to describe it) grab Mario, and then quickly move the Wii mote to the next space plant thing to make it grab Mario. None of those stages. Those stages annoyed me, and I was glad they were gone.
There are some stages that involve moving the wii mote around to glide on a bird, and at first I really didn’t like them, but once I got used to the control style for those levels, I was really okay with them. These levels are few and far between anyway, and they make for nice breaks from the regular platforming. Also the slide themed stages from the original galaxy also return. I hated them in Galaxy 1, but not in 2. Either I got better at them, or they were tweaked to controller better, because I had no problem this time around.
Another great addition to the game is bringing back Yoshi. While riding Yoshi, you can use the Wii mote and target a few enemies by placing the cursor over them, and Yoshi will then eat them all. You can also use the Wii mote when you have an enemy in Yoshi’s mouth, and spit them out at another enemy. Its a lot of fun. Theres also spicey peppers that Yoshi can eat that make him run around like crazy. and lets him run up walls. Yoshi can also do his air hover when you press the jump button twice and hold it down, which is nice too. I think, Yoshi is probably my new favorite addition to the gameplay.
One thing that I truely hated about Mario Galaxy 1 was the Spring Mario power up. I didn’t think it controlled very well, and it just generally frustrated me when ever I had to play as it. Well, hes back in 2, but used very, very sparingly. Much like the slide stages that I mentioned earlier, I either got better, or they tweaked the controls a bit, because once again, I really had no problem. It could also have been the level design, because Spring Mario really never presented any frustrating problems this time around.
The bosses in Galaxy 2 are a load of fun. Theres some bosses lifted and modified from the firsit Galaxy game, but they were so much fun to fight it doesn’t bother me, personally. Most of the bosses are pretty simple, but are really well designed. They won’t puzzle you on how to damage them, but you’ll have a hell of a lot of fun doing hitting them. Most of them aren’t hard, but aren’t easy either. I think the hardest boss for me, is the dragon boss. Hes a hard guy to fight. His body is very long, and you have to hit the pink spots on his body. The catch is, you have to watch out, because since his body is so long, when you’re thinking your about to get a hit on him, he’ll sneak up behind you and hit you. Later on, there’s a version of him that’s on fire, that is actually pretty tough!
The levels in Mario Galaxy 2 are really awesome. They look great, are designed awesomely, and have very fitting, and very catchy music to go along with it. There are some levels from Galaxy 1 thrown in, which I assume are either fan favorites, or developer favorites (I have no idea, I’m just guessing here.) They even (as far as I remember) have the same objectives as the original games. Its not really a bad thing, because the levels in Mario Galaxy 1 were great. Besides, most of the games levels are brand new.
The new levels look really great, especially the beach / water ones. They just have this ambiance to them… thats really calm and pretty. The music those levels is really relaxing, and just creates a really nice mood while I’m playing. It almost felt like a calm adrenaline rush. It was one of those moments where I said to myself “this is that “defining moment” where I realise I love this game.
Minor spoilers for this next paragraph.
One of my favorite levels in the game, is actually a remake of an old Super Mario 64 level, Thwomp’s Fortress. It looks just as it did back in the day, but obviously graphically updated. It was a great nostalgic throwback to my days playing Mario 64 when I was only 9 or 10. The galaxy is even called “Throwback Galaxy”! Fitting! :) The level even has an AWESOME jazzy remix of the music from Thwomp’s Fortress. Though I have to say, Thwomp’s are pretty deadly now! If you’re not careful, they will kill you in one hit this time around!
End minor spoilers
The story of Mario Galaxy 2 is generally the same as it was in the first, Bowser goes into space to conquer the galaxy. This time around though, there is only an intro and an ending. Theres nothing in between, and theres no Rolsalina (in the story, at least). I actually like this approach. (Though, I did like the story, and cutscenes in Mario Galaxy 1, it was really cute!). The minimal story approach however, is a great idea that I certainly welcome. It keeps me playing at all times, being immersed in the games awesomeness!
I had such a wonderful time playing Mario Galaxy 2. It was a well balanced, and addicting platformer. I beat the game with 106 stars, which is oddly… how many I managed to get in Mario 64 back when I was a kid! I honestly can’t think of anything negative at all to say about Mario Galaxy 2. Its a wonderful game that deserves top to be played by any Nintendo fan, or anyone just looking to play a game that is exactly what we love about games: fun, with no strings attached.
I love your taste in games and your reviews are so genuinely real. Not some bull fact based, tech based, graphics based bullox. (sorry about the swearing lol) but yh. :)
Anyways I am surprised in the about me section you did not add Res Evil 1,2,3 (the new ones have become an action game and not a survival horror, not my thing). But why would you not add Jill Valentine in that list. Her and the Zombies in Res Evil 3 will always give me night mares.
Thank you so much for that compliment, I really appreacite it!!! I love to enjoy games for what they are!!:)
As for the about me, I do love the old RE’s, a lot. I just wanted to keep the about me section short & about the series that I’m obsessed with on an unhealthy level lol :). RE3 is the only RE that still scares me, even after multiple playthroughs!! Nemesis really makes me feel powerless :D