Super Mario Galaxy 2

 
(i)

 

Brilliant platformer a surefire hit for virtually all ages.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The game offers a light and whimsical good-versus-evil story that offers little in the way of morals or lessons. However, play focuses on proble- solving and encourages players to work with a friend in local cooperative mode.

Positive role models

Mario is the archetypal video game good guy. His goal, as usual, is to rescue Princess Peach from the clutches of the always grumpy and power-hungry monster Bowser; and he teams up with and helps plenty of other characters along the way. Mario fights plenty of cartoon-like, non-human enemies, but they’re all trying to do him harm so it’s mostly in self defense. Plus, his brand of jump-on-a-bad-guy-to-flatten-him action is about as innocuous as video game violence gets.

Ease of play

The controls are fairly simple and you're provided good in-game instructions on how to use them. Televisions scattered throughout the game show tips on how to perform certain moves. If players are having a really hard time, a cosmic guide may appear to show them how to get to that level’s star. It can be very challenging in some areas, but should players grow frustrated they usually have the option of going off and exploring other levels. Plus the Co-Star mode let's parents help younger children, or in the case of experienced kid players, vice versa.

Violence & scariness

As in other Mario games, our hero can jump on cartoony characters (goombas, chain chomps, and other enemies) to flatten them or use a whirlwind-like spin attack to hit them, stun them, and then make them disappear. Players can also have Mario turn into a rock to roll into and knock away characters in his path, shoot koopa troopa shells and fireballs at enemies, and use a handheld drill to tunnel through the ground and come up on the other side of small planets with the pointy drill end poking into foes. It’s all extremely cartoonish, and none of Mario’s enemies are human.

Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

This game is the latest in Nintendo’s juggernaut Mario series, the most popular game franchise in the world.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Super Mario Galaxy 2 is a nearly all-ages platformer with only mild cartoon violence. Mario is the quintessential video game protagonist, an unquestionably good soul journeying to save his princess from an evil monster named Bowser. He fights enemies, but only those of the cartoonish, non-human variety and using whimsical attacks, such as ground pounds, spins, and special abilities that let him turn into a rolling boulder or use a dinosaur’s tongue to grab and swallow up foes. Several situations force players to put on their thinking caps to solve tricky platforming problems and figure out how to beat clever bosses. If you let your kids play the original, there’s no reason not to let them play this one, too. It’s worth adding, though, that Mario is possibly the most commercial video game property in existence, and once a child begins on this plumber’s path, there’s really no turning back.

What's it about?

Poor Peach, Mario’s perpetual princess in distress, is kidnapped by the beastly, shell-backed Bowser yet again at the outset of SUPER MARIO GALAXY 2, a sequel to one of the Wii’s most popular games. As Mario sets out on his journey to save her he enlists the aid of a pudgy purple spaceship mechanic named Lubba, who sets him up with a giant Mario head of a spaceship that lets him travel the galaxy in search of his abducted royal. The only catch is that the ship is fueled by power stars, and Mario has to earn them one by one by visiting various galaxies, working his way through countless platforming challenges, and defeating quick and crafty bosses. Along the way, he’ll find and ride on his old friend Yoshi the dinosaur, discover useful items, and locate loads of power-ups. A second player can join in on the fun by using a second remote to collect starbits and coins and distract enemies.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Recent Mario platformers have tended to take the form of original games rather than direct sequels, but Nintendo game brain Shigeru Miyamoto believed the original Super Mario Galaxy only scratched the surface of the sort of platforming possible in a space-themed world. Apparently he was right, because while the second game feels very much like its predecessor in terms of graphics and controls, very little of what players do is the same.

Mario has loads of fresh powers, such as tumbling around like a boulder as Rock Mario and flying through walls as Boo Mario. Plus, the platforming challenges are at least as clever and compelling as those found in the original. For example, shoving Jenga-style blocks around a wood-themed galaxy is great fun, as is using a giant drill to tunnel through and inside of planets. Meanwhile, the addition of Yoshi creates a slew of new possibilities, whether it’s eating a bulb berry to light a path through an invisible haunted house or using his talented tongue to grab and swallow enemies. Put simply, Super Mario Galaxy 2 is the medium of games at its very best. Child or parent, this is one not to be missed.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about Mario’s continued all-ages appeal. One generation after another has flocked to his games, and parents and grandparents continue to have as much fun with him as they did when they were younger. What is it about this franchise that has made it the most popular not just in our country, but around the world? What do you like about it?

  • Families can also discuss the role of male and female characters in the Mario games. Does it seem like the females are always in need of rescuing? Do you think this might have some impact on how the kids who play these games view men and women? Or is it all so fantastical that gender roles hold little meaning?

Game details

Platforms:Nintendo Wii
Price:$49.99
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Nintendo
Release date:May 23, 2010
Genre:Adventure
ESRB rating:E for Mild Cartoon Violence (Nintendo Wii)

This review of Super Mario Galaxy 2 was written by

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Quality

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Teen, 13 years old Written bySovaso March 25, 2012
 

Good.....for a Sequel

I am a very truthful person so I'm not going to lie, this game didn't live up to the popular rave. The graphics and music are great, 9/10 each, but the gameplay is terrible: 6/10. Only some levels are fun: Yoshi levels, boss levels and one level called "The Tall Tree's Big Slide". Levels: 7/10. Mario is a great role model, he saves the day on multiple occasions. Lubba and Yoshi also help Mario throughout his quest to save Princess Peach, therefore, they serve as great role models. The game relays several messages. One such message is to take a break from the game when Lubba tells you to take a break from adventuring. Another message that is relayed is friends help friends, like when Yoshi helps you in your quest to save the princess. The whole "save the damsel in distress" idea can be a positive message too. Kids will have to put their problem solving skills to the test to defeat the enemy AI (artificial intelligence). Kids will also have to navigate puzzling labyrinths. There is little violence in the game. Some scary creatures are seen and can frighten anyone under the age of six. As with past Mario games, you hop on foes and launch fireballs with a certain powerup. There is a new powerup where you turn into a boulder and roll over enemies. Overall, I give this game a 7.5/10. If you want a better game, go with the original Super Mario Galaxy. It's 30 dollars less and a way better game.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Kid, 12 years old January 1, 2011
 

Go Mario 2!

Extremely fun. I absolutely love playing as Yoshi. I think it's great how easy to play it all is and how much pride they put in their work.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Teen, 14 years old Written byDug428 November 25, 2010
 

Great, but hard. Good for all gamers.

The game plays really good the controls are spot-on, and the story is pretty good. The evels have very clever design, and the bosses are okay. In some portions the game gets VERY frustrating, like when you have cosmic clones attacking you while you are trying to get a goldenchain chomp to the end of the room, ut it is a good challenge. Better than the first game.

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