|Super Mario Galaxy|
Super Mario Galaxy|
Written by James Hobbs
Glimpsed for the first time at this year’s E3 in Los Angeles, Super Mario Galaxy is a game that has been in development for a very long
time indeed. In fact, since Super Mario Sunshine came out on the GameCube all those years ago. It’s difficult to ascertain precisely
whether or not the years spent in development have been worth it, but from this first look, Super Mario Galaxy looks absolutely intriguing.
Thankfully Nintendo have opted to shy away slightly from the traditional Mario game mechanic, in even more of a drastic fashion than they
did with the water cannon in Super Mario Sunshine. The E3 demo was set in outer space, which presumably will be the setting for the entire
game, with Mario navigating his way around floating satellites and other cosmic debris. The graphics, even at this stage, are very sharp
and colourful, with the frame rate thankfully being consistently high. Think of a higher-resolution Mario Sunshine, with a lot more going
on. The backgrounds are just as detailed, with beautiful cosmic clouds and stars twinkling as Mario manically dashes along the floating
rocks. Navigation from object to object is by means of a small star that launches Mario through space – accompanied by beautiful movement
and graphics as he soars through space. Certainly this is one of the prettiest Mario games ever. It is for this reason that I've decided
to post a video of it in action from E3 - no screenshots do this game justice. This video doesn't either, but it'll give you an idea.
Interestingly, the remote controller is not used to manipulate Mario as you may think. The analogue stick on the ‘nunchuck’ attachment
is used to move Mario, with the Wii remote being used as an attack – spinning the remote causes Mario to launch into a spinning attack,
used for clearing the path of enemies or other destructible obstacles. This will certainly make the game easier to pick up and play for
anyone who has played Mario before – utilising the Wii remote may take a bit of getting used to however. One of the strangest features
is that Mario can run around the floating objects – all the way around them, in 360 degrees. Think of it as running round the Earth,
albeit an Earth around the size of a small house. This may make the controls somewhat strange at first, but in hindsight is an incredibly
good idea as it adds yet another dynamic to the gameplay.
The demo showed familiar enemies to battle, including the ‘Bullet bill’ adversaries from Mario games of old. The gameplay seems fairly
simple, with Mario having to lead the Bullet bills around until they crash into various objects. It remains to be seen how Nintendo
will maintain a difficulty curve throughout and keep the gameplay varied, but as Shigeru Miyamoto has already said he does not expect
Galaxy to launch with the Wii, there is plenty of time for Nintendo to implement more. What has been seen so far is but a glimpse of
the finished software.