Super Mario Galaxy 2

The sequel to Mario's space adventure
SeriousGamer - Staff Reviewer

Content at a glance:

Mild Cartoon Violence: Enemies are flattened or sent flying, some lose heads, enemies vanish after defeat, bosses explode into bubbles.

Spiritual Content: Ghosts are seen, enemies use magic wands.

Destruction: Robotic enemies explode.

A long time ago, in a galaxy… oh, wrong galaxy.

Beam me up…no, that’s still the wrong galaxy.

Nintendo’s famous plumber has been to a lot of places over the years. I think it’s safe to say he’s been to just about every corner of the Mushroom Kingdom, but that didn’t stop Mario from exploring strange new corners. In 2007, Mario decided to go pretty much out of this world and into Nintendo’s version of the final frontier in the critically acclaimed title, Super Mario Galaxy. Our plumbing hero couldn’t get enough of space travel because now, three years afterwords, Mario’s blasting off again from one bizarre galaxy to the next in Super Mario Galaxy 2.

Plot

As any Mario fan can predict with almost perfect accuracy, this game begins with an invitation and a kidnapping. The Mushroom Kingdom’s number one (and really only) damsel-in-distress, Princess Peach invites her hero Mario to share some cake with her at the Star Festival, a rare occasion when Star Bits rain down like a meteor shower. Mario, naturally, accepts and is soon on his way to Peach’s castle. On the way, he meets a small, star-like being called a Luma, who soon decides to stay under Mario’s cap. When he gets to the castle, however, Mario comes across a giant problem. His archenemy, Bowser, is on the rampage. Normally, this wouldn’t be a problem, but this time Bower is about the size of Peach’s castle. It doesn’t take long for the Koopa King to wrap one of his claws around Peach and carry her off into space. Mario quickly follows and he ends up landing on a mobile planet. The pilot, Lubba, gives control of the ship to Mario and designs it so it looks just like our hero. Now aboard his new faceship, Mario sets off in hot pursuit of Bowser.

Gameplay

If you’ve played any of Mario’s past games like Sunshine or Galaxy, you’ll have a fair idea of what to do here. Players control Mario with the Wii Remote and Nunchuck. By swinging the remote, Mario will spin, which is helpful to knock an enemies away.

The game takes place almost entirely aboard Starship Mario and goes through six worlds with a number of galaxies (courses) in each, just like the Mario games of old. Each galaxy has a certain number of power stars for you to collect, some of which are hidden off the beaten path. You’ll often have to revisit some galaxies to get enough stars to move on. At the end of each world is a castle of some kind. Beat the castle boss and you move on to the next world.

Mario can also find items that change his form and give him new abilities. Some of this includes the Fire Flower, Rock Mushroom, which is just the start. Sometimes, you’ll even find your old friend Yoshi to lend a hand.

All in all, it’s pretty much your basic platform game.

Offensive Content

Mild Cartoon Violence:

If you’ve played any of the Mario games, even the old ones on the Virtual Console, you’ll know just what to expect in terms of this game and the violence present in it. Mario runs into his familiar foes, the Goombas (mushroom-like creatures), Koopas and others. Violence is kept to jumping on top of them, and some enemies flatten under our hero’s bounce. Mario can also spin into an enemy, which knocks it over. He can then send enemies flying off into the wild black (hey it’s space after all) yonder. Mario can also run over them or toss a fireball at them depending on whether or not he picked up a certain item. Some of the plant-like enemies can have their heads pulled off, but no matter how you dispatch them, enemies will simply vanish, leaving behind some Star Bits.

Mario also gets bumped around a bit. He can also be flattened and have the seat of his pants set on fire, which appears to be played for humor. This is all mild and cartoon-like as well.

A few big bosses will explode in a cloud of bubbles, but that’s the worst it gets in terms of violence.

Spiritual Content:

A few of the galaxies you visit resemble haunted houses, and as you could probably expect, you’ll run into ghosts, mostly the familiar Boos. This is pretty standard for Mario games, so if you’ve played the other ones and didn’t have a problem, you probably won’t have a problem with these.

Also making another appearance is the Magikoopa, a Koopa sorcerer. These enemies wield magic wands and they like using them. Their magic doesn’t seem to be of the occult. They just wave it around and a few shapes fly at you. Sometimes, these shapes turn into enemies as well, but the Magikoopas don’t say any magic words, incantations, or really anything at all.

The game also revolves around collecting Power Stars, but they never explain what sort of power the stars have. In the game, they seem to be used as fuel for the starship, but I think they could also be seen as having magic properties. It could really go either way.

******************Possible Spoilers********************

At the end, one character calls herself the “protector of the cosmos” and alludes to the stars influencing things. This character also gives what might be a blessing by saying, “May the stars shine down upon you.”

******************Spoilers End********************

Destruction:

A few enemies are robotic and explode when you defeat them. Sometimes, the explosions are rather large.

Other Areas of Concern:

Some of the enemies and bosses are a bit scary looking, so it might not be a good idea to let really young kids play this.

Conclusion:

I first blasted off with Mario when Super Mario Galaxy came out. I never did finish that first space flight, so I was expecting a similar experience from the sequel. I wanted to play Galaxy 2, but I was sure it would be just as hard as the original. If anyone thought the same, rest assured, Galaxy 2 is a bit easier than its predecessor. Bear in mind, I said a bit.

I also heard the ending to Galaxy raised a few eyebrows on the Christian front. This game offers little questionable content in both story and the actual content, so most gamers can rest easy in that area as well. Yes, there are ghosts and some use of magic. The ambiguity of the nature of the Power Stars is also worth mentioning, but none of these areas blot out all the stars in this game’s sky. All of this is really classic Mario content, just given a slightly different spin, what with the whole starship and space exploration. If you’ve played any of the previous Mario games, with the exception of one Paper Mario title, I recommend taking off on Starship Mario and on Super Mario Galaxy 2.




Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this Spotlight review are those of the reviewer (both ratings and recommendations), and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Eden Communications or the Christian Answers Network.

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