Saturday, January 1, 2011

Game of the Year 2010 Fifth ( and final ) Nomination: Super Mario Galaxy 2

Super Mario Galaxy 2 is exactly what the title's more Super Mario Galaxy. Though I'm usually not a big fan of this type of "more of the same," sequel, Super Mario Galaxy 2 totally proved that you can have a "more of the same" sequel that doesn't feel like, well... more of the same. An entirely new and stremlined hub world made it easy to jump from one level to another, and the levels themselves took some of the more brilliant ideas from the first Mario Galaxy game and expanded on them. There's no shortage of platforming brilliance in this game, and the visuals do a great job of working around the Wii's weak graphics capabilities. This is one of the best-looking platformers this generation, HD system or not. The art direction's fantastic, the lighting effects are beautiful, and the camera's very cooperative. Enemy designs and boss designs look better than ever. Even the challenge has been ramped up a bit from the first Mario Galaxy game.

With the exception of the story and the final boss battle, Super Mario Galaxy 2 is an improvement over the first Super Mario Galaxy in every way, which is an accomplishment, since the first Mario Galaxy was one of the best games this generation. Mario Galaxy 2 proved itself as being much more than a $50 expansion pack to Galaxy 1, and it deserves the near-universal critical acclaim it's been given.

And those are the nominees. I'll need a bit more time to give them all a fair shake but I'll have a GOTY winner up soon.


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