Is it the best Mario game ever?
Shhh! Don’t say it out loud in case the fanboys hear you, but Mario’s last adventure - Super Mario Sunshine on GameCube - wasn’t that good, and diluted the delirious platform hopping of earlier excursions to the Mushroom Kingdom by giving players a rubbish jetpack. But in Super Mario Galaxy, Nintendo devotees finally have a game worthy of being considered the spiritual successor to Nintendo’s hallowed genre classic, Super Mario 64.
Set on a series of alien planets packed with puzzles, the game returns to the intelligent platforming action of old, assaulting players with endless brain-ticklers that must be solved to progress, each bound in the fiendishly addictive jumping action that made Mario a household name. Like The Legend Of Zelda: Twilight Princess, the game also uses the Wii’s motion controls in a subtle and intuitive way, never shoehorning gesture-based controls into the action and only using them when they complement the delirious action.
A range of costumes that imbue Mario with special powers - flying, hurling fireballs, transforming into a bee - also help refine the formula that made SM64 one of the greatest videogames ever made, and the naysayers who criticise the Wii’s notoriously shoddy graphics will also be shocked by the crisp and imaginative visuals that give similar titles on the PS3 and Xbox 360 a run for their money.
A genuine contender for 2007’s best action game, Super Mario Galaxy is a platformer that no Nintendo fan should be without.