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“I’m huuuuuge!”

So, I returned Super Mario Galaxy 2 yesterday. I’d gotten around 36 stars and had reached World 4, I think. I enjoyed the game.


In a way, I found it kinda hard to be really enthusiastic about Galaxy 2. It’s a fun, very nicely-made game that offers both kid-friendly stages and proper challenges that test your skill and reactions. The controls are simple and concise and easy to pick up and play. It’s the kind of decent game that’s very easy to take for granted, which in a way is kinda distressing.
Like, some games, even for all their flaws, just have a certain something that makes me spew lovegushing about them at a knot-five rate. Like, Bionic Commando. You can swing around so easily and you can throw people so hard they hit the skybox. It’s also got a really dumb way of replaying levels, uncomfortable loading times and feels like it could’ve been structured better, but since the first point is just so greatly done, it’s got raving about it (and although I do need to replay it again to see how it’s held up since the, uh, three months since I bought it, I still see it as a decent game). Mario Galaxy 2 is a competently made game that looks like it’s got a lot to do, but, well, it’s a Mario game, so there’s no real surprises.

I do admire how easy it is to just leap into the game – I felt, when starting a fresh file on the first Mario Galaxy a year or two ago, that it was quite slow to really start unlocking more levels. That’s also what I hated about Super Mario Sunshine – unlocking new levels was a slow and boring process, and in the end you could barely tell the difference – oh snap, they’re all sunny and sandy and shit! Talk about diverse environment themes!
I still hold Super Mario 64 great in that regard – after one level that basically shows you the ropes of the game (and for audiences, uh, in the past, it shows them just how fancy-pants this 3D stuff is and how to get used to the analogue stick) you can unlock two more levels, and then two more stars and you’ve got a fourth level. it slows down a bit in terms of new levels from there, but right off the bat you’ve got a nice variety. Super Mario Galaxy 2 was practically throwing new worlds at me even by the time I’d returned it.

I’m wondering if one reason why I’m not as enthusiastic as I could be (and why I haven’t been replaying the first game as much) is, well, the controls. I mean, they work near enough perfectly for the game – waggling is a decent enough way of doing actions, and pointing at Star Bits, grabbing onto Pull Stars and so on, the Wii Remote pointer controls are rather vital… but I just think I don’t have the patience to play with the Wii Remote and Nunchuk. It’s not totally uncomfortable controlling Mario using the Nunchuk stick, but I think I’d just feel more comfortable if I were gripping something a little more tangible, like, y’know, a gamepad. I think that’s why I’ve been barely touching the Wii lately – I just don’t have the patience for all this motion control malarkey, I just want two sticks and a dozen buttons strewn across a vaguely-ergonomic piece of plastic to play my games with.

Um, I was meant to be talking about Super Mario Galaxy 2 in today’s post, right?

It’s a fun game, and I would like to play the game to the end sometime. I admit early in the week I had a sudden biting desire to play the game; I’m talking surprisingly keen to play it, as in I was desperate to rush down to the nearest game shop and pay full price for the thing, just to satisfy my itch for a 3D platforming romp-around. But I think I was just keen to play a cutesy 3D platformer again; all the games I’ve been playing lately are grim and gritty and brown and it gets a bit tiresome after a while. I’m glad I rented it, but I think I can live without buying the game for a while now. Perfect rental, though. More satisfying than Sonic Colours. At least I returned Mario Galaxy 2 knowing what it was meant to be.


I watched Taken on Thursday. An ex-CIA agent’s daughter is kidnapped while on holiday alone in Paris by a ring of prostitute farmers, and he is royally pissed.
So he gets her back.
End of story.


No, there’s not much story, but in a way, that’s what actually makes it interesting. The Bourne movies, for instance, are thrill-a-minute affairs with lots of drama, espionage and face-punching going on. Taken is like the low-fat Bourne; the main character (played by Liam Neeson!) doesn’t have any dilemmas over his forgotten past, nor is there any drama over who he’s working for or what his goal in life is, or any bullshit, really. He just wants his daughter back, and that’s that. He doesn’t accept negotiations, he doesn’t accept excuses, he doesn’t accept the villains giving dramatic monologues during climatic moments – he wants his daughter back.

It’s a pretty grim movie, but at the same time, never lingers on or glamorises any of the stuff. Okay, sure, there’s a freakin’ torture scene where a guy is electrocuted through jagged spikes rammed into his legs, and the whole affair is pretty grim, sure, but it’s the kind of movie that I could let my mother watch. The criminal organisation’s work isn’t lingered on so you can happily tune out just how unpleasant it is, and for all the peeps Neeson pops caps into, it doesn’t glamorise it or try and make it seem stylish or anything – it’s just a guy doing what he needs to do to get answers, especially when no one else is helping him.

And, in a way, this “tuned out” approach makes the thing seem more personal and more optimistic. He’s not looking to stop the entire organisation; no, he’s in it just for his daughter. Let someone else take care of the people farmers! It does, however, completely gloss over the mental anguish of the daughter, who was kidnapped, nearly raped, had her best friend killed, and presumably went through all manner of untold emotional suffrage… because whoo, her dad got her singing lessons with her favourite pop star! HAPPY END.
Cynicism aside, it was a very entertaining watch. Anyone who liked Bourne, The Transporter and other such high-octane flicks will like this.


  1. MightyKombat wrote:

    Point 1: Eff offf, Ricco Harbour was a kickass looking level.

    Point : I want “I will find you, and I will kill you” to be a meme. Its miles better than all the Touhou memes put together

    Sunday, June 26, 2011 at 12:40 pm | Permalink
  2. Ragey wrote:

    Ricco Harbour was the best level in Sunshine, and I’m partial to Noki Bay from a design perspective, but the rest of the game’s levels just kinda blur together.

    Sunday, June 26, 2011 at 4:03 pm | Permalink
  3. MightyKombat wrote:

    Ricco was probably the most banging place to go on Delfino

    No fucking beehives for one.

    Tuesday, June 28, 2011 at 10:13 pm | Permalink