First Impressions: Twinkle, twinkle, little plumber, how I wonder who you are. Up above the world so high, like a spicy meat-a-ball sprinkled with the cheddar on-a the noodle in the sky.
Castles are a thing of the past. Nintendo wants you to look to the stars. In prepping its odd -- however innovative -- Wii system, Nintendo's 2007 roster shines brightest with the mother of all Wii games on the horizon. Super Mario Galaxy is Mario like you've never experienced before. Yes, Mario always has something different cooking each time you play a new platform title
starring the company's lovable mascot. But this time in particular, Mario is no longer constricted by the flatness of 2D or going to navigate a fixed amount of 3D terrain. Mario, the potbellied plumber, is suiting up for his most "astronomical" adventure yet.
The story details of Mario's upcoming journey aren't known yet, not that they need to be. What is known about this latest installment in the franchise is that Mario will roam 3D space. That's not just clever wordplay either; Mario will literally orbit the galaxy's crust up there in outer space's starry-eyed field of black. Using the Wii's remote guidance in the game may put players off at first, considering that when you think about interacting with a character on a controller that utilizes 3D motion sensing may appear confusing. Fret not, however. The only trick the Wii remote will have in store for this Mario game really, is its ability to twirl the plumber around where needed. Otherwise, the remote can center the camera of the game manually (this'll come automatically as well) while the nunchuck attachment will guide Mario around planet surfaces.
This spinning tactic that'll become a necessity to Mario's travels is used to whirl him when under attack by enemies, as well as for travel. An oversized squid boss resting in magma (ouch) will spit fireballs and pieces of fruit at Mario. Avoid cooking with fire, then return the fruit with a twirling action enough times to make calamari out of this monster, and you'll be done in the kitchen. Another thing to know about spinning your troubles away is that Mario will no longer hop and bounce across open plains, water worlds, and all that. Mario will now be one with the cosmos. Here's the thing: there are going to be many asteroid-sized globes Mario can attach himself to. By activating star panels with his twisted ways, Mario will be able to soar from one plot of ground to the next, diving into his usual jump-based activities wherever he may land. From wailing away at Goombas to solving puzzles that'll free trapped stars, the 3D Mario gameplay you know and love is coming back with much tweakage that's looking to refresh the series for the better as it always has.
Mario fans should have nothing to fear if you want your last generation graphics separate from your next-generation graphics. Super Mario Galaxy is to be the prize example of what every other Wii game should look like. Variations of spherical turf Mario is enabled to walk circles around -- of glossy, rocky, grassy, and other surfaces -- display mouth watering renderings in brightly colored texture and lighting designs. Sailing across the dreamy Milky Way gives off flowing lines of blues and zoomed star panning in a dazzling array of visual magnificence only the best of the best from Nintendo's stock (i.e. Mario) can bring to the table.