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The New Features of Super Mario Galaxy 2

In this generation, Nintendo has had issues appealing to both their hardcore fans and the new, casual fans that aren’t familiar with their existing franchises. With Super Mario Galaxy 2, however, Nintendo hopes to please both sides with new mechanics and features that make the game more difficult and more accessible at the same time.

How does Nintendo plan to do this? For starters, they have ramped up the difficulty for players who are somewhat accustomed with the first game and remember all of the basics. In fear that this would be too overwhelming for some players, Nintendo has implemented many ways to help players, one of which should be recognizable to anyone who has played New Super Mario Bros Wii: Hint TV. In certain sections of the game, you will come across a television. Should you decide to watch said television, it will show you how to do perform actions such as crossing a gap or using a brand new power-up.

Mario avoids one of the many creatures he faces

Another way Nintendo plans on helping newcomers is with the Cosmic Witch. The Cosmic Witch will show up in specific places to get to you past certain points should you either spend too much time in the level or die too often trying to pass the one point. When she appears, she aids the player by literally playing the game for them. The only downside to using the Cosmic Witch for anything is that instead of getting a gold star at the end of the level, you’ll receive a bronze star. This means that the Cosmic Witch isn’t a magic win button; it’s more of a guide to show you how something is done until you are able to do it yourself.

Co-op play in the first game involved a second player using their own Wii Remote as a pointer to aid Mario in his quest to collect stars with limited functionality. This was geared to help newcomers get through any troubles they may have had in the game. Super Mario Galaxy 2 brings back Co-op play with more even more features to help players. In addition to freezing enemies, grabbing and firing star bits, and help Mario jump to greater heights; the pointer can now kill enemies and grab power-ups and coins to make things even easier.

Just because the difficulty has been raised and there are tools in place to help newcomers doesn’t mean that there are no new power ups for players to use to get through the levels. Yoshi, Mario’s long-time partner, was noticeably missing from the first game. This is not the case in the sequel, as Yoshi makes his return with his own set of power-ups. Should Yoshi eat various fruits strewn about a level, he will turn a different color and take on a characteristic unique to that fruit and color.

Mario is finally reunited with an old friend 

For example, if Yoshi eats a pepper, he will start running around the level extremely fast. With his speed comes the ability to run up walls until either the power-up time runs out or he runs into an object such as a barrier or enemy. If Yoshi eats a blimp berry, Yoshi will puff up like a balloon and turn blue. While in this state Yoshi can propel himself and Mario to great heights. If you hold down the A button, Yoshi will stop blowing air and you will be able to float. Beware, as Yoshi’s time in this form is limited. Lastly, Yoshi can also eat a bulb berry and turn yellow. If you’ve played the first game, you may remember a level in which Mario is guided by a light that illuminates invisible platforms so you can stand on them. If you couldn’t see the platforms, you would fall to your death. Yellow Yoshi functions similarly to the light- he will be a source of light that allows you to stand on the invisible platforms around you.

Just because Yoshi has his own new tricks doesn’t mean that Mario isn’t getting some himself. In fact, Mario will don two new suits with new abilities: Cloud Mario and Rock Mario. Finding a Cloud hat transforms you into Cloud Mario. Upon transforming into Cloud Mario, 3 small clouds will follow you until you twirl in the air. Should you twirl in the air, a platform will appear beneath your feet allowing you to do things such as get across a large gap or reaching the top of tower. Should you come across a Rock mushroom, you will become Rock Mario. Rock Mario has the ability to turn into a rock and hurl himself forward at great speeds with very little control. If you run into a wall, Mario will come out of his rock form.

Mario's often sidelined brother, Luigi, makes his return from the first game as well. The only difference is now Luigi is available in random levels; before, he was only available as a player once the game was beaten and all of the stars were collected. Just like in the first game, his movement behavior is slightly different in hope of an added challenge. With all of the new features set in place, Nintendo has done a great job to bridge the gap between the hardcore and the casual player and therefore creating a game that everyone can enjoy.

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