There come several times in a console's life where a everybody-must-get-this-game comes along. On the DS so far, there have been New Super Mario Bros, Animal Crossing and Zelda Phantom Hourglass, wheras on the Wii, we've seen our way through Twilight Princess and Resident Evil 4. That's where Super Mario Galaxy comes in...
Quite simply, this is by far one of the best games ever made. It advances way beyond Super Mario 64 did in it's time, but still plays quite similarly to the classic. The story this time is that you must travel through many different galaxies to rescue princess Peach from Bowsers new lair (set in space). When you get into the beyond, a strange woman named Rosalina decides to help you out on her own space ship, which you use as your main hub. From here, you can travel to nearby galaxies and attempt to complete several missions in each. These missions can vary from about five to twenty minutes, but most of them offer something new and innovative that'll make you want to go back and play it again.
You control the game using the nunchuck to run, using A to jump and Z to crouch. By using combinations of these moves, you can perform all the usual array of tricks (such as backflips and long jumps), with no real alterations on Super Mario 64. There is an extra feature that does play a big part though, and that is the addition of star bits.
Scattered throughout each level, there will be an array of "star bits" which you collect by aiming the Wii remote pointer at them. Then, by using B, you can fire these star bits at enimies to briefly distract them ir stop them in their tracks. The aiming for this isn't always that good, but you'll find that you rarely need them anyway, and instead just use them for purchasing new planets offering mini games and secret levels. In this game, coins play a much smaller part than the others, and they are much less common than in Mario's 2D adventures.
The levels themselves though, are excellent fun, and offer levels of enjoyment I haven't seen in a game before. This is all helped out by the colourful palette and brilliantly performed orchestral soundtrack. The graphics in this game appear to stretch the Wii's technical limitaions to their highest point, and although this is a Mario game, it sports some of the best presentation you'll ever see on the console.
The only bad point I can think of is that the game's difficulty is often varied, and so is sometimes a bit easy for those really hardcore gamers out there. There is still a fair share of difficult challenges in there though as well, with the odd one being frustratingly hard for a while. It can still be semi-completed by youngsters though, since only 60 of the 120 missions must be completed to go against Bowser, and with a huge stash of extra lives available at ease around the hub, you'll rarely get a Game Over screen.
As a little extra, there is a two player mode as well, where an extra player can use their pointer to make Mario jump or collect star bits for you. This works fairly well, and is useful for helping less able gamers through those "ARGH" moments, but we think that it would have been cooler to let the other player control Luigi, or even go head to head on certain stages (such as the one where you race the penguin down the track).
Overall though, this is a fantastic single player experience, with a massive variety of things to do with little boredom or frustration whatsoever. There's loads to do for those that really can't put the game down, with many extra levels, secrets and stars hidden across the game. This game is a must buy for anyone who has a love of video games. Or even fun at all, for that matter.