As I start the game, I have to say that the side-scroller introduction is not particularly well done. They’ve clouded out a large portion of the screen and all of the Toads’ speech bubbles are taking up an annoying amount of screen real estate. I’m also a bit confused–I guess this isn’t a continuation of the Super Mario Galaxy 1 story, but an odd retelling in which a giant Bowser again snatches Peach from the castle during the centennial star festival.
They throw you right into gameplay after the introduction. The first level is very reminiscent of the first level in Super Mario Galaxy 1–I’m at Yoshi’s house and I have to “go around back.” As I progress through the level I’m picking up some interesting changes, mostly the flags at respawn points (Super Mario Bros. Wii, anyone?) and the warp point that took me to a little mini-space where I could grab a rainbow star (invincibility!) and blast a bunch of bad guys real quick for 3 1ups.
The Boss is a piranha that is much the same as the first boss in Super Mario Galaxy 1, except this time I’m essentially spanking the baby piranha plant on his bottom until it’s very red, which makes me feel vaguely naughty. When his tantrum’s over, I get my first power star!
Unfortunately, the fat purple star (Lubba) takes it from me. I’m outraged until I realize that I will now have control over his planet/ship. Mwa hahaha!
He changes the appearance of the ship and okay… now the ship looks like a floating head. A giant, floating Mario head. The absurdity is not lost on Lubba (he’s a sharp tack, that one). Anyways, now I’m in charge of my own ship and there’s only a bunch of stars for company, one of which is quite rude and tells me to quit wasting time walking around the surface of my new planet/ship/giant head. There are lots of little billboards with tips for n00bs around and a creepy, hidden engine room under the bill of the Mario ship’s hat. Why are there bookshelves in the engine room, again?
I take control of my ship and head back to the first galaxy for my next star.