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Heads Bludgeoned

Thankless Answers - 25th Feb 2010 Josh's avatar
As I charge headlong into what Ian assures me is the final hour or so of Uncharted 2, I can’t help but wonder not only when the “annoying blue dudes” that I keep hearing so much about are going to show up, but also what I should play next. Whilst the idea of finally playing through Modern Warfare 2’s campaign has been nagging me with uncomfortable regularity of late, the siren call of Borderlands DLC is all too alluring. There’s also Halo 3: ODST, which I’m not quite sure why I bought, but whose shrink-wrapped presence on my bookcase continues to mock me.

On the other hand, watching Sam and Ian play through Mass Effect 2 is almost enough to convince me to play through the first game, to the point where I’ve even installed it on my Xbox 360’s hard drive. I really should put a ribbon on Shadow Complex too. Argh! Until this dilemma somehow resolves itself, I’m just going to keep plugging away at Plants Vs. Zombies on my iPhone and ignore the fact that there’s a ton of new games coming out which are hurtling towards their release dates at alarming speed. Before I collapse into a dribbling foetal mess brought about by crippling choice, it’s time to provide the internet with this Thursday’s edition of Thankless Answers!

Question: What is the release date of Super Mario Galaxy 2?

Answer: May 25th in the USA and June 11th in Europe.

A straightforward answer for a straightforward question, though unfortunately not one that I care a great deal about. I’m just having a really hard time getting excited about Super Mario Galaxy 2. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely loved the first game; it managed to evoke that rare feeling of playing games when I was a kid, and I marvelled in wonder at each new gravity-defying microcosm that I was presented with. I’m just not sure about this sequel though. All of the environments shown in trailers seem somewhat...mechanical, as if they've been haphazardly thrown together purely to facilitate the crazy platforming mechanics that those crazy folks in Kyoto have come up with during their lunch breaks. The meteorites and planetoids that Mario effortlessly glides between seem to have lost their sense of place, something which I find quite off-putting.

The funny thing is, I’m absolutely certain that from a gameplay perspective Super Mario Galaxy 2 will be great, and probably better than the first game. I just think that there’s a danger that in a relentless effort to ramp up the action, Nintendo EAD may lose something integral to the initial experience. It’s a bit like those homebrew projects for Super Mario World or Sonic which reuse familiar tilesets to create entirely new stages; novel, but ultimately lacking the magical spark that made the original games so resonant. Perhaps I’m being overly nostalgic, but I’m sure there’s a greater discussion to be had about whether games are solely about having fun. I’m not writing Super Mario Galaxy 2 off by any stretch, I’m just waiting for Nintendo to show me something amazing.

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