So after weeks of procrastination, I have finally finished writing a review. Anyways, if you guys have any feedback about my writing, it would be much appreciated if you would post it.
And now for the review:
With the spread of phazon once again threatening the galaxy, the galactic federation knows exactly who to turn to for help: bounty hunters. Yes, despite the Federation being, presumably, the largest, most powerful political and military force in the galaxy, not a single soldier is even close to being as good at their job as any known bounty hunter.
And so, to combat the space pirates and the spread of phazon, Samus get sent all over the galaxy to many new planets. The different planets all have unique environments and, for the most part, enemies, and they all have backstories that tell part of the planet's history hidden throughout the world. These can be found with the use of the scanner, along with many details about different enemies, artifacts and other objects in the world, which really adds depth to the world. The main story is good, too, and builds up to a big climax that is a fantastic finish for the game and for the Prime series as a whole.
Progression follows a familiar formula: you explore the newest area, kill enemies and bosses when necessary, get a new upgrade that unlocks a new area, repeat until end game. It's very predictable, but the exploration, puzzles and combat have enough variety to keep it engaging all the way 'til the end. The combat is a bit simple, (there's like four combat related actions in the whole game), but thanks to the combination of lock-on, aiming with the Wii pointer and the speed of your shots, it's a lot deeper than you might think. The lock-on also solves what might have been the biggest problem with the new control method; the turn speed. Sadly, this problem does come up in a pair of boss fights near the end, but for the most part, it's non-existent. Instead, the worst use of motion controls in the game are the door locks. Though some of them are inoffensive, a lot of them require somewhat unintuitive movements that sometimes require you to twist your arm into some uncomfortable positions.
The soundtrack and visuals both contribute to making this a very atmospheric game, but aren't very impressive. There's a handful of great, memorable songs in the game, and the outside of the character models for the humans, the graphics all look good, but neither of them aren't particularly amazing, even for the Wii. That said, they do what they were meant to do and they do it well; all of the major in-game areas but one have a unique feel to them, from infiltrating an enemy base to exploring a ghost town. Only problem is that the final area is so different from any other area in the game that you want to spend more time in it, but the gameplay and story give it both speed up at this point and prevent you from taking your time, and yet it takes too long for something that's supposed to be so urgent.
Something else worth mentioning is the difficulty. There are three difficulty levels: normal, hard and hardest (hardest has to be unlocked by beating the game first); I have played though the game in normal and hardest. Normal is, well, normal; nothing very challenging but you do need some skill to beat it. The only changes is Hardest are that enemies take and deal more damage and enter their more powerful form more often. While it's lazy, it works well save for a triad of late-game boss battles because of the biggest new addition to the gameplay: Hyper Mode, a special state you can enter in which you do much more damage in exchange for part of your HP. In Normal, It's pretty useless outside of bosses because you would have lost less HP by killing enemies the normal way than by using Hyper Mode to kill them. In the harder modes, you have to learn the nuances of Hyper Mode and learn to use it effectively and it's much more satisfying than normal mode. That said, those three bosses I mentioned are really poorly designed for hardest mode and just a huge waste of your time; If you're going to play the game, I recommend sticking to normal or hard mode.
Metroid Prime 3 is a great experience and, despite a few stumbles along the way. As someone who was introduced to the franchise through this game, I highly recommend you play it, whatever your experience with the series may be.[img]
With the year's end just one week away, it is once again time to engage in the tradition of trying to guess what the new year might bring to the industry. Here's some of mine (sorry it's a bit Nintendo-centric, but they're the only one coming out with a new console, which is great for speculation):
100%-76% chance of it happenning
New Call of Duty game announced by Activision.
Pikmin 3 revealed as a launch title for Wii U
Xenoblade Chronicles released in the US to poor sales...
That means no Last Story and Pandora's Tower.
New Mario game announced for Wii U, released in 2013 (unless it's a 2-D platformer).
New 3DS model announced, comes with second circle pad.
Following the success of Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure, Activision tries to figure out what to do with Crash Bandicoot.
The Jak and Daxter Collection, much like the Sly Cooper Collection, contains a teaser for Jak 4 which, like Sly 4, will be developed by a different studio and will be announced at E3.
Retro's Wii U game is revealed to be a new Star Fox.
The Wii U will come with a Wii Remote Plus along with it's new controller.
Microsoft announces the next XBox at E3...
It comes with the next-gen Kinect.
The Last Guardian release date given.
Half Life 3 ( or HL 2: Episode 3) is announced.
PS3 crossover fighting game announced.
Apple game console announced.
This game looks great. Everything looks better than it ever has before. There are some pretty good reflection effects in the water and the crystals, all the old characters and enemies are more detailed than ever before and the new ones fit right in.
The camera system doesn't give you much control over which direction it's facing and at times takes it away completely, but the game usually does a very good job with the camera, which makes it unnecessary most of the time. However, there were two times when the camera spontaneously decided that it would be a great help to me to have a wall blocking out my sight of Mario, nearly causing me to fall down into a black hole.
Sounds and Music
The soundtrack mostly consists of original compositions, although there are a few remixes of older Mario tunes, namely the original Super Mario Bros. theme and the Super Mario Bros. 3 theme, both of which I prefer to the originals.
There are some tracks, like the Comet Observatory, which would seem out of place in any other Mario game but feel right at home in Galaxy. Some tracks are dynamic, as in, they change depending on what you're doing. For example, one track plays with different instruments when you're underwater.
The music excels at setting the mood during the level. Just listen to this. This one plays during a boss battle with a terrakinetic ghost and again during a boss battle with a skeleton shark. That song alone made me feel those two fights were more intense than the final boss.
The game has the same basic story as all the previous Mario games: Bowser kidnaps Peach and Mario has to go and rescue her.
However, that's just the story that takes place during Mario's adventure. There's a bit more to it than that. The biggest differences are the setting (space), Rosalina and that we get to know Bowser's motives.
There's also a bit of back story about the Star Festival that's being celebrated at the beginning of the game and the much more important Rosalina's storybook, which is the only part of the game with any character development. It's probably the most mature story told by a Mario game in the main franchise (although that doesn't say much). Overall, it's nothing on the level of the Mario RPG's, yet better than all previous Mario games.
The controls are rather simple (although that might be because I still remembered playing Super Mario 64), although movement takes a little getting used to when you're doing it upside-down. You can jump, ground-pound, long jump, back flip, wall jump and spin attack. The biggest change is the integration of motion controls into the game, which it does rather unobtrusively. You shake the Wii Remote to do a spin attack, you point at the screen to grab star bits or grab a pull star and you press B while pointing at the screen to throw the star bits, and that's the full extent of the motion controls while playing the main game. You can also play as Luigi after getting all 120 stars, with the only changes to gameplay being that he jumps higher than Mario and keeps sliding for a bit even after you stop moving.
There are also some galaxies with different controls that only use the motion controls to perform actions such as manta surfing, ball rolling and moving bubbles by blowing air at them. The motion controls are implemented well into these actions. The only one I have a problem with is the manta surfing one (which bears a resemblance to Mario 64's slide levels), where you control the manta by twisting the Wii Remote left and right, and if you do it too fast, the game interprets it as a shake, which is a jump when you're manta surfing. This can lead to deaths that could have been easily avoided by having more traditional controls in these segments.
The ball rolling segments are much less obtrusive, and the only problem I have with it is that it's hard to stop, which you do by holding the Wii Remote upright, but this is a pretty minor complaint, except in those places where you have to get through a narrow path. It would have been improved by being controlled with the analog stick, but it's better than the manta surfing stages, since the game only uses the motion controls for rolling the ball, so you won't be making any accidental jumps.
The bubble stages are definitely the best of the three. Mario is trapped inside a bubble which you can move by blowing air at it, an action which involves pointing at the screen and pressing A to blow air at it from the on-screen cursor. I never once felt that these segments would have been better by using the analog sicks, and they might even be better with the motion controls.
Thanks to the addition of planetoids and gravity, Super Mario Galaxy features some of the most creative level design in years. There is an entire planetoid shaped like a question mark, one shaped like an 8-bit Mario and one shaped like Yoshi's head.
Just like previous Mario games, whenever you get a star, you get taken back to the hub world, something that I hated in Mario 64. However, unlike previous Mario games, when you go back to the same galaxy to get the next star, the world is significantly changed (although there are a few exceptions), which makes it feel like there's a real reason to have to go back. The prankster comets are also a good way to justify going back.The boss battles are usually like a sort of final exam on some skill you learned, usually earlier within the same galaxy, like throwing koopa shells or leading the Bullet Bills. This time around there are less bosses that are just bigger versions of smaller enemies, and there are small changes in their behaviour after hitting them enough times to make the fight slightly harder, such as bringing smaller enemies to help them out.
When I bought Super Mario Galaxy earlier this year, I honestly wasn't expecting to be blown away by it. I expected it to be, like Super Mario 64 was to me, a good, but overrated, game. Instead, it surpassed all expectations I had for it. It's creative, it's new (well, it's new to me, anyway, seeing as I first played it this year) and it's full of memorable moments. It has it's own share of flaws, sure, but overall, I'd say it's without a doubt the best 3D platformer to date (at least until I play Galaxy 2),and probably my favorite game of all time.
Score: 10/10 (Just to make it clear, I rate games on a score from 1 to 10, without decimals)
(NOTE: This is my first ever review, so if you need me to clear something up or if you have any tips, please post them in the comments.)