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I have a confession to make: I did not enjoy Super Mario Galaxy.

Okay, life-story time. My first game was a Kirby game for the original gameboy. It involved paddles, like pong, but I don't remember the name of it. I know you couldn't save, which sucked. Moving on from that, I began playing Mario games. I played them with my brother. I played them with my grandma. MY GODDAMN GRANDMA. She's awesome. I loved Super Mario 64, but I never beat it. (Try explaining to a stupid 10-year-old with Assburgers that the giant eel won't kill you through the TV. Scared me shitless.) My favorite Mario game is, for some odd reason, Super Mario Sunshine. (Maybe because I freaking love bright environments that don't strain your eyes?)

Simply put, Mario has the most fun games ever. (Of course, excluding Noby Noby Boy.)

Yet, things started going wrong around the release of New Super Mario Bros. I loved the gameplay and the graphics and the sound, none of that was wrong. It was the save system. I despised it. It was on the DS, it had the word "NEW" in the freaking title, yet you couldn't save wherever you wanted to in the overworld? What?

Anyway, moving on. Super Mario Galaxy was a game I HUGELY anticipated. I played a demo and the controls were, to me, unbelievable. Exactly how I wanted it to control, like usual for Mario games. Spinning, jumping, just running around; perfection. The graphics were better than most PS3/360 games due to the style. Soft dark's against bright brights, sort of like an hour after the sun set. Mario was still full of energy, and even the story was above average for a Nintendo game, with cute illustrations and a touching tale beyond that.

So, you may ask, why did I not enjoy it?

The only explanation I have, acceptable or not, is that I didn't have fun.

By no means is this the game's fault. Every planet was different, making me want to keep going to see what was next. Finding Luigi always made me happy when I finally got him out of whatever mess he was in. And Rosalina? Damn fine woman. So how could I not have fun when this game is so full of energy?

Because, you see, games are no longer about fun. They're about reward.

Take Lost Planet 2, Modern Warfare 2, or Demon's Souls. Are they fun? Unlike Mario games, only sometimes are they fun. When you're losing in Modern Warfare 2, you are not going to have fun. You will keep dying because someone is killing you, making it more difficult for you to kill someone else and have fun yourself. Lost Planet 2 frustrates when you keep getting knocked over by a monster and get prizes you don't want. Demon's Souls, an incredible game, isn't fun. It is extremely gratifying, but it isn't fun. When you try and do something even remotely fun, you get stabbed in every orifice possible, and then end up where you started, only worse.

So why play games that aren't fun? Because, no matter what, you get reward, even if you suck.

Maybe games can't be fun anymore? Look at any other Nintendo developed game in recent years. The Legend of Zelda, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Wii Fit, Wii Sports, Wii Music. All of these games are fun, in one way or another. But, to me, they seem a step backward, while to many others (casuals, you may say), they're a step forward. Twilight Princess was incredible. The graphics, the music, the cinematics. Yet, I despised it. Maybe it was because of Okami, but I didn't feel like slogging through for a reward, even if that slogging was fun. With Brawl, it was the closest thing to an 'awesome' game for me, because I was always getting stickers and trophies and cinematics to watch. I grew bored quickly, though.

The three Wii games (Fit, Sports, Music), aren't liked by some gamers. Understandable. They don't play like normal games. I don't like them either. They don't reward me, so why play them? A lot of people who play these games don't play games that reward the player, like the ones I mentioned before. They play them for fun. Playing with family, friends, talking to each other about what they did. It's fun. Games don't have this fun anymore.

To go into more detail on that, how many of you play games with friends? No, not online, I mean on a couch. Modern Warfare 2 may be fun, and when it's online you're talking to other people, possibly friends, but when someone you don't know is calling you names, it saps the fun out of it. Likewise, Demon's Souls. Part of its charm is that you can't communicate like you normally would, but you don't have a connection with anyone, than. It works in the games favor, but it still makes a point.

So, why am I going on about not having friends? Because, as you may have guessed, you can't get friends over all the time. When you get older, you might lose friends, gain friends, or both, but getting them together to play a game is difficult when they all have different schedules. You don't interact as much. You can't interact as much. With the Wii games, they communicate, and laugh, and have fun, like when I was a kid with my grandma, playing games with her and laughing and having fun. Because of being constantly rewarded in-game, however, if a friend comes over to watch, he's not getting rewarded for playing his copy of the game. So, essentially, it feels like he's wasting time watching instead of playing.

Other factors play into this, such as not having an attachment to games because people sell them back, or that they may not be interested in the same game as their friend is, but, at its core, it's all the same: without friends, games suck more. Single or multiplayer, if I have a friend playing it with me, we can just gave fun, even when the game sucks.

Now, before I end this and you start posting, let me clear a few things up: Super Mario Galaxy is an incredible game. If you find fault with me not liking it, fine, but I still see it as an awesome game. My grandma is still alive, so don't go being sad about it. Finally, I'm not saying games today aren't fun, but it really depends on the game.

So, tl;dr, I didn't beat it because I didn't play it with my grandma and games today are too rewarding to make you want to play with friends.

I probably should have included pictures. Damn.
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About HoodedMiracleone of us since 2:00 PM on 11.22.2009