But before I get into that, are they still selling that Mountain Dew “Game Fuel” oooze passed off as a drink? I figured since Halo 3 has been out for a while, they may have finally discontinued it.

The whole concept of that just bugs me. This whole marketing “We can reach this new untapped ‘gamer community’ market” thing that everyone seems to be talking about more and more like this is a new culture that’s recently erupted, when it’s been active for over 30 years. Note to marketers mining into this “undiscovered country”: I was eating Pac-Man cereal while you were still in elementary school as well. And don’t say the prospect of those larger “Super Pac-Man” marshmallows didn’t entice you, because I’ll call you a damn liar.

Had to get that off my chest. This new “sub-culture” thing is constantly in one’s face now since everybody’s Grandma has started playing video games now, and it’s starting to bug me.

So once again, I find myself addicted to Mario. Say what you will about Nintendo’s mascot, but he headlines a great game every time he comes to visit (although Sunshine left me feeling a little confused and betrayed that I was playing a Mario game, yet not).

Super Mario Galaxy
is awesome. I was really surprised how well the game came together. Well, not really. I was hoping it would be good, but it ranks with Super Mario Bros. 3 and Super Mario 64, two of my favorite games of the series. What can you say, really? Finally, another game that shows that the Wii isn’t the graphical dud the naysayers like to claim it is. Of course, the basis of comparison has been hard to judge with all of the mini-game compilations that house simplistic graphics.

But the game is easily the most fun on the system. And it’s pretty, and it’s imaginative, and it’s happy. Unrelentingly so. I like games that trigger some sort of emotional response. That drive that keeps you trying new things, and to push yourself one step further. That’s what I liked about Mario 64: You could go for Star #1 just easily as you could go for Star #3, but breaking the event sequence, and not being punished for wanting to do things your way. Galaxy may not do that as freely, but the option is there. If you think you may possibly be able to do it, there’s a good chance that it may be a viable option in the game. And I like that. To me, that’s what a good game is: You’re not force fed, no one’s holding your hand, and there are several options to consider: Not just one set route. That’s what makes Zelda good. Or Metroid. Or the early Sonic games. Heck, you could even do it in Pac-Man.

Games like that rewarded you for thinking outside the box, and Galaxy extends that. Just because you want to walk off an edge doesn’t mean you’ll fall off. You may just start walking upside-down to find a whole new area right under your feet. And to me, that’s awesome.

I’ve been playing it slow. It’s been 11 years since a true Mario game has seen the light of day, and I’m savoring this one like a fine wine, even though I could quickly plow through and see the ending. I’m ready and already able to do so if I so choose. But I’m deciding on breaking the obvious path in front of me, and am taking the scenic route. One star at a time.

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Filed under: wii gaming