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Super Mario Galaxy 2 [WII]

Super Mario Galaxy 2 Multiplayer, New Suit Hands-On

"We do more than just collect star bits as we team up with Mario in this sequel. "

There are still more surprises to discover in Super Mario Galaxy 2, and earlier this week Nintendo unveiled a few more details surrounding this highly anticipated sequel. We focused on the multiplayer component during our demo, which was an option in the previous game but was fairly limited. Pointing at the screen to collect and fire star bits wasn't making great use of the cooperative feature. However, this time the second player will be tagging along as a little luma to not only collect the endless supply of star bits, but attack enemies and hold useful items for you as well. We spent our time playing cooperatively through four different stages and also tested out a new suit--Cloud Mario.

Mario shows off his cloud suit in this new trailer.

In the original Super Mario Galaxy, a second player can hop in with the Wii Remote only and take control of a cursor to help with collecting star bits and grabbing enemies. The same rules apply in the sequel, but player two can play more of an active role by snagging coins and 1ups to support Mario. Pointing at a coin in the distance and pressing the A button will cause the luma to dart over and snatch the item, and as long as you continue holding the A button, the luma will keep it above its head until you let go when needed. You can't break anything or hit blocks, but you can point and shake the remote to help Mario knock out enemies and clear his path. To encourage a friend or give him or her grief, there are cheers and boos as well as coin noises that come out of the other player's remote if you hold the plus button and press a direction on the D pad.

We played through one of the first levels with Yoshi as the tagalong player and did our best to collect star bits and keep the enemies at bay. Depending on how invested you want to be or how good the first player is, there's a lot to do onscreen this time around. For the rest of the demo, we switched back to Mario, but had the aid of a second player so that we left no star bit behind.

Next up was Starshine Beach Galaxy, an open level where we had to collect the silver stars using the insatiably cute Yoshi and his new power-ups. The level wasn't very big, but it housed a good number of crabs, spinies, and Lakitu to keep things cozy. When Yoshi wasn't dog-paddling his way through the clear blue water, he could eat a red dash pepper, which allowed him to run on the surface of the water. While Yoshi does have an appetite for just about anything, some enemies, like crabs and spinies, aren't digestible. They do come in handy as dangerous projectiles though, which are needed to break objects that hold important items.

Create fluffy platforms and jump to new heights as Cloud Mario.

Create fluffy platforms and jump to new heights as Cloud Mario.

Fluffy Bluff Galaxy introduced us to Mario's new power-up, a cloud flower that gives him a pair of white overalls and a cute hat that makes him look like he has been topped off with fluffy whipped cream. As Cloud Mario, you can shake the remote, and a cloud platform will suddenly appear below you for a limited time. Regular Mario will fall through the other clouds that are in the stage, so it's important to keep the suit on and avoid water, which will force you to give up your powers. You have a limited number of clouds to create (just three), so you'll have to plan accordingly and make sure you get to another power-up in time to recharge. Another new feature we came across was the Hint TV. It's bigger than the signs you normally come across and it's green, so you can't miss it. If you check out the Hint TV, you'll get a video walk-through of what's coming up next, giving you an idea of what to do. It doesn't play the game for you, however; that's what the Cosmic Guide is for.

Cosmic Guide is similar to the Super Guide in New Super Mario Bros. Wii. Instead of a green block, you meet with a Cosmic Spirit that asks if you would like some guidance in completing the level. If you agree, it causes the game to take over and play for you until the end of the stage or until you decide you want to jump back in again. The Cosmic Spirit shows up only in certain trickier areas of the game and only when the game has noticed that you've either taken a long time to complete the level or lost several lives already. You'll get only a bronze star for completing the level this way, so there's an incentive to do it yourself if you want the extra shiny gold one. We were told that the developers didn't want anyone getting hopelessly stuck, but they didn't want to make it so that you could just walk through the entire game either

The last level we checked out was Cloudy Court Galaxy, a blend of 3D and 2.5D platforming built from windmills and very large instruments. There was a different feel to this level as we walked past giant, well-groomed topiaries and bounced off drum sets and a cymbal as Cloud Mario. Danish-style windmills were also scattered throughout the world, blowing gusts of wind to help push our cloud along steadily. The suit is an interesting addition and is nice to have because it acts like a safety blanket in case you take a misstep. If you rely on shaking the remote to stun enemies though, as Cloud Mario you'll have to find another alternative or you'll waste your powers.

To finish the level the lazy way, talk to the Cosmic Spirit and she'll hook you up.

To finish the level the lazy way, talk to the Cosmic Spirit and she'll hook you up.

Our demo ended there, and before we left, we made a brief stop at Starship Mario to see what had been added. A large display screen next to the helm showed us a list of levels that had been completed and how many stars had been collected. Last time we were told that things would constantly be added to the starship, so we were able to confirm that power-ups will be added as you progress, and we also caught a glimpse of a penguin hanging out by Mario's giant chin. In his left ear, we were able to jump into a pipe and trade in 30 star bits for a chance to get an item, but we ended up with one measly star bit in return--such is gambling.

Super Mario Galaxy 2 is set to be released on May 23. Be sure to check back in the next few weeks because we'll have another update for you when we receive a preview build of the game.

Posted on Apr 21, 2010



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