5 July 2013

The Great Galaxy Experiment Pt 3: No Pain, No Gain

Continuing the coverage of my playthrough of Super Mario Galaxy (see here for part 1 and part 2).

Another day and several more hours of Mario fun. Like I said yesterday, this game is pretty addicting. I'm up to about 40 stars now, and slowly the levels seem to be getting a little more challenging. Which is to be expected, of course. Nothing I couldn't handle yet, though. OK, one bonus level I did actually quit on (Bouldergeist daredevil run, to be precise). But I actually had fun spending some 20 lives trying to beat that boss... Who'd have thunk it...

Yesterday I wrote about difficulty in video games, and how I do in fact prefer steady progress to insurmountable odds. That being said, finally defeating a challenging level is quite a satisfying feeling. Finding the right balance of challenge and progress is probably one of the greatest difficulties in game design. Particularly since each gamer has different strengths and weaknesses...

And there's no difficulty setting in Super Mario Galaxy. Although not every challenge needs to be overcome in order to 'beat' the game. Many of the most challenging levels thus far have been bonus levels. I currently have a good few more stars than are actually needed to unlock the next levels. I'm trying my best to get as many levels beat as possible, although I don't really expect to '100%' this game...

OK, onwards. I haven't talked about the technical/aesthetic aspects of the game yet. As one can expect from a major Nintendo title, it runs pretty smoothly. Not much load time to speak of. Of course the Wii has its limitations, as far as graphics processing is concerned. But then again, the colourful, simple style of Mario games doesn't call for all that much graphical detail. I hardly even notice the fact that it's not HD...

The music in the game is pretty good. I mean, sure, it's a little more light-hearted than the music I really like, but it works in the context. There's a symphonic feel to many of the pieces, and naturally plenty of nods to tunes from the old NES titles, too... There's very little actual voice acting. Not sure why, since there are little snippets of voices; they could have just as well done the whole thing, it's not like there are huge amounts of dialogue in the game...

OK, that's it for now. Till next time!

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