By Alice Stancu
Last weekend, Super Mario Galaxy 2 launched at Yonge and Dundas square in Toronto - and boy, did it ever launch. The massive event was marked by more screaming fans than Justin Bieber at Much Music, and featured a guest appearance by the man himself, Mario. Lots of goodies were given away, and there was even a guy making balloon animals in the shape of Mario, Luigi, and Yoshi!
I've only put a few (dozen) hours into the game so far, but it's a lot more engaging than I expected, considering that the first Super Mario Galaxy didn't quite manage to charm me. Part of the reason was that the levels were just too cluttered and visually complicated to be very enjoyable, but most of all was that the game's attempt at including multiplayer fell short of being... oh, I don't know, fun.
But that's changed, thank the stars of Mario Galaxy for that. 2p now has the power to subdue enemies and collect coins/1ups, in addition to their abilities in the original game. As a result, the second player becomes the tactician while the first player is the adventurer. It's been a long time since a game's made local multiplayer in a serious game this fun.
As for the new abilities... well, there certainly are a lot now. Most of them are fairly easy and fun to use, although I still haven't figured out how to get out of some of the special-ability modes without taking a hit. Yoshi is a fun addition, of course, although he's just another extension of Mario's abilities.
I'm really looking forward to playing through the rest of Super Mario Galaxy 2. I'll be writing up a review as soon as I finish the game - and between now and then, I recommend you check this game out for yourself!