This past week I picked up Mario Galaxy 2. Unlike with the first game and to my great disappointment, there was no awesome pre-order deal anywhere to be seen, so i resorted to buying the 'Premiere' (i.e. normal)-edition game-guide myself.
Normally I don't buy game guides, but as with Zelda: Twilight Princess and the first Mario Galaxy, they were really quite useful for these type of games, not to mention enjoyable to utilise and follow along. Already i'm glad that I splashed the extra cash on it.
The game itself is amazing. And frustrating. And rewarding. And great.
So far i've planted about 15 hours of it, and I would estimate that i'm about two-thirds through it (although I am doing the full-thing and not the bare-minimum needed to progress).
It's easy to see why people are calling this game one of the finest platforming games ever made. The level design and enjoyability are off the scale. It's not perfect though, some of the flaws of the first game have carried across onto this one, especially the clunky 'swimming' controls and some occasional camera issues.
Overall though, it really is a fantastic game. I'm loving Yoshi, he's easily my most favourite character in the whole Mario 'universe'. The way he easily ingests most enemies and excretes them out instantly as a useful tool/item is most gratifying and disturbing at the same time.
The other most fantastic thing about both Mario Galaxy games are the soundtracks. Both games have a wonderfully marvellous orchestral score, I would actually pay money to download them if they were legally available as anything other than a bonus item available only to Japanese Club Nintendo members.
As an aside, the official Australian Club Nintendo is an absolute joke. I own a Wii, a DS-Lite, and much more than a few Nintendo-developed games, and I still don't have enough points for something as basic as the DS 'Game and Watch' Collection (mainly because they didn't actually start the club until well after the Wii was released :x).
Actually, while i'm ranting, Nintendo Australia in general are a joke. The fact that we had a release date for such a big game like Mario Galaxy 2 that was almost 6 weeks after the American one, but even more puzzling, 3 weeks after the European one is astounding. We're basically the same region as the Euro in terms of console games (i.e. games bought there will 100% work here), so the only reason I can think of for the delay here was them wanting to cash in on school holidays and toy sale season. Absolutely pathetic, and it's no wonder that many people had already imported this game three weeks ago.