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Mario Galaxy 2 – Great Space Coaster

“Cyclops, if anyone ask you who is it that put your eye out and spoiled your beauty, say it was the valiant warrior Ulysses, son of Lærtes, who lives in Ithaca.”

Homer, Odyssey

The Great Space coaster was like Sesame Street but for a slightly older age group. The show featured a clown, Baxter, from outer space with a ridiculously large head.  He played the Baxaphone (a space-aged saxophone) and looked a lot like Jack, from Jack in the Box, but this clown was overweight and had a full head of orange shag hair. Then there was the news with Gary Ganu.  A savvy newsman who had a strange speech pattern in which  all words starting with a letter “N” had to be preceded by a “G”.  This is exactly the kind of madness one might see if they where teleported to the environment in Mario Galaxy 2.

The Great Space Coaster

Launched into lunacy on the Great Space Coaster.

Mario Galaxy presents Mario with the same type of outer space lunacy. The game is 3-D which makes it different from the traditional Mario games, but you still have the classic Mario Brother’s characters.  The game is really simple and takes full advantage of all of the Wii features. There is even a Co-Op mode if someone is bored watching you, they can pick up the Wii controller and help you distract enemies or capture coins.  However, I can’t imagine to many people pleased in just pointing at characters while you ride the green beast named Yoshi.

Mario is a modern-day Ulysses, he faces frighteningly ferocious foes at the end of each level and he is unyielding to the impending dangers ahead of him.  Courage in the face of adversity, that is what makes heroes.  To go ahead with your head held high even when you know the odds are stacked against you.  Somehow, in the end, things are going to fall in your favor and the Princess will be safe again.

I am part of a rare breed of gamers who is familiar with all game genres and buy for all the systems.  Some gamers have loyalty to a particular system, but I feel it’s best to have an open mind and enjoy games on all platforms.  There is a known circle of gamers  who work for the City in downtown San Diego and they also share the same philosophy. When the PSP first came out, I would see them gathered around a deli nearby Civic Center Plaza.  Lunch time is usually reserved for walking around downtown or enjoying the various lunch locations or even going out for a quick jog; but this group would congregate daily in this high traffic section of downtown with PSPs in hand.  I was awestruck.  Now that is dedication to gaming.

When I spoke to one of them after discussing the business of a peculiar financial transaction I said,  “Thanks for helping me with that issue…so did you get the new Mario Galaxy?” He seamlessly transitioned from talks of SAP to games and he said, “It’s pretty much the same as the first Mario Galaxy, so I returned it.”

He is probably right, but I was a fool and ignored the first game, so I knew the decision to purchase this game was a smart one.

Mario games are a game designer’s paradise. I think the game play is simplified, but the characters and various approaches to problems make the game intriguing to the young and the old.

So if you are bored,
take a trip,
like Baxter driving you to music,
you’ll ride Yoshi equipped,
with his devouring appetite,
ride off into the star-filled night,

on a ship I ride,
shaped like my head,
shoot down that Lackatu,
he’s throwing Spinies,
(turtle-like beast laced with thorns),
end up dead,

morose because you won’t get to ride,
like an unfulfilled prophecy,
the Great Space coaster that is Mario Galaxy…

Ship shaped like my head!

Ship shaped like my head.

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