I tried to love this game, I really, really did. I made myself play this for a few hours a day, I got 112 stars, for gods sake. You know how long it took me to get those? Relatively 3 days of mind-numbing repetition, toddler-easy to moderately difficult in difficulty, and so struggling to be linear. Well not completely accurate. A couple of galaxies - including Toy Time Galaxy, 1-2 of the green stars, and the bouldergeist's daredevil run, are all of what I found difficult, oh! and Purple Coins on the Puzzle Cube, and Battlestation's Purple Coins were the only very difficult, if not annoying, lvls. Remember Super Mario 64? What a revolutionary game that was, at least for Nintendo. The open worlded gameplay, the great exploration, the many dozens of secrets, and the incredible difficulty? Super Mario Sunshine, an above average game in itself, even tried to make some drastic changes to go with the flow, and a few were honestly not very good. And I was not impressed with SMG version of the red flying hat, or rather, "Red Starman", which you could only use for one level and around the overworld! Seriously Nintendo?
I looked at the Grand Finale Galaxy lvl on youtube, not caring to finish the rest of the game. Guess what? I made the right choice. Practically, even quite literally, *spoiler* a stroll in the park, with the last coin being to the side, on the only obvious platform, the mushroom ship *end spoiler*. I was shocked, even outraged, quite inwardly though. I didn't waste my anger on something like that. The only true appealing part was the Library stories, which I found were actually kind of cute, in a seriously kiddy, no-ones-ever-going-to-take-them-seriously, kind of way, and the Bonefin Galaxy which was, quite ashamedly, exhilarating.
After playing every single time through it, I felt a hollow feeling in my throat, like something was missing.
Perhaps innovation? But no, it has so many cool powerups, like the boo upgrade, the bee upgrade, the ice upgrade, and a plethora of others. The ice upgrade was a little fun, skating around and all that, jumping with a twist, kept me entertained for about 20 minutes through a lvl, then felt old real quick. The bee upgrade was super dull, what with floating around for a few seconds, making platforming jumping much easier. That's not a good thing. It was fun for about a minute. The boo upgrade was a flying invisible mario, 'nuff said. The spring upgrade, the only one, besides ball mario, with a slight learning curve, to learn to steady it; that took about 10 minutes, then it felt annoying. Fire and ice balls: the fire was fun for a couple of minutes, the ice for less than one.
The secrets? Besides the super ground pound, that kind of defeats the purpose of the ground pound, the cosmic races boost start, which was actually pretty clever. And playing as Luigi? I didn't spoiler that, because it was so obvious to be a unlockable, not a secret, at the end. From what I checked on a guide, it looked nearly identical to mario in playing style. You know what would have been fun, if Luigi was equipped with the Poltergust 3000, and could swallow up enemies, and even possibly shoot them back as scared ghosts. Man, that was a good idea, even better than any of the upgrades, and it thought it right on the spot.
No, you know what truly got to me? It was that, with all its 100+ lvls, there really wasn't that much to it. Like I said before, it is despairingly linear, and only a couple galaxies were slightly non-linear. Some people may like linearality; a quick, fun, and easy concept it may be. For me however, it was a large step down from Super Mario 64, or even Super Mario Sunshine. No real originality in the purple coins, except the patience of a saint it takes to wallow through them. The green stars I looked around to get led me to the tri coloured-tip island in the space, and I was expecting something big. What I got: *spoiler* three lvls of slighty harder than the norm upgrades: the spring, the ball, and the the sling pod *end spoiler*. I didn't mention the sling pod before, way too lame. The ball was like the spring, slight difficulty in controlling it, but that lvl took two tries, it was frustratingly easy, partly for the fact that it was my favourite upgrade. I didn't ever play Super Monkey Ball, so sue me.
Because of this game, I'm hesitant in picking up SMG2, just because I look at it, and it looks even worse, for the same reasons above, intensified. I am of the unsurprisingly minority that hates this game for any reason. Sure it was fun, and honestly addicting at times, but overall it was a sordid affair, and I hope Nintendo picks up, and starts fresh.