There is a new game in town. Or in our house, at least. Super Mario Galaxy. And you know what? It is everything a game should be. Easy to play, brightly lit, superbly choreographed, and, above all, fun.

You just grin the whole time. It is inventive, suprising and full of charm. While I enjoyed Super Mario Sunshine, it did somewhat lack soul. Yes, it was head and shoulders above the mainstream gaming dross, but it wasn’t, well, special. In the way Mario 64 was. In the way Galaxy is.

Once the opening sequence is done, and you are put on to little planetoids, even the walking-upside-down makes sense. Straight away. No faffing or fighting the controls. It all flows. It all clicks into place. Then you get the transport mechanisms, the buildup of story, the comedy and the sense of scale of it all.

Wait! The music! According to the credits, it was played by the ‘Super Mario Orchestra’. And it sounds lush. Orchestral it sure is. And the old-skool sound of going down a pipe. The smile-inducing Toad squawks and squeals. It all just fits. The themes of years gone past writ large and loud, and room-filling.

The gaming press has given it an average of 98%, but I am not a fine of the gaming press. It is a spectacle, it is lovely to look at (I never had a PS2, nor any XBox incarnation, nor a PS3, nor have I seen any of those up close, it must be said) and great to play. I am not one for using the over-used term must-have, but, you know, for me it is true.

It is somewhat of an anomaly for us, in that we usually only get two player games. I am aware that there is a two player mode, but it sounds rather tacked on. I say that without having played it. But considering the enjoyment I am having with the single player mode, it might be a while before we get to try that out.

But you know what? Most of all, it makes you happy. It is fun. And that is what a game should be. Not a blu-ray player multimedia hub appendage. Not gritty and realistic. Blue sky gaming.

For too long now, the Wii has been living off Wii Sports. Which, to be honest, every so often I still pick up and play. And we have almost had the Nintendo box for a year now. It has suffered from the GameCube lack of release titles, and lack of continued support. Nothing overly stands out, and it sorely needs something. Is Mario Galaxy that title? Probably not, as the Wii has, as we keep getting told, sold into areas never frequented before. And those types probably won’t pick this up. If they think it a children’s game, then that is their loss. It sure isn’t that. Wii Fit might go stellar, but for us old-time gamers, Super Mario Galaxy is what we wanted.

Should I mention the controls? I probably should, in order for Rosalina’s feet to appear. Pointing to collect the Star Bits, while using the nunchuck to move. All very Robotron. But it works, dammit. You never get tied up, you don’t care that your controller doesn’t have a billionity buttons, both hands do something different, and neither gets tripped up. Much. Again, not so much tacked-on-because-it-is-the-Wii, more thought out, tested, refined and made to work properly.

Nintendo have always innovated, lead and prospered. This shows there is no let-up in their creativity. Thank God.

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