In this series of 30 daily articles celebrating the upcoming 30th Anniversary of Super Mario, various members of the Nintendo Life extended family will share their memories and thoughts on the iconic franchise. Next up is reviewer and news contributor Mitch Vogel.
May 23, 2010. That date will forever hold significance to me as it was the day that I finally got to play Super Mario Galaxy 2.
I played through Super Mario Galaxy shortly after it came out and the one thing that I really felt it was missing was Yoshi. I am a huge fan of the green dinosaur and - at the time - wanted nothing more than a chance to play as him in a 3D game where he didn't melt if he came into contact with water. My dreams came true when I watched E3 for the first time and saw that not only was Super Mario Galaxy getting a sequel, but Yoshi would be a prominent part of it. I was positively floored; during the following months I pored over every minor detail that emerged around the highly anticipated sequel and spent much of my time in school daydreaming of exploring the stars with Mario and Yoshi. Even now, I can honestly say I have never been so hyped for an upcoming game.
May 23, 2010 was a sunny, pleasant day. I remember mowing the lawn that afternoon and the only thing on my mind was that I was just hours away from gaming nirvana. Immediately after finishing the lawn, I hopped on my bike and booked it over to the closest Gamestop. There was no line, no hassle, no delay; I showed the man my pre-order receipt, he reached behind the counter, and handed me a brand new copy of Super Mario Galaxy 2. Sunlight glinted off of the smooth cellophane wrapping and the wonder and excitement depicted in Mario & Yoshi's eyes on the cover art didn't even come close to the look in mine. This was it, I was finally holding it in my hands; all of the waiting was over. To put it mildly, I was stoked. Heck, I even took a picture with the potato-quality camera of my DSi.
The best part about this story is that the actual game had completely delivered on my unbelievable levels of hype; my 13-year old brain was suitably blown by the time I had finally watched the credits roll. I had once thought that Super Mario Galaxy was the epitome of 3D platforming perfection, yet Nintendo had somehow managed to capture lightning in a bottle twice. Simply put, I believe that Super Mario Galaxy 2 is the perfect example of how to properly execute a sequel. It built upon the ideas of the original in new, innovative ways, while also managing to add enough new content that it forged its own identity and didn't feel like a soulless retread.
To this day, I still hold out a cautious hope that Nintendo will come to its senses and create a Super Mario Galaxy 3. Super Mario 3D World was excellent, but it felt like a conservative step back after the intergalactic adventures that took place on Wii. Whether or not Nintendo would be able to successfully pull a hat trick without being stale is anyone's guess, but I know for fact that I'll be there on launch day if they ever choose to go down that road.