The first Super Mario Galaxy game was an intergalactic platform romp across the galaxies. For many, it was one of the best games on the Wii that rebooted the 3-D Mario design. Its sequel, Super Mario Galaxy 2, is a very comparable game title that is more of a refinement than a revamp of the original.

Super Mario Galaxy 2 (MG 2) is a 3-D platform game set in outer space. With its intergalactic setting it has a physics game engine. Each of the celestial objects has a gravitational pull, so Mario can jump from one object and be sucked into another nearby and circumvent the small rounded planets.

Whilst it is a predominantly a 3-D platform game, not all of its galaxies are free roaming. In some the camera perspective switches to 2D. As such, MG 2 mixes 3-D with 2D, or perhaps 2.5D.

Just like the original, MG 2 includes a variety of galaxies. They include fire and lava, snow and ice, beach and water, desert and sand and spaceship themed galaxies. Some of the galaxies include bosses such as Piranha Plants on them. Nintendo has replaced the Mario Galaxy floating pirate ships with fortresses, mixed with lava, at the end of the each galaxy where Mario meets up with Bowser. Stars connect the various galaxies and propel Mario to other parts of the galaxy.

In MG 2 there are 120 gold stars to collect across the various galaxies. Mario has to pick up 70 of those to rescue the once again kidnapped Princess Peach. As such, to collect the 120 stars you'll probably have to play through all the galaxies again at least once, as well as additional galaxies included in extra worlds. With an extra 120 green stars to pick up Super Mario Galaxy 2 has great lastability.

Among the new additions to the sequel is that of the world map. It's a new world map system more like those included in previous Mario games such as New Super Mario Bros. Mario flies through the galaxies aboard the Starship Mario, the primary transportation platform which replaces the former Comet Observatory from the original game. It's a somewhat smaller alternative which includes a wooden ship wheel on the primary deck.

Yoshi is also included in this game. Mazza's dinosaur sidekick can gobble up much in his path, such as dash peppers, blimp fruits and bulb berries. Dash peppers give Yoshi a temporary speed boost, and blimp fruits inflate the dinosaur so that it floats in the air. With the tongue lash Yoshi can reach platforms out of Mario's reach.

Nintendo hasn't added many new items for Mario to pick up. The bee mushrooms, rainbow stars, fire flowers and springs from the first game are all included. One new addition are clouds, which when collected transform Mario to Cloud Mario. Then you can jump and establish small clouds that provide additional higher platforms or save his bacon if about to get sucked out of the galaxy!

Graphically MG 2 is a cut above other Wii games. It's colorful and has some great 3-D landscapes. This is one title that showcases the console's hardware.

The game's audio includes classic revamped soundtracks from previous Mario titles as well as new ones. Mario Galaxy is among the first Nintendo games to put greater emphasis on live orchestral scores, similar to Zelda. A symphony orchestra performed the soundtrack, and it includes a one hour album.

Whilst Mario Galaxy 2 is not a huge enhancement on the original, it's a worthy sequel. There's not a huge amount of new updates, but it's still a great game. For further details, check out the game's website.

Rating: 9/10