super mario galaxy 2

If you’re like me, the experience of playing Super Mario Galaxy 2 can be summed up by the words you’ll find yourself involuntarily muttering again and again:

“Haha, what? No way! That’s awesome!”

Following up Super Mario Galaxy was always going to be a hard task; it turned 20 years of platforming tradition on its head — sometimes literally — with its mind-bending, gravity-defying spherical worlds. Rather than trying to reinvent the genre once again, Nintendo has simply taken the shell of the original game and stuffed it to bursting point with an incredible wealth of crazy, inventive, and unique ideas.

It’s hard to understate just how imaginative this game is. Just about every time you enter one of the game’s dozens of levels, it throws some new gameplay mechanic or concept at you, and as soon as you’ve mastered that, you’re thrown off to the next level and the next crazy idea. Incredibly, with just a couple of exceptions — Spring Mario, which makes a (thankfully brief) return from the original, and some motion-controlled gliding levels — all of those ideas are not just brilliant, but brilliantly executed as well.

The result is, simply put, one of the finest, most enjoyable games I’ve ever played. If you’ve ever been a fan of platformers, you need to play this game.