We gamers just can't help but curse, can't we? Not me, I'm squeaky clean!
Okay, not really. But hey, it's a part of life.
Anyway, I never actually found many 3D games that engage in free movement to be difficult in regards to this area. Maybe it's because I'm much more used to them, but perhaps it also stems from their wide landscapes and easily avoidable pitfalls. To be honest, other then Super Mario Sunshine, I don't really remember any difficult 3D adventure games. I mean, sure, they'd occasionally rise up in difficulty, but I'd end up keeping it under control. Meanwhile, I'm gritting my teeth playing Super Mario Bros. and flail around miserably as all of my eight lives are succumbing to the same stupid mistake again and again (it all starts with that infernal World 5...).
Nintendo has advertised Super Mario Galaxy 2 as being an exception to this, and while there indeed some tight spots (not to mention some nasty bosses!), I think it's only a slight improvement. Not a problem with me, though. Perhaps I've been spoiled, but difficulty is never an issue with me. Still, Galaxies such as Clockwork, Slipsand, and Chompworks all deserve special mentions, but I'd like to go over two of the galaxies that gave me the hardest time.
MELTY MONSTER GALAXY
You gotta have an awesome fire-themed level in a Mario game. It's just the standard! This time, however, Nintendo made sure this one was the most epic of them all.
Why? Because when you start this level, this is one of the first things you come across:
And there's no way to beat 'em, either! You just gotta scramble outta there. It's not so easy, however, thanks to your first mode of transportation: Pull Stars.
You gotta point at them with the Wii Remote and hold on..
Now, these Pull Stars were a convenient way of moving around in the first Galaxy, but not so much here. In order to reach the Launch Star, you have to somehow sling yourself from a web of Pull Stars...it is tough and it doesn't help that those Magmaarghs can pop up and devour you at any moment.
See? They're waiting.
So once you reach the Launch Star, everything's alright UNTILLLLL
OH MY GOD GET OUTTA THERE
Soon after, you reach what I'm assuming is a breeding ground for these guys.
How do we get past this?
As you might be able to tell from the screenshot above, there's a whole bunch of 'em lining up to to consume you, so you gotta act fast. Luckily, there's some orbiting planetoids around to reach the goal.
Oh, and I REALLY do mean you gotta act fast. These guys are quick.
It's complicated..but we reached the star.
There's another really tough star in this galaxy as well. Remember the Fire Flower I was talking about in Super Mario Bros.? Well, there's all kinds of power ups like that in other Mario games, and one of the ones we have here is Rock Mario.
DID I MENTION IT'S REALLY HARD TO CONTROL?
AND AT ONE POINT YOU'RE FORCED TO FOLLOW AN INCREDIBLY NARROW PATH OF RAMPS?
See that bright glow? That's the Power Star I need to reach. Unfortunately, thanks to the tight twisty turns involved in this course, I would die right at the point in the screenshot you see above.
Like any gamer should know, that is the worst feeling in the entire world.
STONE CYCLONE GALAXY
I REALLY HATE THIS STAGE.
I HATE IT.
SERIOUSLY WHAT WERE THEY THINKING WHEN THEY MADE THIS?
YOU'RE CONFUSED, RIGHT? WELL THEN LEMME BREAK IT DOWN.
YOU'RE ON THIS STAGE THAT'S BROUGHT BACK FROM THE ORIGINAL GALAXY, AND IT WAS ALREADY A TOUGH COOKIE THERE. HOWEVER I GUESS SOME SICK BASTARD LIVES WITHIN THE CATACOMBS OF NINTENDO OFFICES AND DECIDED TO NOT ONLY TO BRING IT BACK BUT MAKE SOME SPECIAL MODIFFFIICCAATIOOONNNSSS
OKAY SEE YOU'RE ON THIS TWISTY STONE COIL THING AND IT'S REALLY NARROW SO WATCH YOUR STEP AND THESE REALLY FREAKING HUGE GUYS OH MY GOD THEY'RE HUGE AND THEY'RE STOMPING AT THE SPEED OF LIGHT READY TO CRUSH YOU
SO WHAT'S THE OBJECTIVE OF THE LEVEL? YOU GOTTA COLLECT FIVE SILVER STARS WHICH FORM INTO A REGULAR POWER STAR ONCE YOU GRAB THEM ALL. IT'S NOT SO EASY THOUGH SINCE LIKE I SAID ITS NARROW AND THESE GUYS ARE FREAKING FAST
OH AND DID I MENTION THAT GIANT COLUMN OF WATER BEING ABSORBED BY THAT BLACK HOLE? YEAH, SEE THERE'S PART WHERE THESE FLOATING BLOCKS ARE HOVERING OVER IT AND YOU GOTTA HOP AROUND AND OH GOD THEY'RE EVEN FASTER AND YOU GOTTA GRAB ONE OF THE STARS DID I TELL YOU HOW MANY TIMES I FELL IN THERE I FELL IN THERE A LOT AND LEMME TELL YOU IT WAS A LOT AND I HATED IT GRAAWWWHHHHHHHHHHHHH
AND YES BY BLACK HOLE I MEAN THE ONES FOUND IN SPACE. MAN DO I LOVE THE WAY THIS GAME EMPLOYS ELEMENTS OF SPACE
BUT NOT THIS LEVEL. BOY DO I NOT LIKE THIS LEVEL. IT SUCKS. REALLY BAD. IT'S SO FREAKING HARD BECAUSE THOSE GIANT THWOMPS ARE SMASHING AROUND IN A SET PATTERN LIKE THEY GO THIS WAY THEN THEY COME BACK THE WAY THEY CAME AND THEN THEY REPEAT. THE ONLY GOOD THING ABOUT THEM IS THAT ONE OF THE SIDES IS HOLLOW SO YOU WON'T GET SQUISHED AT THAT POINT
BUT MORE OFTEN THEN NOT YOU DO
THIS IS THE PART I HATED THE MOST. THIS IS BECAUSE I WOULD DIE SO MANY TIMES BEFORE THIS POINT AND WHEN I WOULD FINALLY GET HERE IT'D SQUISH ME BECAUSE I COULDN'T REMEMBER THE PATTERN IT WOULD MAKE AND I'D MAKE A WRONG JUMP AND DIE. I HATE THIS LEVEL
WHOEVER MADE THIS LEVEL HOPES TO CRUSH THE HOPES OF DREAMS OF BOTH CHILDREN AND ADULTS AROUND THE WORLD I HOPE WHOEVER MADE THIS LEVEL DIES A HORRIBLE PAINFUL DEATH AND BY GOLLY I HOPE ITS NOT BY MY OWN HANDS ALTHOUGH I DON'T REALLY HAVE PSYCHOPATHIC TRAITS SO THERE BUT DAMN I HATE WHOEVER WAS INVOLVED IN THIS LEVEL DO YOU KNOW HOW MANY TIMES I DIED HERE? IT WAS A LOT OF TIMES. I SCREAMED AT THE TV SO MUCH AND I WAS REALLY REALLY LOUD. I WONDER IF THE NEIGHBORS HEARD ME ONE TIME THEY SAW ME TALKING TO MYSELF AT THE BUS STOP AND THEY CALLED MY PARENTS ABOUT IT
WHAT A BUNCH OF WEIRDOS
COSMIC COVE GALAXY
Wait a second.
This isn't a very hard galaxy at all.
In fact, it's kind of...soothing? Yeah.
I love moments like these.
In video games, I mean. I love it. Whatever stress you're facing can melt away in almost an instant whenever these types of stages are encountered. They have their own perils, but they're often minuscule in comparison to their peppier cousins. So, y'know, you get to sit back and take it easy.
When you're in places like these, you just can't help but soak it all in. I've been to dozens and dozens of gorgeous levels in video games, and this is just the latest in the long lines of ones that have taken my breath away.
Here's the lake when it's frozen.
I encountered this type of level all the time in the original Galaxy, and I'd often spend my time just looking out into the stars, plains, or even lava columns. Nintendo games always excel at this feeling better then any other form of medium out there, and this is just a level that proves that. I can't describe it exactly at the moment, but just wait until I get around to Kirby Super Star.
Alright, two down and one to go.
Let's see if I can get this wrapped up by Friday.
You know what I need? One of those devices that can capture screenshots. It'd make this a lot easier.