I think the one thing you should take away from this review: Super Mario Galaxy 2 wholly exceeded my expectations. Leading up to the game’s release I hadn’t expected much more than simply “more of the same.” I loved the original Super Mario Galaxy, but the company would have to do something pretty special to really “wow” me.
Consider me “wowed.” Again. Yes, Super Mario Galaxy 2 is more of what made the original so amazingly good: brilliant gravity platfoming. Incredibly tight and responsive controls. Fantastic musical score. But it’s not a “me too” experience — a significant majority of this sequel is brand new. New level challenges, new gameplay mechanics, new (and incredible) orchestral pieces. All done up in a package that streamlines the classic Mario experience: a straightforward presentation, a much more intelligent camera system, and a rewarding progression that opens up some seriously devious and fulfilling level challenges.
Mario has always been a universally appealing game design and Nintendo has done an incredible job to make sure its key franchise is just as accessible to gamers of all walks of life. Most of all, Super Mario Galaxy 2 perfectly captures that classic videogame charm, the reason why most of us got into gaming from the start.
– IGN closing comments