More on Mario Galaxy

I’m now about 50 stars in. A few notes:
It turns out you can do the spin move with the nunchuk, but it doesn’t feel as responsive as with the wiimote. It’s unclear whether it’s because the nunchuk is genuinely less responsive, or because I’ve gotten used to doing it with the wiimote.

Another useful but undocumented feature: you can grab and rotate the solar-system world-select map.

The music and sound effects, while good, bury into my head to an absurd and aggravating degree.

While I’m still very much engaged in the experience and I’m still finding it fairly challenging, the game continues to feel flat, in the sense that once I’m in a level, there’s an “always on” feeling.  The other game I’ve been playing a lot of these days is Left 4 Dead, which carefully sculpts a cycle of tension and release.  With Mario, I get the impression that the bits of flying between planets is supposed to provide the release, but they’ve mucked it up by encouraging us to watch the whole screen during the fly-by’s to collect star bits and spot potential secrets.  So as a result, it’s a bit tiring having to constantly adapt to the craziness that the game is throwing at me.

Finally, the thing where a game alters your perception of reality after you come off playing it has started happening to me.   I’ll be holding a coin or some other small object, and have the feeling that if I let go of it, it would fall up or to the side. I haven’t had it this bad since Crackdown a couple years ago, where I’d looking at a series of tall buildings and find myself thinking about how to scale them.  I actually think this is related to the previous point – because the game constantly works my brain, I don’t get a sufficient chance to reset and recalibrate while I’m playing the game, and so it takes longer than usual after I’ve stepped away to leave the experience behind.

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