Here's to the Reinvention of Genres

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mario64.png1UP has posted a glowing preview of Super Mario Galaxy, due out this month on the Wii. As 1UP points out, the esteemed Mario saga is credited with inventing the platforming genre with the original Super Mario Bros, and then reinventing it with Super Mario 64. They claim the newest game reinvents the genre yet again. Early buzz has been overwhelmingly positive, but this article makes the first mention I've seen that Galaxy may be Game of the Year material. In a year that includes the breathtaking - albeit over-hyped - Bioshock, the beloved - what else? - Portal, and the mind-blowingly fantastic - oh please oh please - Mass Effect, that's saying a lot, and it's also great news for Mario fans. I've been looking forward to the game for a while, despite the fact that, well, it's a platformer.

Still, as much as I rail against the platforming genre, I absolutely loved Mario 64. How much of that was the novelty of exploring 3D space in a new sort of way? Some of it, certainly - but not all of it, because even today I can play the game and thrill at the experience. It's just a marvelously well-put-together game, and I have fun playing it despite all the jumping around on platforms it asks me to do. So, will Super Mario Galaxy live up to this precedent? I'd hardly dared hope, but with advance reviews as encouraging as this one, it's starting to look like a real possibility.

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