Okay. Just finished collecting 120 stars in Galaxy and I have to say that the very end, specifically the last 15 stars. I beat every stage possible before fighting bowser the first time. I have never completed all the stages before and the first time I played Mario Galaxy, I did very little more than the bare minimum. This time was different.
Once I beat bowser, I was taken back to the comet observatory with 15 stars to collect. I headed towards the terrace and completed my first purple coin challenge. It was very simple. A completely linear path through one of the stages. It really wasn't any problem. "Oh" I thought "It's going to take me on a little victory lap through each of the main galaxies. A little boring but I can live with that". I was wrong. The remaining 14 levels were split into two categories. Collect 100 purple coins under a time limit, or find 100 purple coins scattered throughout the level.
The time limit was fine. They were a little stressful but perfectly managable. The Luigi one was even pretty fun. However, once I reached the scavenger hunt ones, things slowed down to a crawl. Not only were these a slog to walk through (two were mostly underwater and one required the bee suit for the whole thing), but many of them had instant death conditions. You could get all the way to the end of the level, have most of the coins collected after 7-8 minutes (these are 3 minute stages max) and slip up on a jump and have to do the whole thing over again. That is not good game design when a player, who is used to running and jumping to reach the goal as fast as possible, is forced to mind-numbingly comb throughout a large, linear level. If you miss something, you have to walk all the way back and hope you don't miss it again.
The worst offenders however, are battlerock galaxy and dreadnought galaxy. Each one is an autoscroller. The former puts you on a circular platform and tasks you with collecting all 100 coins in one go. This was plenty annoying since the gravity mechanics are tricky to adjust to on the fly, but I did it without getting to frustrated. Dreadnought however was a different story. This one tasks you with not only collecting 100 coins in a row without missing any, but frequently shift gravity from up, to down, and even to the side. all the while, you have to worry about cannonballs from the back coming to the front and knocking you off. I was stuck on this one stage for like 30 minutes because I could not adjust to everything that was being thrown at me at once.
Everyone complains about having to beat the game a second time with Luigi to unlock that final mission, but I thing these last 15 stars are every bit as offensive and insulting as that. There is absolutely no respect for the players time.
So yeah. Galaxy is a really freaking good game and I love it. solid 8.5/10
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