In theory, this should be my favorite Mario game. I've poured in thousands upon thousands of hours over the course of a decade mastering this game, speedrunning it, and exploring its limits. I own six separate copies of this game in various languages and systems. Indeed, the reason why I've spent so much time on this game is that its level design is some of the greatest stuff Nintendo has ever made. Yoshi is such a versatile and broken asset to the game, the platforming is complex and vibrant, and all stars excite me. It really is a perfect add-on to SMG1, as it originally intended to be. The reason why I can't bring myself to give this game a perfect score is that instead of marketing this game as a sort of 'lost levels' or addon to Super Mario Galaxy, they slapped in a lazy story that feels lacking, unfinished and lacks vision. The whole story of this game is filler. Did they do it to boost sales? So they could more comfortably shelve it alongside other mainline Mario games? It feels slightly disingenuous. Either way, it's not a big complaint. This is a sublime game and I've had an outrageous amount of fun with it se a child, a teenager and a young adult. I truly hope they re-release this on the Switch, someday.

Reviewed on Jan 22, 2023