Greatest Game of 2007: Bioshock and Super Mario Galaxy
2007 brought us two of the greatest games of our current generation, Bioshock and Super Mario Galaxy. While our panel selected Bioshock and I really can’t disagree with the selection, Super Mario Galaxy was also a great game. Today, I’ll talk about both and you can let me know in the comments which game you prefer!
Atmosphere. That’s the first word that comes to mind when I think of Bioshock. No game this generation created a better atmosphere for your character to explore. From the opening scene when you ride down the bathysphere and you hear Andrew Ryan utter the phrase, “Welcome to Rapture!” as the camera pans back to reveal a massive underwater city I knew I was going to be in for an epic experience. I don’t generally enjoy single player first person shooters but Bioshock was an exception. I think the main reason for this was the use of the plasmids and the creative ways you could go about combat. The ability to electrocute a splicer in the water or use your telekinetic power to hurl an item was very original and cool. I alluded to him earlier, however, the presence of Andrew Ryan really puts Bioshock onto another level. He is easily one of the coolest video game characters of all time, and the fact that you almost never encounter him in the game is a testament to the writing and voice acting. As the game winds to a close, the ending is extremely disappointing, but don’t let that deter you from exploring Rapture.
Super Mario Galaxy
While all the criticism Nintendo gets on this site and with the “hardcore” gaming crowd is justified somewhat, I am always able to forgive Nintendo and hope for the best in the future for their ability to make games such as Super Mario Galaxy that are absolute masterpieces. Playing Super Mario Galaxy was an incredibly FUN experience, and as much as I appreciate serious stories and interactive experiences, at a base level playing games is suppose to be about having fun. Super Mario Galaxy provides that in spades, mainly, due to the level design. The game feature flawless platforming as you follow Mario into a wide variety of worlds and in and out of a wide variety of suits. The Gamecube Mario effort, Super Mario Sunshine, received criticism as you never really left the tropical island feel and you never really used different suits besides the water pack. In Galaxy you’ll find yourself transforming into a multitude of characters as you explore all the different levels. Another thing that Galaxy does exceptionally well is that it changes up the way you play. You’ll notice in almost every level that you’re asked to use a different ability or solve a puzzle in a different way. This really helps keep the game fresh throughout. The gravity dynamic is really cool as well as in some levels you will be leaping between all different sized spheres. If you still have a desire to have fun when you play a game, Super Mario Galaxy is undoubtedly one of the best games this generation to do just that.