Here is a collection of the reviews we've seen thus far:
Super Mario Galaxy 2 is more of what made the original so amazingly good: brilliant gravity platfoming. Incredibly tight and responsive controls. Fantastic musical score. But it’s not a “me too” experience -- a significant majority of this sequel is brand new
Super Mario Galaxy 2 is even more varied, challenging, and fun than its superb predecessor, making it the new standard for platformers.
Marvel at the pieces, but appreciate the whole. This isn’t a game that redefines the genre: this is one that rolls it up and locks it away.
With multiple gameplay styles and perspectives, and level design so contorted and multi-faceted it's cruel, the camera faces challenges no other game can match, and yet it never puts a foot wrong. The behaviour of the game's gravity and physics can change in an instant, and yet you always instinctively know how to thread our hero through it, that telepathic connection between Mario and gamer as strong as it's been in the last three decades.
Games Radar: 10/10
Like we said earlier, it always either fixes the limited number of flaws the first game had, or just takes interesting new approaches to much of what worked, while still being a game that stands on its own. You may notice that until now we’ve had few complaints, and that’s simply because there are so few things to complain about.
Whether or not you are a Mario fan, you owe it to yourself to experience what this game is; it’s a result of creative forces which are rarely evident in this density.
Nintendo Life: 10/10
Truth be told, it's nearly impossible to find even one small thing to gripe about, and believe us, we tried. Every once in a while a video game comes along that's just so spectacular that it ends up defining the very system it's released on and raises the bar by which all other games in the series and genre will be judged. It's safe to say that game has now arrived on the Wii console. Consider the bar officially raised.
Magical and pure ecstasy is the feeling you’ll experience throughout the entire game. In a world where graphics are king, it’s nice to see a game that emphasizes on addicting gameplay once again. If you want to feel like a child again and experience pure unadulterated bliss, Super Mario Galaxy 2 will deliver. Hands down the best release of 2010, so far.
Video Games Daily: 10/10
Somebody once said that Hamlet is a play made up entirely of famous quotes. Super Mario Galaxy 2 is an entire game’s worth of favourite bits. Go find one to call your own.
If you're looking for the negative section in this review, you're not going to find it; I have nothing bad to say. Going in, I expected to call Nintendo out for treading water, revisiting Super Mario Galaxy in this sequel. They didn't, though. Instead, they poured in the same creativity and imagination that made me fall in love with games like Super Mario Bros 3 and Super Mario World. To me it feels like they finally felt the freedom and comfort in 3D platforming to get back to that Nintendo magic that we all remember.
Super Mario Galaxy was a triumph, but the sequel manages to take things to a new level of excellence by adding new material as well as fixing elements that, in hindsight, did not appear to be broken.
Giant Bomb: 5/5
Super Mario Galaxy 2 sees both Nintendo and Mario himself in top form, delivering an adventure that's as consistently exciting and inventive as ever.
The Escapist: 5/5
Super Mario Galaxy 2 doesn't tinker with the established formula very much, but we didn't really want it to. It's huge, brilliant, and gorgeous. It's why you started playing videogames in the first place.
Everything in Super Mario Galaxy 2 feels completely natural and an extension of what Mario has done before. It expertly combines brilliant level design, inventive gameplay mechanics, tight controls, and beautiful visuals and sound into what can only be described as a masterpiece.
Nintendo Okie: 5/5
What could have been a simple rehash of Super Mario Galaxy has easily taken on a life of its own. It feels brand new, while being very familiar to anyone who’s played a Mario Game. Don’t wait any longer than you have to to own this title. You owe it to yourself to play this game.
The essence of Super Mario games has always been getting from Point A to Point B, being proud that you made it to the end, but then being disappointed because the middle part was so entertaining. This is a magnificent feeling that occurs so often in Super Mario Galaxy 2, I really do want to visit my 10-year old self and give him a sneak peek at what the future holds. (And pray that his/my head doesn't explode).
The game mines the formula set forth by its predecessor for nearly all it's worth, and offers up an unforgettable experience that undoubtedly surpasses its source material in every way.
Go Nintendo: 9.9/10
Almost every single galaxy in Galaxy 2 feels like the best theme park ride you've ever been on. The original game had outstanding environments, but there were a few that were forgettable. With the sequel, the level design really does stand out. These are locations I'm going to remember, as every corner offered something entertaining
Cheat Code Central: 4.9/5
If this doesn't sound like a fun and complete game to you, you are crazy.
Official Nintendo Magazine: 97/100
If you play video games for what makes them different from other entertainment mediums, put a few days aside on your calendar and get ready for a top-shelf gameplay experience.
If you loved the first Mario Galaxy, but you're wary that this follow-up is a mere shade of its predecessor, than rest assured that this fan-service laden sequel feels just as new as the first Mario Galaxy.
The Onion (AV Club): A
The save-the-princess narrative? That isn’t the story of Super Mario Galaxy 2. The real story—a story that transcends cultures, time, and language—is between each and every one of those sweat-inducing leaps.
Super Mario Galaxy 2 takes Super Mario Galaxy and makes a few tweaks to make it more playable. As such, Galaxy 2 instantly catapults itself into the discussion for the title of Best Game Available on Wii. If you liked Super Mario Galaxy even a bit, Super Mario Galaxy 2 is a must-have title for your Wii game collection.
Worth Playing: 9.5/10
While Super Mario Galaxy 2 could easily have been a cheap cash-in with a few lackluster additional levels, it manages to be something more. It expands on the gameplay of Super Mario Galaxy and adds enough new twists and turns to feel like a full-fledged sequel.
Computer and Video Games: 9.3/10
Galaxy 2 is all about the platforming. And just like the original, the sheer amount of imagination present in every galaxy, mini-game and boss fight in Galazy 2 is staggering.
Famitsu Magaine: 37/40
Most games today are willing to hang their hat on a small handful of new gameplay or level-design ideas. Super Mario Galaxy 2 throws something new at you nearly every single level – and with over 240 stars to collect, that’s no small feat.
A new surprising gameplay twist every few minutes, great nostalgic moments, deep challenges if you want them.
Super Mario Galaxy 2, especially for those who played the original, offers both a familiar and original experience that all gamers will enjoy. Buy it without hesitation.
An exhilarating reinvention of platformers that constantly challenges its own identity with success, while the increased difficulty and high proficiency requirement may turn new fans off
N-Sider: (No Score Given)
In Short: Mario turned up to 11.
Kotaku: (No Score Given)
The world did not need another Super Mario game already. But if that is what freed the designers of Super Mario Galaxy 2 to run wilder with their imagination, then let's have more unnecessary Mario games. This new one is tougher, more fantastic, more devious, and more varied.
Crave Online: (No Score Given)
Super Mario Galaxy 2 is a perfectly crafted nod to every type of Mario fan there is. Briliant gameplay, fantastic platforming, exploration rewards, wonderful music, Yoshi and nostalgiac tip-offs make this game exactly what fans have been clamoring for. If you've ever been a fan of Nintendo, this one's for you.
ArsTechnica: (No Score Given)
No matter what level you're playing at, you can sit down for 20 minutes and have a good time, or you can lose yourself for hours. The Mario haters will continue to bleat about the same ideas being rehashed once again, but the truth is that Nintendo is constantly trying to beat its own best, and it delivers exactly what gamers want—and in huge doses. This is, thus far, the peak of what platforming can offer.
Joystiq: (No Score Given)
Super Mario Galaxy 2 is the best Mario game ever. There, I said it.