On the other hand, challenging game play can result in a huge feeling of success when finishing a tricky bit. For me the peak moment of euphoria was after I beat the Bouldergeist, which is commonly understood to be the most challenging boss in the game. Before entering the Bouldergeist arena, players are given their choice of either a 1-Up or Super mushroom. If you take the Super mushroom, you are granted 3 extra hits. Until you learn the boss's patterns and weeknesses you need every last hit and still expect to lose lives. The 1-Up turns out to be a bit more useful, since it you take run after run at the section.
At any rate, I finally beat the boss after trying many many times. Then I noticed a Daredevil comet in orbit around the Ghostly Galaxy, which requires Mario to tackle a portion of one of the normal levels without taking a single hit. Sure enough, the challenge was to take on the Bouldergeist once again. I figured my best shot was to try then and there as I had just conquered the level. To my shock, I bested the Bouldergeist on the first try. It would be impossible to describe my exhilaration. This is why people love hard games.
Galaxy has been criticized for having a story that is both too conventional and too unconventional—sometimes in the same review! The main story, represented by cut scenes and which drives game play is the familiar plot of Mario rescuing Princess Peach from the comically sinister Bowser. But the game also periodically unlocks a storybook that recounts the back story of Rosalinda, a new character in the Mario universe. Douglas Wilson sees book, which is formally separated from the rest of the game, as an example of good storytelling. At any rate, I will praise the inclusion of the storybook since my son spent a few minutes the other day reading through it. Encouraging literacy is always a good thing.