I was never so happy to see Super Mario Galaxy land on my desk Friday afternoon, knowing that I would have all weekend (and I do mean ALL weekend) to play and bask in the glory that is Super Mario. Not since 2002 in Mario Sunshine, have we met up with the pint-sized powerhouse, and it was good to catch up with an old buddy. Rushing home to get my first taste of one of the most anticipated games all year, I finally settled in for a serious Mario Marathon. After playing for much longer than originally planned, I could fully attest to this game's awesomeness.

Mario has been stealing hearts ever since the original Super Mario Brothers back back in 1985. Prepare to be swept off your feet again ladies because the plumber is back and going farther than ever to save his princess. Super Mario Galaxy begins with Mario on his way to a hot date with Peach for the 100-year Comet Festival. But natch, Bowser comes in and kidnaps Peach, this time taking her and her entire castle into the final frontier. Mario — being the knight in shining armor that he is — goes after her and will stop at nothing to get her back. With the help and direction of Princess Rosalina (love triangle anyone?), Mario will gather the Grand Stars needed in order to run Rosalina's space observatory and get back his Princess. A timeless story indeed.

So what's so great about this game, you ask? To find out just read more

For starters, Super Mario Galaxy brings back all the nostalgia of Super Mario Brothers, Super Mario Brothers 3, and Super Mario 64, but has reworked them to fit into this cool space-age installment. The music that you know and love are now all dramatically scored to fit in perfectly with each new level. More than once found myself walking away humming to the soundtrack that was stuck in my head, even hours later. The controls are fresh and you know right off that the Wii was made to play this game. The Nunchuck and Wiimote are both used during gameplay, one for directing Mario and the other for collecting weapons, currency, battling foes, and jumping from planet to planet. It may take awhile to master, but thankfully you get some practice maneuvering before jumping into the game. The levels are totally satisfying — you can wander around finding little secrets in each one or just go right through, enjoying the sights while you battle Goombas, Koopas, Piranhas, and some new pests to add to the list.

To say that this is the ultimate, Mario gaming experience is an understatement. It really is at the head of the class in gameplay, controls, graphics, and sound. Obviously, I am a total Mario groupie, having played since I was a little girl while others were playing with Barbies. But even if I wasn't such a superfan, I would be pining for this game anyway. For some, this will be THE game to own for the Wii, for others it will be the final straw to get in line and finally pick up the console. A final word of advice for all you Marioheads out there: Keep your Wiimotes charged, you're going to be playing for a loooong time. You can get your copy online or in stores tomorrow.