When you're not trying to navigate wooden worlds as they're being sawn off beneath your feet - or wall-jumping off a 30ft coin in a universe where everything's giant - the main source of Galaxy 2's imagination is found in its array of new power-ups.
Yoshi introduces most of these, including the Dash Pepper - which makes him storm up steep surfaces like a stampeding horse. There's also Light Yoshi, who projects a magical glow onto ghostly platforms that you'd otherwise fall straight through.
Our favourite Yoshi power-up, though, is Blimp Fruit Yoshi - which sees your green buddy bloat up to a gigantic size and float like a balloon. This allows for some pretty fantastic sections, such as one galaxy centred around a giant log in the sky. This plays like the definitive 2.5D platformer; though gravity keeps us tethered to the log (so if Mario falls he'll simply spin around it forever) we're only moving left and right - like a classic Mario game.
The change of perspective also allows the game to present a very Donkey Kong Country-style vertical section, which has bloated Yoshi puffing his way up towards a Power Star - dodging spiky bushes and flying goombas with the A button as he goes. Brilliant.
Mario's own power-ups aren't exactly scarce - with Cloud Mario allowing the red chap to drop up to three fluffy platform with a flick of the remote, and Rock Mario blasting our man forwards like a gigantic, pebbly bowling ball.
The definitive element of Nintendo's Galaxy 2 blueprint, however, is that it's technically the second part of a learning curve that the original game kicked off. This means it's also bloody hard.
Past World 3, Galaxy 2 is a significantly more challenging game than the first, and you're barely standing on a surface that's not moving, dissolving or swinging you in the direction of a black hole.
Galaxy 2's core audience - the loyal consumers which have felt so poorly catered for on the Wii in the last year - will be overjoyed to discover the genuine challenge offered here.
One galaxy in particular - which we can't mention too specifically because of spoilers - cost us 15 lives attempting to get past the first 30 seconds alone.
Although checkpoint flags have been introduced to give novices at least a fighting chance, we can't see many of the majority of Wii's audience making it to the end of the game - let alone the super-tough secret stages beyond that.
Good news for the hardcore then, but not necessarily for the spouses and relatives who enjoyed the original Galaxy.
That's one scuff that could potentially dirty Galaxy 2's near-immaculate sheen, then. The other takes us back to the opening gambit of this very review; the fact that, ultimately, this is just more of the (admittedly brilliant) same.
By the time you pick up the Wii Remote and choose your spinney Galaxy 2 save game head you'll have already mastered the key concept.
And as amazing as the next ten hours of the game are, the scale and experience will never blow you away quite like they did in the original three years ago. By choosing evolution over revolution, Nintendo has sacrificed the freshness that defines its very best releases.
That's not going to stop you having an inordinate amount of fun with the sequel. But this time, once you've hopped, leaped and tongue-lassoed your way through 240 stars-worth of brilliant and imaginative levels, you might just have had your fill.
More imaginative, more challenging, more fun... more of the (brilliant) same.
- Brilliant, imaginative worlds
- Fantastic power-ups
- Looks stunning
- Will keep you busy for weeks
- Won't blow you away like the first game