Well, after 88 stars and beating the main quest, I think I'm ready to render my verdict: awesome. This game is joy.
Actually, it took me a long time to warm up to this game, but I think it's mostly my fault. I couldn't help but watch and read all the press leading up to the game's launch. As a result, everything in the first third of the game felt a little too familiar. But then it happened. I landed on a small planetoid, uncorked a hole and, let's just say, I couldn't help but smile at the results. It was at this moment that I realized I was tooling around in the imaginations of some truly gifted individuals.
The music is stellar. The live orchestra recordings provide a sense of grandeur that is complimented by the game's impressive visuals. Controls are very good, although swimming is often frustrating. The 2-player cooperative gameplay is a welcome addition. Power-ups are interesting, though they sometimes seem either sparse or unnecessary. Level designs are terrific and surprisingly varied, even when you are required to return to a level to collect more stars. And finally, the story --well, it's not so great, but I can't say I was expecting much. And what little story there is to tell is presented through gorgeous FMVs, so no complaint there.
Super Mario Galaxy is not quite as groundbreaking or glorious as Super Mario 64, but it ranks very near. My only other complaint is that it seemed too easy to complete the main quest. However, despite the game's modest flaws, I think Super Mario Galaxy deserves a respectable score of 9.8/10.