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Party like it's 1985: The 'Super Mario Galaxy' release party at the Nintendo World Store

CNET editor Will Greenwald went to the Nintendo World Store at Rockefeller Center to attend the release event of 'Super Mario Galaxy' for the Nintendo Wii.

Mario rolls deep in New York.

I don't use the word "shindig" often, but Nintendo definitely threw a shindig last night at the Nintendo World Store at Rockefeller Center to commemorate the launch of Super Mario Galaxy. Dozens of Nintendo fans lined up Sunday evening to attend the store's prerelease event, an outdoor party on the Rockefeller Center plaza with a DJ, a laser light show, and a Velcro wall ride. It was like my dream Bar Mitzvah.

Mario was in attendance, of course. The giant red and blue plumber worked the crowd and let everyone know exactly whose party it was. There's something utterly surreal about seeing a man in a huge plastic Mario costume dancing while lasers flash across Rockefeller Center and a DJ plays a thumping beat.

Super Mario Galaxy looks like one of those must-have titles for the Wii. Gamespot gave the game a score of 9.5 and an Editors' Choice award. I spent the weekend with the game and at this point I have to admit that it really feels like a worthy successor to Super Mario 64. A huge variety of levels, a ton of stars to collect, and some of the best level design I've seen in years cap off this great Mario game.

Besides putting Super Mario Galaxy on sale at midnight, the Nintendo World Store also put 250 Nintendo Wiis on the block. On one hand, Mario-hungry gamers probably appreciated the many Wiis on sale. On the other hand, most people who lined up to get Super Mario Galaxy the moment it came out probably also lined up last year to get the Wii as soon as it came out.

Like this guy, one of the first in line: