Recently in Game Informer the great designer Shigeru Miyamoto stated that Super Mario Galaxy 2 will NOT have a centralized hub world and will opt for the “Overworld Map” approach. Feel free to read the direct quote below.
“We want players to focus on the joy of the action instead of getting to each game course. We wanted to make it as accessible as possible and as easy as possible for the players. Also, because we’re going to incorporate a number of different stars and conquering all the stars is going to be one of the most challenging missions for the player, we want them to understand as easy as possible where they should go next and which places they should go back to in order to get access to the remaining stars.”
I was not a HUGE fan of the Super Mario Galaxy Hub world, but I sure as hell liked it better than any overworld map. Who did not love running around the castle in Mario 64? Banjo Kazooie had an awesome hub world as well. In a hub world you can hide secrets and hidden levels…not as much with a map screen. Hub worlds even helps you set the tone for the world to come. This lets the player start to set their own mood before entering. BLARG!!
Article from Gamersyndrome.com