IMO there were way too many, and you just picked them up along the way, making exploring the biggest point of the game for me, and not the moon collecting. A lot of people might prefer that, but I personally like having multiple levels with a goal and getting rewarded with a star from them, instead of just finding as many moons as you find coins in the older games.
Some elements in the level change depending on what star you’re trying for. For example, in Whomp’s fortress, Whomp King is on top of the mountain in the first star, but in others, there’s a whole tower on top.
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