Yes indeed it is, but you want to know why? Read on.
I figured out why this game feels so much better to me than Galaxy 1. One of the issues I had with Galaxy 1 was that the hub world was convoluted. If you didn't play the game for a couple days you lost track of what stars you were missing and in what world. You forgot easily because just finding those worlds were not so smooth. In Galaxy 2, the maps work like Super Mario World so you can see everything you need just by flying over the level and not having to search for it. This seems like a small thing but it's big issue for me. Not only that but the game itself is just loads better and you will see why when you play it for a while.
The flow of the game is very smooth and natural also. You go from 2D to 3D seamlessly and the camera hasn't been a problem at all yet. I've only had to adjust the camera a couple times so far; I think the camera in a 3D game is probably the hardest thing to develop in a game like this and they did a really good job. The difficulty is perfect also, nothing is too hard but not too easy either. The game gives you a sort of option to go the harder path when you unlock multiple ways to get to the same destination. I've just done both ways when this happens ( like most people will). Yes the other path is harder but very satisfying when you beat it. I've died yes, but it was either because I fell off the side due to a poorly timed jump or just not knowing the level or what was coming up. The reasons why you die in this game are clear and make sense, I haven't had a "cheap, that wasn't fair" death yet. Yoshi is a god in this too, you will love him.
There's a level in World 2 that reminded me of Donkey Kong Country 1 on SNES. Remember that first water level with the piano music and how amazed we were? The same thing happened to me in Galaxy 2, beautiful water level which was side scrolling with amazingly pretty piano music that fitted perfectly. This game has it all, it's like a Nintendo fan's wet dream. No joke.
I haven't played a game that was made with so much care and attention as this one in a very long time. I forgot that a game could actually still bring this much joy to a person playing it. From what I've heard, Nintendo was working on this game ever since 2007 after Galaxy 1 so they've had time to perfect the formula and cut and add to it to make it so very, very good.
This game is not perfect (what game truly is?) the knock against it is that this is not really a sequel to Galaxy 1 but more like "this is what it should have been like" if you're ok with that, this game will pretty much make you almost forget about the first game. For those complaining about the story? No one cares, seriously.