I have to change my view on this game after playing some more last night. I clearly wasn't praising it enough, because I really, REALLY regret not taking a day or two off work just to sit home and play this.
After fixing up my ship, I was able to more fully explore my initial planet with short jumps. Then, hesitatingly, I blasted off into space. My system (Smurf Prime) had 3 more planets—all in a row.
So, I needed to visit Smurf Beta, Smurf Gamma and Smurf Theta. Smurf Gamma needed to be named Gamma because it's almost entirely green and rains acid, but had amazing caves.
Smurf Beta had no environmental hazards, except it got cold at night. It also had no animals and very little vegetation. Kind of a boring planet, but it was nice to just run around collecting stuff without having the "warning" robot voice in my head constantly nagging me to find shelter.
Then I hopped back in my ship and headed to Smurf Theta, not expecting too much, but when I got there... wowzers! It also rained acid, but this one was teeming with life and floating islands (I made sure I did not land on one, because there would be no way to get back if I fell off).
I was just planning on landing, naming the planet and then hitting the old hyper drive to the next system, but after seeing what this planet looks like, I'm going to explore it further. And there are these cool looking flying creatures that I can't seem to scan... too far away or something, but my goal is to find one on the ground. The acid rain is easily avoidable, so the Polygon "writer" is just pulling his typical anti-Sony shenanigans—it's barely noticeable after 2 hours of playing, let alone something that needs a full paragraph crying about it. I guarantee if this was an MS exclusive it would be Polygon's GotY. But, enough Polygon-bashing...
This game might be my GotY, at this point. The Witness and Uncharted 4 are both fantastic, and Street Fighter V is the best fighter I've played, but I have a feeling it will take a long time before I grow tired of exploring the galaxy in NMS.