Review by Jeux Fire
"One fell review is the way I will deal with this fink-rat!"
''Well, I've pretty much been waiting for this all since it was announced... not because it was released by Nintendo or anything... I just needed a remedy RPG after that graphical rollercoaster Golden Sun(which lacked so much content I HAD to seek that remedy).
I must say I'm very impressed with this one. After seeing RPGs that have no content yet gain the favor or everyone just by being aesthetically pleasing, games that shame their own series and RPGs I've beaten nearly 5,000 years ago re-hashed and back to haunt me one gem stands out and says. ''This is MY system now... get out of here'' and I take no shame in announcing that that game is this: Mario & Luigi RPG: The Superstar Saga''
Don't ask why I'm giving this a 10 out of ten... I guess it's just that I've seen so many games with horrible collision detection that my expectations are set very low when it comes to controls.
The controls are pretty nice, you will catch on to them almost instantly... even being so, you STILL have to wait through 5-10 minute tutorials on commands you would have found out how to do by yourself... I guess with the multitude of help requests received thus far this is acceptable, but they could have at least allowed tutorial skipping for all of them for the more intellectual of us that don't need a strategy guide nearby to make a game possible to beat.
Marvelous... just marvelous. After the long-winded uninteresting dialog in most of these New-Gen RPGs it's great to come by and hear silly well-thought out things like this.
Sure you will look at the storyline and instantly say ''Aw man, this is SO kiddy'' when you hear things about the Princess having an explosive voice, or you may, like I, find yourself rolling in laughter. This really brightened up my week.
The gameplay also consists of many puzzles, in which you use all kinds of abilities to get through... it's not just your usual ''move block A to spot A to get key A and open door A to access room B thing any Golden Sun player, fan or skeptic alike noticed it abused''. Instead you use tools like hammers to pound yourself down to size and explore the smaller areas of where ever you are, as well as many others I won't spoil for you.
Heh, I'm still in laughter from this one. The great dark emporer Cackletta has kidnapped the Princess' voice and replaced it with an explosive vocabulary. I was amazed at the sheer originality of this. Instead of using overexerted failure attempts to create a Odyssey-esque serious storyline Nintendo took the route that they took in the past that made them so popular... they just went all out, having fun with it and trying to make it humorously appealing... something they seemed to have dropped along the way comes back to smack us right in the face.
The story sequences are also just as interesting... instead of the monotonous babbling where they talk about the elder's son's king's legendary whatchamacallit and the ancient legacy of your descendant's wise man's whatever where you usually find yourself wearing at the progress button in a desperate attempt to just get on with the game you find that you may actually WANT to hear the story scenes as well as the speech the NPCs are programmed with.
The graphics are great. The colors used in the sprites are just marvelous... they display vibrant colors, many interesting caricatures as well as creativity not very many game creators can match up to(not any of the new-generation gaming, anyway).
All the sprites display smooth animation... some things I wouldn't have suspected was even possible with the GBA cartridges' limited space is here too. Despite the GBA's somewhat small display there are some obscenely huge sprites here. In the graphics department this one stands right beside, if not above, Super Mario RPG.
Brilliant! The music in this game is definately nothing to ignore. Although I do have the game I have a ROM counterpart I play as well on an emulator to record whatever music I find pleasing on here(29MB and growing) to take with me. The one thing I really like about this is that there is no out of place music, all the music fits every place perfectly; for the forests there are dark, gloomy and suspense-inducing themes, for the humor scenes they are all accompanied by just the right type of song to suit whatever situation they are in... although I do have one bone to pick with the game's boss theme, it's just inferior... I heard the boss themes from SMRPG and PM which were all great but the boss themes on these sort of lack in comparison. Brings my liking of it down but still doesn't tarnish the overall 9 this gets for the awesome musical score.
Fun Factor 10/10:
The game was fun from beginning to end, there are virtually none of the long, drawn out areas in this game that most RPGs of the new-generation are saturated with.
Although this isn't the first time action and turn-based have been mixed in the same cauldron I must say M&L's way of it is very unique. While most battle systems have it where you just input the command and watch as it's executed you have to execute it yourself here... otherwise you will strike for little or no damage. Same as blocking, expect no freebie here as ignoring your chances to block will get the crap beaten out of you in record-breaking time.
Well, this is about the only department that's really lacking. Only way I see this being hard is if you have bad hand-eye coordination but otherwise it's just solve a few puzzles, fight a boss every now and then and deal with whatever events spawn off that...
Put simply, the game is easy... not as easy as games like Golden Sun, but it could still have used more challenge than it had.
Well, wasn't perfect, but it did meet all expectations(except for the boss music which kind of scarred a game music lover such as myself) but it's still great... if you can I suggest you give it a try, there's something in it for RPG lovers and RPG haters alike!
Replay Value 8/10:
I don't know about you all, but I will definitely be playing it again as soon as I finish up some of all these other RPGs I've loaded myself with.
To buy or to rent?:
You mean you're still here?!
GET THE GAME. NOW!
Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 11/24/03
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