"A Mario Game Worthy Of The Title "Super""

Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga is a RPG for the gameboy advance, as you all, already know. This is one of the best Mario games I have played, in a LONG time. This game was overlooked, when it was first released, by many people. However, many people don't know what they are missing from this high-quality game.

Gameplay - 10/10
When I first started playing this game, I found it very odd, controlling Mario and Luigi separatley with the A and B buttons. However after a while, I got used to this method, and became very comfortable with it. The game also has many battle features, for instance, you start out with a simple jump, yes? But you can also jump, to avoid enemy attacks. This adds a new element to the gameplay. I always thought while playing many other RPG's, "Why do they just stand there and let the enemy's attack them?" Well in this game while a enemy is getting ready to attack a A button will appear over both characters, meaning that if you press A, you can jump. So basically you can jump and dodge the enemy's attacks. By succeeding you are avoiding any damage that may have been caused. However you can also "return" the damage to your enemy, a successful jump dodge, could also mean that you can land on your enemy after dodging there attack, so your damaging them rather then them damaging you. After a while, you will eventually get hammers, this also adds a new way of defending yourself. When a enemy comes at you, you can hit them with your hammer, interrupting their attack, thus damaging them aswell. Each Mario Bros, also gets their own unique "hand" attack. Mario's being the fire hand, and Luigi's being the thunder hand. And the dodging isn't as easy as it sounds, there are many enemys that you don't know how they are going to attack, or when, so they are tricking you into trying to avoid them to soon. This game also adds in a unique "double teaming" method of attacking. Mario and Luigi each have their own set of Bros. Points (BP), much like MP or PP from other RPGs. Each Bros. gets their own unique Bros. Attacks, that involve both Bros. and careful button pressing and timing. The game also features a new method of "cooperation", between Mario and Luigi, each character must use different map, ability's to solve puzzles and get through areas. Mario starts out with a spin jump, where he jumps on Luigi's head and spins them across a short distance, and Luigi starts with his high jump, letting you jump over higher areas. All there is to it, is that the gameplay is unique, and is always kept interesting.

Story - 8/10
Most Mario games, don't have the "best" story's, much like this games story. It starts out with a cheesy opening of Cackletta and Fawful stealing Princess Peach's voice, for a unknown reason. Then Bowser shows up on his usual "I want to kidnap Princess Peach" rampage. However, the story really starts to pick up from their, and gets alot more complex and interesting then it started with. However the ending, like most Mario game endings, is pretty quick, and nothing to special, however the game is worth it, and the ending, ending with the usual fireworks. Alot of characters also make cameos in this game. Such as Professor E. Gadd, from Luigi's Mansion, and Birdo, from the older Mario games and even Yoshi. These characters, along with many new characters makes for a great cast of new and interesting characters. Most of the game takes place in a world next to the Mushroom Kingdom, bearing the name of Bean Bean Kingdom. So you won't be seeing the same old Mushroom Kingdom, with its familiar baddies, this game introduces old and new baddies to the game.

Graphics - 10/10
The world of Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga is beautifully colored, and have great backgrounds. Such as "real" waterfalls flowing down, blended with "old school" graphics. Don't get me wrong on the "Old School" thing, the graphics are good and pleasant to look at. I really enjoyed the scenery of this game.

Sound - 10/10
Mario and Luigi don't usually do to much dialogue in their games, only featuring the odd "Yahoo!" and such... however, the Bros. each do their fair share of sounds, and babbling, and surprisingly it doesn't get annoying.

Lasting Value - 8/10
I managed to beat this game in 26 hours. The average time frame for completing this game ranges in between 20-25 hours, which is fairly short, and I guess I went a little above average, that is mainly because I used no FAQS to complete this game, and explored every little detail. The game is very amusing with lots of humour, which debuts right off the start, which I might add. However the game is pleasant enough for it to make almost anyone want to replay it at least once more, however in my case, I see this as a game I will play many times, over and over. I always have certain single player games, that I usually play once a year. Maybe increasing the time between plays, after each playthough, but this seems like a game that should have enough lasting value, for you to want to play it at least 1 more time, to do everything you may not have completed the first time through.

Overall - 10/10
Overall this game gets a 10. And it deserves it, for a long time there hasn't been a Mario title that really deserves "Super" in the title, and you know what folks, this is a Mario game worthy of the title Super. I would recommend picking this game up as soon as possible. If you don't, you don't know what your missing. You'd be missing one of Mario and Luigi's Best.


Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 06/15/04


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