Review by The_Placebo

"Spoiler Free Review: Mario and Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story"

Wait, another game came out on September 15th BESIDES Scribblenauts? Believe it or not, another good (and arguably better) game came out as well. Mario and Luigi 3, carries out the unusual formula of the past 2 games, being a Mario RPG game. Like past games, you control Mario and Luigi together, as they battle and negotiate their way through dungeons via Zelda style. The new twist this time, is that most of the dungeons are inside Bowser. That isn't to say that Bowser misses out on the fun. Bowser gets to do his own fair share of exploring and battling in the overworld. In my experience, I actually felt like I played as Bowser more. Now, the aspects I will be reviewing are the Overworld Gameplay, Battle, and enjoyability.

Now, the overworld of this game comes in two forms. One is the Mushroom Kingdom which you explore as Bowser for the beginning, and the other is Inside of Bowser. Inside of Bowser, where you play as Mario and Luigi, comes in 2 parts. First, there are the levels with enemies that are just like the overworld, but with 2D instead of 3D. These levels play exactly like in the previous 2 games, with a skill being acquired mid-way through the level being necessary to beat the level, and of course, having a boss at the end. The second part isn't really levels, but rather Mini-Games that are activated by events in the storyline. Some of these happen more frequently then others (4 times for instance), and others only get to be played once. Most of the games are enjoyable, and the ones that aren't are bearable.

Battles also return in almost the same fashion as before. However there are a few small differences. Firstly, Bro Items from Partners in Time are gone. Instead, "Special Points", known as Bro. Points to those who played Superstar Saga, are what allow you to attack or not. Bowser has something similar, but instead of attacking with a bro, he summons his minnions to attack for/with him. Most of the Bro Attacks and Minion Attacks are pretty easy. Although the strongest attacks for each come late in the game via optional exploring, they both come before the bevy of bosses you fight near the end, and are very helpful overall towards making those battles easier. One thing to note is that while each brother only gets one reaction command to dodge an attack, Bowser gets 2, which makes things more interesting when dodging with him, as many enemies involve using both to dodge one attack. One final thing to note about battles is a new item called a "Retry Clock". It is infrequent, and can't be bought, but it gives you the chance to start a battle over from the beginning, with full health and SP, which does come in handy sometimes.

Lastly, the trademark of the Mario and Luigi games, the in game humor. This game doesn't slack off and is sure to include humor, with the highlight being Fawful of course. He still talks in his broken English like in Superstar Saga, and just wacky all in all, which means he will give you humorous dialogue. And fans of picking on Luigi will be disappointed, because it doesn't happen as much, being replaced by (or rather, being used more) Luigi acting like a coward. The game even includes a multi-minute Tea Break where you can't do anything for humor purposes (it's funnier if you read the conversation that happens before hand).

All in all, this game is a great addition to the Mario and Luigi series, easily surpassing Partners in Time, and arguably better than Superstar Saga. It takes the best qualities of each of the past games, and adds new twists to them, to bring a very enjoyable experience that belongs in any Nintendo fans library. If you are still deciding to get this or Scribblenauts, I would recommend this, as I found this game more fun while playing the story mode then Scribblenauts Challenge/Action stages.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 09/25/09

Game Release: Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story (US, 09/14/09)

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