Review by 03J

"A new story in a Super Mario game"

Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story was released for the Nintendo DS in the middle of September of 2009. This adventure takes a completely different turn when it comes to what is expected of the Super Mario Series.

The gameplay is very fun. What is unique about this title is that not only do you play as Mario and Luigi but you will also have to control Bowser at certain parts depending on what the situation is. The game also seems like a Final Fantasy game at points because after battles, Mario, Luigi and Bowser all earn experience points which help them level up and have stronger attacks.

The gameplay is not easy or hard because it falls in the middle. The battle part is easy for anyone who played a Final Fantasy game which is waiting for your turn then attacking with a certain attack or healing someone from your party if someone is low on health. However Mario and Luigi can heal each other but Bowser can not heal them nor can Mario and Luigi heal Bowser. Also sometimes Bowser will have to drink water which means Bowser's insides will fill with water and Mario and Luigi get around more easily by swimming around. Likewise say Bowser needs some extra strength in his arms then Mario and Luigi move to Bowser's arms when he needs the strength.

Surprisingly the controls are easy for this game. A is the button that controls all of Mario's functions while B controls Luigi's functions. X and Y are used for Bowser and the control pad moves whoever you are controlling. When Mario and Luigi are in Bowser, first press A or B if you're not already controlling Mario or Luigi and if you are controlling Mario or Luigi but want to control Bowser, you press X or Y.

The story is that Toads are getting infected with the Blorbs meaning the Toads become a balloon and they roll around and Princess along with others at the castle is trying to figure out what is causing The Blorbs. Mario and Luigi show up trying to help then Bowser shows up and after a battle between Mario and Bowser, Bowser ends up being ejected from the castle and wakes up in the forest. After Bowser roams around the forest for a couple minutes, Bowser runs into Lord Fawful who is the one that is responsible for the Toads to get the Blorbs by selling certain mushrooms. Lord Fawful gives a mushroom to Bowser saying the mushroom will help Bowser beat Mario and after Bowser feels a little queasy after eating the mushroom, Bowser finds out he can suck anything inside he wants to. So Bowser goes back to the castle and sucks in: Mario, Princess, Toad, a Star Sprite and Luigi. While this is going on, Lord Fawful's motive is to take over the entire Mushroom Kingdom.

The graphics and sound are pretty good. The graphics are ok but they are just average. The sound in this game really shines through. Mario, Luigi, Bowser and Princess sound like they're supposed to and even though the DS cartridge is small, there are some parts where the characters actually speak instead of reading what the characters said in a bubble. Obviously though when the characters speak, they are only going to be saying a few words but the sound did impress me with what was put in the game.

After playing the game for a couple hours, there is a lot to do in Bowser's Inside Story. Bowser, Mario & Luigi do learn new attacks and you do find puzzle pieces inside Bowser as well as leveling up. I am not sure though if the game does have any replayability once you beat it.

I give Bowser's Inside Story 8 out of 10. Fans should realize the game is not side scrolling so it's more like a maze trying to find your way around Bowser as Mario and Luigi or trying to find your way around town as Bowser. Any fan of the Mario games should not pass this game up.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 10/13/09

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

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