Review by frogger321123

"It's Mario Time!"

Mario and Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story is a game that you shouldn't pass up. Many of the people who have played it in the short time in which it has been available in stores have called it one of the best games for the DS and possibly one of the best releases of the year.


Stories are very important for RPGs and this one ties everything together nicely. When you start out, you watch a scene in a toad's house. The mom toad tells the little toad to call his dad for dinner. When the little toad calls for the dad, the dad breaks through the wall and he is swollen to enormous size! The disease that he has is called the blorbs, and it has become an epidemic in the Mushroom Kingdom. Mario, Luigi, Peach, and some toads have an emergency meeting about how they should handle the situation. They determine that the cause is a mushroom called a “blorb shroom”. While they are discussing, Bowser intrudes and you have a tutorial battle with him. If you win, he gets launched out of Peach's Castle through the roof! Then you get to control Bowser. After about a minute, you come to a shop. Bowser wins a “lucky shroom”, but when he eats it, he starts to inhale everything around him! The shopkeeper is actually Fawful and the “lucky shroom” was actually a vacuum shroom! Bowser walks to Peach's Castle and inhales Everybody at the meeting including Mario and Luigi! There is a new character, Starlow (also referred as “Chippy” by Bowser) who travels with the Bros. (she was also inhaled) and she is the one who talks to Bowser from within. This is about when you start to play the game without a cutscene every minute, which brings the topic to gameplay. The storyline is great, 9.5/10.


Gameplay is obviously the most important part of a game and Nintendo has certainly figured that out. The Bros. gain a hoard of special attacks and abilities that they can use inside Bowser and there is a vast amount of area to explore. A great feature of the game is that on the main map inside Bowser, the place where you should go blinks, but you are still free to explore everywhere else and come back later. Mario and Luigi's buttons are A and B, while Bowser's are X and Y. If you want to switch between the Bros. and Bowser, just press one of the sets of buttons. As Bowser your two main abilities are the flame breath and punch, and for Mario and Luigi they are the hammers and jumping. Sometimes you have to help Bowser perform tasks like lifting heavy things by playing minigames. In one of the minigames, you have to hit orbs of energy at a muscle to stimulate it. Bowser can inhale enemies once he gets the vacuum block early in the game. It will help in boss battles as you might have to inhale the enemy and fight it with Mario and Luigi! If there is a point where Bowser “dies”, Mario and Luigi play a minigame and Bowser becomes giant Bowser! When you fight with giant Bowser, you hold the DS sideways and use the stylus and the mic to perform different moves. Bowser probably has even more space to explore than the Bros., so if you can't find what you are looking for, keep looking! Overall the gameplay is amazing and I rate it a 9.5/10.


You start a battle when you touch an enemy; if you punch or jump on the enemy to start the battle, then the enemy gets damaged the before you make a move. When you battle there are different blocks that you can hit to perform different actions. Here are some: Special Attack, Flee, Jump, Item and Punch, with many more. The special attack block lets you use special attacks that you have found in the game. To get the special attacks for Mario and Luigi, you have to find ten blocks in one area that have an A on them. Once you find all ten you get all ten, you get a new special attack. The first special attack you get is the green shell. For Bowser you have to free minions from cages or collect items. SP points are what you use to “buy” special attacks during a battle; the better the attack, the more SP points it costs. You can practice all of the special attacks you get as the Bros. or Bowser on the main menu regardless of what character you are at that moment. The flee block lets you flee from a battle at the cost of some coins. The punch and jump blocks are normal attacks that you can use once per turn, the other two attacks are flames for Bowser and hammers for Mario and Luigi. When the enemy attacks Mario/Luigi, you have to jump over the enemy or hammer the attack back at the foe to avoid being damaged. When the enemy attacks Bowser, you either punch to deflect the attack or crouch and let his shell do all the work. The enemy will always give some signal as to who the attack is going to so look for it and adjust accordingly. There are shops and clothing stores throughout the game and you can buy items like mushrooms that regenerate HP and syrup jars that regenerate SP. You can use these items in battle by hitting the item block. At the end of a battle you get experience points and coins. After you get enough experience points, you level up and you get more POW, DEF, and other things. You also have a rank which determines which shops you can go into. Battling gets a perfect 10/10.

Graphics and Sound

Graphics can make or break a game and they have made this game a hit. In most DS games, the graphics aren't too good, with a lot of boxy lines and not very rounded edges. That was proven to be wrong about this game, because the graphics are top notch. The 3-D world graphics are amazing, but I'm not promoting them over the graphics inside Bowser, because those are great too. The characters look great while walking and even better in battles; if you get an excellent! on an attack, the screen turns yellow, orange and red and the character slams the enemy full force. There are save blocks scattered throughout the game and they are found in different shapes and sizes, from a colorful block with an S on it to a little creature with eyes and a mouth. The music is great and in different boss battles, there is different music, so when you think you have heard it all, you probably haven't. Each area also has different music so find your favorite place! If you are Bowser and you switch to the Bros., the music is still the outside world's music, but a touch of Mario is added (you'll see what I mean if you buy the game for yourself!) So, in general, graphics and sound gets a 9/10.

Play Time and Replayability

This game is LONG, which is good since you get more for your money. How you progress through the game and how good you are greatly affects how much time it takes. If you get a game over, you start from the last point you saved at, so it doesn't include any of the time from the save point to the point at which you died. If you are just trying to beat the game as quick as possible (you shouldn't because there are so many fun things you can do that are extra but give you prizes like coins and items), it might take a little more than 20 hours. If you are trying to play through the game and get most of the extra items and play some of the minigames, it might take you about 30 hours. If you are trying to get all of the items and special attacks (I recommend that you do try to get most/all of the special attacks no matter how fast you are trying to play the game because they will help a lot when you are beating some of the bosses) and beat all of the minigames, it could take you up to 45 hours! That's a lot of gameplay for one DS game! I beat the game at about the 30 hour mark, but I had around 10 hours left of extra stuff I could have done. The replayability really depends on how much time you spent and items you tried to collect the first time. If you just beat the game as quick as possible, then you should play it again because you will be doing a LOT of new stuff. I give play time a 10/10 and replayability an 8/10.

Overall Score

So, if you are thinking if you should buy or rent this game you should definitely buy it. I rate this game a 9/10 due to its astounding gameplay, great music and you can't forget the comedy. Thanks for reading!


Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 10/19/09

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

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