Review by gamer_boy997

"Luigi joins Mario on this adventure. Bad thing? I think not!"

Mario goes on another normal adventure on the Game Boy Advance like he always does… but with a new twist, Luigi is going with him! Was this a good idea or a bad idea?

The story is a little different. Princess Peach's voice is stolen from a new villain named Cackletta, and is replaced by dangerous speech bubbles. Bowser can't stand her new voice and would rather kidnap Princess Peach with her normal voice, so Bowser joins forces with Mario to get her voice back. Where does Luigi come in? Luigi was simply going to walk with Mario over to Bowser's new airship and go back home, but when Bowser notices Luigi, he decides to take him as well. Luigi tries to run away, but fails.

This is probably only about five percent of the story, because the story keeps going on throughout the game and shows many shocking twists that will make your eyes widen.

The gameplay is probably the best part of the game. You either fight enemies or bosses, or explore the world while solving puzzles and talking to NPC's. In the beginning of the game all you can do is jump, but soon you will be able to combine the two brothers' jumps to do attacks and jumps together, and even do a few other things. Attacks that require both Mario and Luigi, also known as Bros. attacks, require a handful of action commands and bros. points, which is a limited source and needs to be refilled with syrup. Hit points also need to be refilled with mushrooms.

Items are in a plentiful amount. There are mushrooms for hit points, syrup for bros. points, 1-up mushrooms for bringing back to life, the list goes on. Mushrooms and syrup come in many varieties. For example, there are super mushrooms which give more hit points then regular mushrooms.

Talking to NPC's can give you clues on what you are supposed to do next in the game. This may be helpful if you are stuck and won't do anything except train like crazy, making the rest of the game very easy. Most of the time, an NPC that gives you the needed information is standing right where you need to be.

There are many puzzles in the game, but only some of them are difficult. Others are quite easy, like needing to do a high jump to reach a high ledge. Still, there are a few puzzles that will take some thinking to figure out.

There are about five minigames in the entire game that are required to play, but are very fun. Even after you complete these minigames, you can go back to play them for fun, or to beat your highscores.

If you see an enemy, you can try attacking it to start off the battle doing extra damage to all enemies. Be careful though, if an enemy touches the brother in the back, he won't be able to attack in the battle until it's his turn.

Battling offers many options if both Mario and Luigi are fighting. You have the options to simply attack an enemy, attack enemies with the other brother, use an item, or run away from the battle. You can even change Bros. attacks to make them cost less bros. points, but the less they cost, the more difficult it is to perform the action commands.

The game is over if both Mario and Luigi run out of hit points. So if one of them is out, the other can still fight, but you can't use bros. attacks, and defence commands are harder, because the living brother holds on to the unconscious body of the other brother. The living brother can bring the other brother back into battle using a 1-up mushroom.

There is a special feature to the game where you use badges and jeans. Both Mario and Luigi can each only wear one badge and one pair of jeans, but they can be helpful. They can do things like add hit points, badge points, power, or defence, or add special effects to the brothers, like be able to jump on spikes without getting hurt. Badges and jeans can be bought in stores for a load of coins or on rare occasions be won by battling.

One interesting thing in battle is the action commands. If you jump on an enemy, you can press the button at the right time to do extra damage. If you are being attacked, you can press the button to avoid the attack completely and do damage to the enemy! Sadly, since you can completely block the attack, the game is possible to beat at very low levels, but that's pretty much the only flaw. Some attacks can be hard to dodge, slightly making up for it by adding difficulty. Enemies usually only attack one brother at a time, and enemies give a little bit of a hint to tell you which one they are going to attack. For example, if a goomba walks infront of Mario, he will attack Mario. This may sound easy, but soon it gets much more complex and difficult.

If you win a battle, you are rewarded with experience points, coins, and maybe some items, badges, or jeans. If you get enough experience points, all of your stats either get levels up a small amount, or don't get leveled up at all, and then you can choose one stat to upgrade even more. There are a whole lot of stats to choose from, including hit points, bros. points, power, defence, and much more.

Nintendo treated the gameplay like it was the best part of the game. They focused on everything and made sure this was the best they could do. Good job Nintendo!

The graphics are new for a Mario game. They are probably ment to make humor more humorous, which isn't a bad idea, as there is a lot of humor in the game. Along with that, everything is well colored and recognizable. Nintendo took a slight risk here, but it was worth it, as everything turned out fine.

The controls aren't too confusing. You might struggle a little in the exploring part of the game, such as when you need to press L or R to switch to switch to the action you want a brother to do, but you get use to it quite quickly. In battle though, there is a quite creative idea that keeps players from confusion. Mario uses the A button all the time, and Luigi uses B. Once the player gets this information in there head, they won't have any more problems with battling.

The sound is standard for the Game Boy Advance, and includes many funny sounds that go with the game's humor. The only sound that might get a little repetitive is the jumping sound, but as long as you don't jump over and over again, it shouldn't become too repetitive.

The music comes in a large amount of tunes, in which some are very solid for a Game Boy Advance game. Players will most likely find atleast one or two tunes in the game that they will enjoy every time they listen to it.

The game will take a long time to beat, probably 15-20 hours, most likely longer. The only problem is once you are finished, you might not play again unless you want to do all the sidequests, find all the secrets, play the minigames some more, or level up to the max. However, the classic “Mario Bros.” game is included with this game, and it might make the replay value a little bigger. You might not play this game again after that, but the game might be so good you will be willing to play through it another time putting in even more replay value.

Overall, the game may be easy to beat do to defence action commands, but the gameplay, music, humor, and a few other things make up for it by far. This game is a must-buy whether you have an original Game Boy Advance, or a Nintendo DS.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 06/30/09

Game Release: Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga (US, 11/17/03)

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