Review by CrazyGuy247

"Could it be? Another Mario RPG? My goodness, on the Advanced GB. I HAVE FURY!"

Super Mario RPG... In my opinion, one of the greatest RPGs of all time during the 16-bit years. With the new characters, innovative battle system, and breathtaking music, it made its name known to all role-players in 1996. Now, seven years later, GBA players are blessed with the third installment in the Mario RPG saga (Paper Mario was the second). And, I must say, it lives up to its grandfather with style and ease.

This is where the game truly stands out from all the rest. The battles are just like any traditional RPG --- you take turns with your enemies, either attacking, using items, or running away. But, it's the little things that count. And by little, I mean huge. First off, you can dodge your enemy's attack. Not by selecting a command, but by actually dodging it. Say that a Goomba charges at Mario. Right before the Goomba makes contact, you can press the A button to jump and, not only avoid the attack, but counterattack and cause damage. But don't think you'll be jumping over Goombas throughout the game. It'll get tougher along the way. Another part of the battle system that is excellent are the Bros. Attacks. Bros. Attacks are maneuvers that Mario and Luigi use as a team to cause major damage. It works sort of like DDR, in a way. You have to time the moment you push the button with the moment it appears on screen, or it won't work. If you miss, you'll still cause a little damage, and you might even get a laugh out of it.

Outside of battle, you'll have many tasks to accomplish. The only way to do this is by using your abilities to solve puzzles, defeat enemies, and the like. During your adventure, you'll gain new abilities, such as different ways of jumping and hammering techniques. Like I said, M&L truly makes itself known in this department.

If it's one thing that Mario games lack, it's in the story. Usually, it's all about saving the Princess from the evil Koopa King, Bowser. But, this time around, it's a little bit different. The Mushroom Kingdom is honored by the arrival of The Beanbean Kingdom's Goodwill Ambassador. But it all goes downhill from there. The ''Goodwill Ambassador'' was simply a disguise, as she was, in fact, the sinister Cackletta, along with her sidekick, Fawful. Instead of stealing the Princess, they take... her voice. Yes, you heard me. Don't be confused, it all comes together in the game. Along the way, you'll learn more about Cackletta and the reason as to why she stole Peach's voice, as well as incidents that have to do with Beanstars and Neon Eggs. There's even a plot twist or two.

Yet another high point in the game. For a GBA title, the graphics are stunning. Animation is fluid, and no choppiness in gameplay. Not much else to say in that department --- it's simply beautiful. Sound, just like the graphics, are superb. Most of the music is remixed versions of classic Mario tunes, such as the Mario 3 World Map and the Mario 64 Peach's Castle. If you love the feeling of nostalgia, the music here is ideal for you.

Play Time/Replayability
The entire game itself is about 15+ hours long, but that's not including the side quests. Along with those, you'll be adding another couple hours onto the time slot. But, you can beat the game and receive everything there is to get the first time through, which brings this score down. However, some folks might think that the game is actually fun enough to play through again. I am one of those folks. This is one of those few games where you can play the same thing again, just to experience the greatness of it one more time.

Final Recommendation
Buy it now.
Face it. This is, by far, one of the greatest RPGs on the GBA. I suggest you buy it now. Don't rent it, but buy it. If you rent it, that's fine with me, but shame on you. Excellent gameplay, stunning graphics, and decent storyline, I say that this is a must-buy.

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 11/29/03

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