Review by Rango
"The Mario Bros. at their absolute best."
Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga. One of the greatest RPG's on the GBA. GBA has been coming out with port after port of Mario games, most of them classics. What about the new games, eh? What happened? So, we finally get a new game, Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, and it turns out to be funner than the rest of the PORTS on GBA. See what innovation does? But anywho, Mario & Luigi is the 3rd game in the Mario RPG series, and, IMO, the second best (second to the mighty Super Mario RPG). It boasts an innovative Bros. system, a new story, and a bunch of good laughs. Come to think of it, this is one of the funniest games I have ever played. But let's get right down to it, shall we?
Finally! Something outside the, ''Oh no! Bowser has abducted Peach! Go save her, Mario!'' scenario that has been used time and time again. This time, an evil witch named Cackletta and her subordinate, Fawful, who live in the neighboring (to the Mushroom Kingdom) Beanbean Kingdom. And so, it seems at first that the ambassador of the Beanbean Kingdom wants to strengthen ties with the Mushroom Kingdom. But what happens? They steal Peach's voice! And Toad has to go get Mario. We finally see Mario in the way we'd least expect him to: In a bathrobe. And so, after Toad has informed Mario that something has happened to Princess Peach, he immediately rushes outside, gets dressed, an heads off to the castle, with Luigi dragging behind, and they meet Bowser, and all the news about Peach's voice being taken. It's off to a new land, with a new adventure, for the Mario Bros.! The plot twists also get very interesting later on in the game, but they'd be MUCH to spoiling for this review, so you'll just have to find out for yourself.
The graphics of this game kinda resemble Paper Mario, except the view isn't just facing Mario's side. It looks kinda isometric, but not in the same way as Super Mario RPG. More like the 2-D Zelda games. Everything is nice and detailed with good coloring. From the green fields & platforms that come from the ground of the Beanbean Kingdom, to the purple shaded areas of Stardust Fields, and to the underground caves of the kingdom, complete with a typical cave background, accompanied by a cartoonish waterfall, they all look nice. So basically, yeah. Cartoon-ish graphics. But they look excellent. They all have their own colors. Like, Teehee Valley is a yellow desert, Hoohoo Mountain looks kinda like a cartoonish mountain with a sort of look that kind of resembles the awesome N64 game's, Paper Mario, Dry Dry Desert, except it has patches of green here and there. But that's only a few of the many areas that you'll visit in this wild and wacky adventure. And what about the detail on the characters? It's better than any Super Mario Advance game so far.
Yup. Most of the classic Mario themes are back in this game. The classic theme from Super Mario Bros. normal levels, the underground theme from Super Mario Bros. (which sounds better than ever, I might add), and even that catchy invincibility theme makes a couple of appearances. Classic sounds, like the noise that you get when you jump-punch a block, and when you jump on an enemy have returned, and sound excellent. But all the classic noises and music in the Mario series you've come to know & love, have returned. Not to mention that ''lost tunes'', such as the Mario's Pad music from Super Mario RPG and even a remix in one of the areas of the SNES Shooter title, ''Yoshi's Safari'' has made a return in this game! This game has it ALL! I love it!
Okay. This is where the game shines brighter than any other GB game I have ever played. It's the funniest Mario game ever! From grammatically incorrect little dudes like Fawful, to riddles and puns as cheesy as, ''Do bats like baseball?'', this game is like a big-ball of humor. In terms of gameplay, however, like the past Mario RPG's, it's an action-RPG with platformer elements, puzzle solving, equipping items, turn-based battles, and going to shops to buy stuff. But see, unlike the other two Mario RPG games, you only have two characters: Mario and Luigi. Instead of having a big ol' party that has a different unique move, you get new skills called ''Bros. Moves.'' These range from jumping on Mario's head to reach new heights, to twirling the Bros. like a copter to fly over gaps, to smashing the Bros. to enter small & underground places. Also, you can use these abilities in battle. They're called ''Bros. Attacks.'' They use the same formula as the Bros. Moves, but look different, and are an attack that requires precise timing. Also new to the battles is the ability to dodge and counter an enemy's attack. For instance, let's say a ''Beanie'' goes up to Mario and tries to ram him. Push ''A'', and you can jump over him, or even on top of him and do damage. Also, now you can control both Bros. SIMULTANEOUSLY. So yeah. Jump with Mario AND Luigi together. Oh, and one more thing: If you use a Bros. Attack enough times, you can get an Advanced version of the attack that looks a bit different.
Although this game doesn't have very many side-quests, this game is so fun, you'll probably want to play it at least once or twice more anyways. Although the side-quests are limited, they're still fun for satisfaction, right? Like getting all the coffees in the Starbeans Cafe, or all the armor & badges, and stuff like that. The fun seems to never end in this game. Nor does the funniness.
To buy or rent? Buy! Get this game if you're an avid fan of Mario or RPG's (or both!). It's da bomb!
Overall Score: 10/10
Great graphics, awesome tunes, innovative Bros. systems, and a whole lot of humor makes this game one of the best ever!
Reviewer's Rating: 5.0 - Flawless
Originally Posted: 02/21/04
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