Review by strawhat

"Long live Luigi!"

This is another excellent Mario game, and even better since it stars both the short, fat, plumber and his brother, the tall, lanky oh-so-ignored brother. Although it's true this game is overhyped, it's not bad and a great addition to any RPG and Mario collector's video game library.

This game is unique and runs on a different formula than most other games. It's an RPG, but there are only two party members! Both have their own special abilities. What's cool is that you can use those abilities both in battle, and out! The game is loaded with large, complex, puzzles, action packed, stand-on-the-end-of-your seat action packed battles, and comedy that'll make even the driest of people laugh. This game is fit for everyone.

Like most of the Super Mario games, the storyline in this game is a bit cheesy. They did choose a slightly different course of events though so it's not the same exact thing as the other Mario games*coughPokemoncough*. It's a nice, happy, day down at Mushroom Kingdom. Princess Peach is in her castle expecting someone from Beanbean kingdom. The person comes, but it's not who she's expecting! It's the evil witch, Cackletta. She steals Peach's voice for an unknown reason. So, Peach's assistant, Toad goes and gets Super Mario so he can do something super. Luigi gets dragged along and they find out that Peach's vocabulary has become very...explosive. Literally. Every word she speaks drops a bomb right on top of your ass. Then, all of a sudden the evil Bowser comes! He plans to capture the princess but finds that her vocabulary makes it impossible for him to capture her. So, Mario, Bowser, and Luigi go on an everlasting search in Beanbean kingdom to find out the zany plan of the witch, Cackletta.

So, the storyline's a bit cheesy. But most of you probably want to know, what's new? What's improved? What can I find in this "super fantabulous" game? Well, this game has much more comedy in it. Funny ones too. They usually revolve around Luigi being forgotten, Mario and his glory, and plenty of other things that I'm sure will tickle your funny bone. There are also beautiful graphics, each thing more stunning than the rest. The world map has many bright, beautiful colors, the towns are blasted with tiny details, and the sprites show even the littlest things such as wrinkles, eye color, and hair. You can see Mario and Luigi's facial expressions, small movements and twitches, everything you can possibly imagine. You'll love the stunning graphics here, I applaud Nintendo for this beautiful display of colorful art.

You know what else is fantastic? The music. You know you always feel nostalgic whenever you hear an old song that reminds you so much of something you loved? Well, in this game, not only do they feature new music, they also have some old remixes such as the underground theme and the original Super Mario theme. The new music is also great. They're done well, very crisp and detailed. Each song fits the mood of the game. A fast paces song while everyone is scared, just quietness in the rigid ice mountains high up above, and a happy, cheerful music in towns. There is really only one song I don't like, but everything else I do love. The sounds are also fantastic. You can hear the original BOK! when Mario jumps on an enemy, the KA-CHING! when he hits a coin block, or the high pitched cries of Luigi when Mario feels like burning his behind. Yes, many of the original sounds were back in this game too. Perfect, clean sounds; wonderful, pleasant music, and graphics that would please the most itchy eye. Do you know what else would make this a perfect game?

How the game is presented of course. Nobody would like a game not presented well. However, this game is presented very well. The controls are smooth and simple. You use the control pad to move, A button controls the person in front and B in the back. L and R switches commands and Select changes character positions. The controls are surprisingly simple for a game with such complex moves. I'm complaining that that's a bad thing though, unlike Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town.

Another major thing in this game are the battles. How can we live in an RPG without battles? The battles play much like Paper Mario. Before a battle, you can see the enemies on a screen. You can jump on top of them and start the battle dealing damage to them already! But then again, they can also hit you. This is a unique aspect that I think no other game has, besides the Mario RPG series. When the battle actually starts, turns are decided by the speed stat. You can use all the abilities that you have learned in battle. That's everything outside of battle, inside of battle! Cool, huh? Mario can do normal attacks like jumping, busting things with a hammer, and also some special abilities by teaming up with Luigi. Luigi has some abilities as well, but most of them are the same or very similar to Mario's, which is one of this game's only downsides.

Tired of your brother beating you up all the time? Hate when you can't ever do anything to him? Well, now here's the new BROS. ATTACKS! Swing your brother around in circles, use him to headbutt enemies, and more! Just press the buttons at the right time for a super strong attack!

There's the action, now what about puzzles? Well, there are many dungeons that you have to complete in the game. It plays sort of like Legend of Zelda, if you know what I mean. There are many rooms you must go in while avoiding enemies, flip switches, use your abilities and all the strength that you can muster. You go through dark, open doors, quiet, scary rooms, and usually face off at the end against a fat, scary, boss. Each time it's for a different reason though. Sometimes, you may be chasing someone. Others, you need to go through to reach your next destination. There's a good, original reason why you would want to go through each dungeon. The puzzles require can require extreme thinking or swift reflexes. What I love about this game is that story events happen inside dungeons too. The story is still progressing, unlike other games where it would just stop while you're completing the dungeon.

So, you think this game is all wonderful and stuff, right? Well, there is one flaw that this game has, a big one too. There is absolutely NO replay value at all. Once you play the game and beat it, you might want to play it again and collect everything you didn't before, or maybe see all of Luigi's hilarious antics again. But after his joke gets old; well, you can't teach an old dog new tricks, can you? This game lasts approximately 15 hours for normal paces gamers. which isn't that much.

But then again, this game is wonderful. It has almost all the ingredients to make an excellent RPG, missing only the replay value. It has the great graphics, music, sound, and game play. It's sad that the only reason I don't recommend buying it is because of no replay value and short gamethrough. If you really don't mind spending 30 bucks for 20 hours, then go ahead and buy this game. If not, try to beat it in a rental time or two. If you can't find it in a rental store though, buy it. You must try this game, renting or buying. May Luigi rule the world. Peace!

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 07/28/04, Updated 08/05/04

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