Review by Daveman424

"Mario and Luigi: Fun for All Ages"

I've finally completed Mario and Luigi for the first time, and I have to say that I am impressed. Not that I expected anything else, it's just that the game never really struck a note when I had first heard about it. Usually, I'll see a game, and think, "Wow, that looks like an awesome game. I really want that." This one didn't do that for me. I stared at it in the store for 10 minutes before deciding to take it. I had the money burning a hole in my pocket, so I figured, what the heck. Even if I didn't like it, I could probably get a good price for it on Ebay... But I did like it and I decided to keep it. And boy, am I glad I did.

The story thus far:
Peach has been captured. Well, okay, not really Peach, but rather her voice. But no, not by the usual Bowser and his ugly/stupid minions. This time, it's by Cackletta, and evil witch from the far-off BeanBean Kingdom. Bowser wants revenge, because, of course, it's his job to annoy the princess, and he wouldn't want to be laid off in future video games. And Mario, of course, wants Peach's voice back, since the one she got left with is sorta causing explosions all over the Mushroom Kingdom.. As for Luigi, well, he kinda gets dragged into the whole thing unwillingly... But we can't always have him sit at home, can we? Not this time, at least. And so the three of them travel to BeanBean Kingdom to rescue their precious princess's voice and bring peace to both Kingdoms.

The game is very funny. Plenty of jokes, both visual and contextual, are to be found within the game. Everyone takes the necessary jabs at Mario's brother, Lui-uh... the Green Guy. And the whole game is just a lot of fun to play around with.

For those who have played Paper Mario, the fighting will seem somewhat similar. The main differences are that you have to control both Mario and Luigi at the same time, which can get very confusing, by using the A button for Mario and the B button for Luigi. Both characters can team up to use special "Bros. Powers" which deal much more damage. And there are even points when the dynamic duo can split up to perform separate tasks.
Also, in Paper Mario, you could only dodge moves by pressing the button at the right time. In Mario & Luigi, you can jump/hammer at any time when an enemy is attacking, so there are ways to dodge moves, but there are also ways to counterattack, by jumping on the enemy as it swoops under you, for example.

Bros. Moves are very useful in the game. There are 3 ways to use them, with slow motion and showing what buttons to press, without slow motion, and without the buttons. The harder the mode, the more damage it will do to the enemy, and the less Bros. Points it will take from you. Since Mario and Luigi will only learn a total of 3 moves each, they are very easy to memorize, and you can quickly move onto mode 3 to deal the most damage.

Mario and Luigi may seem like a childish game, and I will admit I found it very straightforward and easy, but it is a lot of fun to play through and many laughs to be found.


Story: 10/10
I love the storyline. It's very compelling, and includes lots of characters from all the Mario games and lots of new ones as well. Most of the time, I was only playing so I could see what fun jokes were going to come up next. And most of the time, I wasn't disappointed.

Graphics: 9/10
The game takes advantage of all the GBA has to offer. The characters look like what Mario and Luigi should look like. Everything is in the typical Mushroom Kingdom cartoony look, which works perfectly fine for this game.

Sound: 10/10
This is one of the only games that I insisted having the sound on the whole time. If I was playing in an enclosed space, like a car or an airplane, then I would use headphones. The music is great, and the sound effects are hilarious. While there can't be full voice acting in a GBA game, there are still plenty of things that Mario and Luigi can say. From addressing each other by name, to screaming in fright, to doing the ever-popular "Woohoo!", every sound was a great addition to the game.

Gameplay: 8/10
I did like that both Mario and Luigi could be controlled at the same time, however many times I found it annoying. When walking around normally, each can do different things depending on whether they are standing in front or behind. The constant switching back and forth was annoying to me, especially later in the game when there are multiple options to choose from. However, the battles were wonderfully done, and I loved being able to control both in order to defend at the same time, or launch counterattacks at enemies.
My main complaint has to be the ease of the game. While I'm not a speed gamer, or one to rush through games, I did find that the game was pretty short, very straightforward, and the difficulty didn't increase much. The only hard part about the game was learning when an enemy was preparing to attack Mario and when it was going to attack Luigi. Once you learn that for each enemy, the game is a cinch.

Other Stuff:

Replay Value: 3/10
I have to say that although I pick up most games once in a while, even those I've already beaten a few times, this one really doesn't interest me again. Now that it's been beaten, it it doesn't stick out in my head to play again. Others may feel differently, and maybe I will too in a few months. But for now, this one's going to sit in the closet.

Humor: 9/10
A little on the childish side, but still ultimately silly in a good way. It's good for lots of laughs, and plenty of visuals will leave a smile on your face.

Super Mario Classic: 8/10
The game's the same as in any other GBA Mario game. Multiplayer is still there, Single player is still there. Nothing has changed. The game is OK, in my mind. Nothing special, but a good timewaster. Though it is really fun to play against my brother, pick him up and toss him in the trash all the time...

Minigames: 9/10
Of course there are minigames! How could you think otherwise?! There are 3 or 4 (I honestly don't remember) minigames to be found within the game, as part of the storyline. All of them are fun, although it really would've been nice to have a little minigame menu so I could play them whenever I wanted. But no, you play them once, beat them, and there's no need to ever see them or play them again. What a shame. From jumping rope, to playing in a casino, all the games have simple explanations and controls.

Overall: 9/10
This game is a great addition to anyone's constantly growing Mario/Luigi game library. It's a lot of fun, and although somewhat easy and short, the game is a hoot to go through. I highly recommend spending some time with this one when you're feeling down.

My personal favorite moment: Having Mario and Luigi reunite. "Mario!" "Luigi!" *big hugs all around*

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 08/29/04

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