Review by idiotman7

"Mario and Mr. Green"

Mario and Luigi have had many adventures. From searching a haunted mansion, to riding going through fire filled castles, to turning into paper, and even taking over the sports genre. But, unfortunately they have never truly had an adventure together. Well, that is all changed now. Mario and Luigi Superstar Saga changed the way gamers looked at the two brothers. No longer were they the greater than less than pair. Now they were both equal, and both playable.

First off, the game-play of Superstar Saga was amazing. Taken from the Paper Mario game, the fighting system is very different than past Mario games. For one, when you confront an enemy, the game stops and the battle begins. Mario and Luigi on the left, and your enemy on the right. Fighting is done by turns. For example, Mario will attack, Luigi will attack, and then an enemy will attack. It could go anyway really. But after the battles are over, you get to free roam around the world, and just do whatever you want really. You can buy stuff, fight enemy's, it's really a good thing to add in a Mario game if you ask me, where your not just having to do the mission and go to the next.

You will attack by jumping on their heads, or hitting them with hammers. Later in the game you will receive more moves and combos, such as bros attacks or fire and lightening attacks. All are essential for defeating certain enemy's. If you plan your attacks right, they will be more powerful and do more damage. Items will also become essential, because health will be needed constantly.

Out of battle the two bros use their powers to get over obstacles. Like stacking the bros up, will cause them to jump higher than before. They can also stack up, and fly over large gaps by spinning. After you get your hammer, you will be able to shrink Mario in size, or bury Luigi in the ground; both will become needed for solving puzzles and getting new items. Mario can inhale large amounts of water, and use it to destroy things or get past certain puzzles. The game is full of abilities and requires you to master both of the bros if you want to beat it.

You will be able to buy lots of different upgrades for the Bros to. Such things as badges to raise stats for your character, or new pants or something to make them faster, all of it will be need to make the Bros powerful enough to beat their opponents. Items will also be used during battles. A lot. You will need to rely on mushrooms to heal, or even revive you some times, and you will need them. Sometimes the battling and items aren't enough though, and you'll have to run away, but not pressing the button fast enough, will make your Bro fall and loss a lot of coins, which is needed to buy things. It is kind of like a Final Fantasy element to the game, with the whole equipping and running away and stuff.

Superstar Saga also excels story wise. The game does start off a little weak, but as it goes on it becomes fantastic. One day in Mushroom Kingdom, an ambassador from another Kingdom comes to Mushroom Kingdom to give a gift to Peach. The two meet, and Peach opens her gifts, only to find that it contains gas. The gas is used to steal Princess Peach's voice, so that the ambassador, who has now revealed himself to be an evil woman/witch named Cackletta. So now, Instead of Peach being able to talk, all that comes out are explosive bombs.

Well, Mario hears about this, and is off to save the day. But, he cannot do this one alone, so Luigi has to suck up his fears, and go along with our short and plump friend. But how will they get all the way to Beanbean Kingdom? Well, not wanting to be out done by another villain, Bowser enlists his help to get the Princesses voice back. So the two heroes and villain, get set up on Bowsers flying machine, and head out for Beanbean Kingdom.

Superstar Saga takes many twists and turns in the course of the adventure, and is probably one of the most hilarious games I have ever played. I was laughing to no end during some of the scenes, and it is a pretty good sized game to boot. Just when you think it's over, it keeps coming back. It took me around 25 hours to complete the game finally, and it was time well spent. I thought it was an awesome story and probably the most original for Mario in a long time, even though some will disagree and say it's the same old thing, which it so isn't.

The music for Superstar was amazing. Probably the best music in a Mario game ever in my opinion. All of the original sound track for the past handheld games is back, with a new kind of modern spin. It was a really cool change to the series. Characters, while may only say a few things here and there like screams or shocked expressions, really bring out the comic relief of the story, and will make you laugh. Attacks sound great, and while not very realistic, it does sound as if it came from a cartoon such as Looney Toons or something. This is one of the games were I always had the sound on, and that's not a lot of the time.

The graphics were purely amazing also. The environments are wonderfully colored, and in a lot of detail. Lots of different areas were used for Superstar, and they all look amazing. For example, around the Beanbean castle, it is rich in green and cliffs, and it looks brilliant. Water effects are great. If you pay attention to the waterfalls in the game, you will be amazed with how real they look. And the characters are FANTASTIC! Mario, Luigi, Bowser, Peach, Cackletta, and every other character are full of life and have a cool. Everything looks like it has come straight from a kids cartoon really. And it couldn't be better.

While in battle, everything really comes to life. The backgrounds seem to fad down a tad, but the characters really shine. Mario and Luigi attacks, while not amazing, do look pretty good. The jumps are accompanied by simple flashes of lights, as well as the hammer attacks. I was impressed with how well everything seemed to flow on this game, even though it was a GBA game. I think it really pushed the handheld to its limits, and it shows throughout the game.

Superstar Saga is one of the greatest GBA games of all time, and one of the funniest and original RPG's in years. It has to be one of my favorite games of 2003, and defiantly a buy for any Mario or RPG fans. Awesome cartoonish graphics, hilarious story, and fun and interesting combat system, makes Mario and Luigi Superstar Saga a gem among games, which is why its one of my favorites. Really the only thing that hurt it was that it ended, and the fact that the start of the game was a little slow. It's an awesome game to play, even though there was close to no replay value at all, when you beat it, its done pretty much, and will just be a fond memory.

The comedy in this game is really what will keep you going though. It usually consists of Luigi getting the short end of the stick. Or Luigi being forced to do something against his will. Or Luigi having to do something on his own because Mario was knocked out… Wow, this game really picks on Luigi. But the laughs are constant, with things like Toad seeing Mario naked, and freaking out, or Bowser losing his memory and becoming a simple thug. It's hilarious through and through, and you will be on your back sometimes. And if you start laughing in public, who cares? Laugh it up, because you will be doing it a lot. This game is a lot more mature, content wise than past Mario games, but the sheer immaturity of some of the characters is a needed break from all of the other Mario games.

It's about time that Mario and Luigi are able to step up and finally have an RPG together, especially a good one. Plus, it came with another old time Mario game built in it, so that's two for one right there. If only more games could take what this game offers, and build on it. I can't wait for more games of the series to game out, which one has, and already looks to be pretty promising. Unfortunately, I am not sure how much better you can get than this. Mario and Luigi Superstar Saga, is what gamers have been waiting for, and it does nothing short but deliver. It is a must have for all Mario, Nintendo, RPG, or just gamers in general.

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 01/30/06

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