Preview: Mario & Luigi: Dream Team Bros

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Poor Luigi, always has to stand in the huge shadow of his brother. Never quite able to steal the show and win over a thousand beating hearts of the beloved fans. He tried hard to succeed in Luigi’s Mansion 2 and he delivered, still it wasn’t enough. One game isn’t enough, Luigi needs an entire year to invade the industry. It’s the year of Luigi and the little guy is dreaming big!

Luigi must have had many dreams involving his appearance in the Mario & Luigi game on 3DS. A title where both brothers work together in order to defeat evil, a title in which Mario always had the leading roll. In Dream Team Bros, things are about to change. No longer will Mario claim the biggest part in the game, this time it’s time for Luigi to step out of the shadow. Mario can’t survive without Luigi because only dreams can take the plumbers to their destiny. Only dreams in the mind of Luigi.

At the start of the game, princess Peach is kidnapped once again during a relaxing holiday. It’s up for the Mario brothers to run after the bad guys and save the beautiful princess once again. As always, the story isn’t that important but in this game it’s bigger than you might expect it to be. The story isn’t only about the sake of the princess, there’s more at stake. An entire population of Pi’illo are taken into a dream world and turned into nightmare chunks. In order to advance in the real world, Mario & Luigi need to find and break those chunks in the dream world.

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The game therefore is a constant switch between the real world and the dream world. In the real world you’ll control Mario & Luigi just like any other game that featured the two brothers. Mario can be controlled using the A-button, while Luigi is controlled using the B-button. When you jump on an enemy, you’ll enter combat mode where you’ll be able to fight turn-based battles. Both brothers can use jump, hammer, item or powerful Bro attacks to defeat the enemy. When pushing a specific button at the right time, you can inflict even more damage. The same technique is used to dodge the attacks of an enemy. So far, this all sounds very familiar for those who played previous games in the series. Everything changes when you enter the dream world.

When you find a soft and cozy pillow in the real world, Luigi will be able to fall asleep and open a gate to the dream world. Only Mario can enter that gate at that time. No longer will you be playing with both brothers, Mario must face evil on his own in the dream world. Lucky for him, there’s Dream Luigi. Dream Luigi is a very unique character and can really help you out during battles our environmental puzzles.

First, let’s talk about the battles while in the dream world. As said before, Mario must wander on his own in the dreams, he also enters battles on his one. When you enter a battle, you’ll only notice Mario and the enemies on the screen but they’re not the only once there. When Mario attacks, he is aided by Dream Luigi. For example, when Mario jumps on an enemy, a small army of Luigi’s will jump on that same enemy after Mario. A great way to generate a high damage numbers and a fun way to interact with Luigi.

Everything changes when you enter the dream world.

The battles really get interesting thanks to the Luiginary attacks. Only one of those was shown during the demo but it really is a new and fun way to fight battles. In the demo, you could attack your enemies using a Katamari-like ball filled with little Luigi’s. By tilting your 3DS in the right direction, the ball rolls over little Luigi’s, getting bigger and bigger. At the end you can launch the ball on your enemies, generating a very powerful attack. The help of Dream Luigi and the addition of Luiginary attacks really lift this episode to the next level.

Dream Luigi can’t just help you out in battles, he proves himself very useful in the dream world as well. Another big thing are the Luiginary works. Because Luigi is dreaming the world, he’s practically a God in it. At certain points in the environment and at certain times in the game, Luigi can interact with the dream world. He can for example become a moustached pillar or propeller. By pushing the right button, Dream Luigi enters the desired object and takes control over it. While he does so, you can interact with the sleeping Luigi in the real world, found on the touchscreen of your 3DS. You can poke his nose to make him sneeze in the real world, which will result in a powerful breeze created by the ‘propeller Luigi’ in the dream.

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Needless to say, those events open up a complete new way to play this game. Alphadream and Nintendo  worked hard in creating an environment in the dream world that can be manipulated by Dream Luigi in ways you could never dream of. When you’ve won your battles in the dream world and broke the nightmare chunks, you can continue your quest in the real world to save the princess.

All in all, the first hands-on impression with this new Mario & Luigi game couldn’t be any better. The game showed enough innovation and typical humor to stay fun for many hours. The Luiginary attacks and events aren’t just story based gimmicks, they really add something important to the game. Luigi can finally sleep at ease, for he is the main character in this game and it’s shaping up to be one of the best in the franchise.

 

 

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