Review: Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga + Bowser’s Minions (3DS)
And they’ve done it again, Nintendo did the same thing over an over again and now they just made a remake of a Mario Game Boy Advance game…. but to be honest, I really like it and I was very happy when this game was announced. But is this an easy cash grab or a good remake that gets people who played the original game very nostalgic?
I remember getting Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga from my parents when I was 9 years old. They bought me this game because they knew how much I loved Mario games and I was so happy when they gave it to me. But when I first started playing it I was a bit disappointed: “This is not a Mario game”. It was not the traditional Mario game but more like an RPG and I did not like RPG games when I was 9 except for Pokemon of course. So I remember to quit the game very soon after I started playing it and went back to my other Mario games and did not gave the game much attention after it. This changed when my older nephew was at my house and he wanted to play this game. I told him it was stupid and not even a “real” Mario game but he insisted. After a while, I was hooked, and I came to the conclusion that Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga really is a Mario game, not a platformer but it has the same fun and silliness that I love about Mario and his brother Luigi.
The story of Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga starts when the Goodwill Ambassador from the Beanbean Kingdom and her assistant arrive at the Mushroom Kingdom to bring a gift from Queen Bean for Princess Peach. However, it turns out to be an act of deceit; the ambassador and her assistant are actually evil villains named Cackletta and Fawful, who have brought along a mysterious smoke. Fawful uses his Headgear to suck up the smoke, which engulfs Princess Peach’s voice and replace it with bombs. Then Bowser arrives to kidnap Princess Peach but quickly realizes that she will probably destroy his castle with her bomb voice. Mario and Luigi arrive to help the princess and decide to team up with Bowser to find Cackletta and Fawful to return the voice of the princess… yeah you read this good, Bowser is a good guy in this story!
Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga is an RPG adventure game where you play and control both Mario and Luigi. It is heavily focused on exploring and puzzles where the brothers need to work together and use each other’s strangest moves to get further in the game. Mario and Luigi jump separately but have duo jumps like a helicopter jump to travel further or trampoline jump to get higher; along with your adventure, you will learn many more moves to solve new puzzles. In the original game, you had to use the L and R buttons to swap between the moves but the remake on the 3DS makes use of the dual screen where you just can select the moves. You often have to change between moves so this added feature comes in very handy. Because Exploring is a big part of this game a minimap was added into the remake and this is very useful and makes things a lot easier. The minimap is rather minimal but if there is a place you need to go it’s highlighted and you also have the option to pinpoint certain locations. You can easily swap between the move menu and the minimap the fit your current needs.
The battle system is quite simple but very fun. You will only fight as Mario who you control with A and Luigi who you control with B. They both have mostly the same basic attacks but separated brother moves. The basic attacks improve on your timing hitting the attack button just before hitting the enemies. Brother moves have a mana cost but are very strong, when performing them you have to time button pressing with both brothers to deal tons of damage in one move. When your enemies attack you, you can deny their attacks by pressing the rights brother’s button at the right time. This battle mechanic is not as strategically as you would expect from an RPG but it is a lot of fun.
For people who want more of a strategic challenge, there is the newly added game mode called Bowser’s Minions. This takes place during the adventure of the brothers and tells the story of the minions and thKoopapa gang during this adventure. It focuses mostly on making the perfect team composition of minions and clear stages. If you play RPGs you will probably be familiar with class triangle: in Bowser’s Minions the triangle goes as melee -> ranged-> flying->. It is not that hard but you have to adjust your team composition depending on the enemies you are facing. I was surprised by the lenght of Bowser’s Minions but I don’t think this could be a standalone game but this is a perfect addition to the remake of Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga and makes the game overall worth its money.
Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga + Bowser’s Minions is very good remake of a 14 year old that aged surprisingly well. The visual update and music are fantastic and if you did not know, you would think this is a new game. The story is amazing and very funny and includes humor I definitely did not get when I was 9. Definitely a must buy for Nintendo and RPG fans.