Sunday, 6 January 2013

GBA Review: Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga

This review was originally posted by Thadeus Lorefield at Accursed Farms Forums on December 15th 2011.


Platform: GameBoy Advance
Released: 2003
Genre: RPG
Developer: AlphaDream
Publisher: Nintendo

Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga is a typical example of a game that you haven't heard of but has a huge following of fans as well as it's fair share of people that dislike it. So without further ado let's dive into this review and see what this game has to offer.

One thing that many people will notice very quickly as they start playing is that it's very similar to Super Mario RPG and Paper Mario in that all three feature a big overworld that you explore, battles are turn based and you collect equipment over the course of the game to improve the bros attack, defense and grant them special abilities.

Another thing that deserves to be mentioned is that this game is.... well... weird for lack of better words, only the first few minutes takes place in the Mushroom Kingdom, after that you go to the BeanBean Kingdom, a neighboring kingdom where everything is a bean much like how everything in the Mushroom Kingdom is a mushroom.


The graphics in this game are pretty solid over all, the characters are well animated and usually entertaining to watch and the backgrounds are generally pleasant to watch as well, while not breathtaking by any means, they do their job and have a kind of charm to them.


The music in this game is generally alright, some of the tunes are catchy and memorable while others just kind of play in the background setting the mood, I'll post a few links to some of the tunes so you can judge for yourself if it's any good.


Now, the gameplay is where most people either love or hate this game, the gameplay is a lot slower then mario games tend to be.
Since it's a RPG it has a lot of story and dialog, though not nearly as much as the stereotypical RPG's like Final Fantasy and the dialog tends to be humerus.
In typical RPG fashion you will spend most of the time in this game when you aren't reading dialog in battle, thankfully the battle system is easy to grasp for fairly deep.

While in battle you have multiple options for what you wish to do, you control both Mario and Luigi at once, Mario with the A-button and Luigi with the B-button and each turn you can choose to take one of several actions which include but aren't limited to: jumping on the enemy, hitting them with your hammer, using an item, both bros. attacking together in a stronger combo attack or running away.

All attacks in the game, yours and the enemy's alike, rely on timing to strengthen the attack or avoid damage, and different attacks are more effective against certain enemies for instance enemies with spikes cant be jumped on without hurting the bro, so you need to use your hammer, or a furred enemy can have it's fur burnt off by fire to make it run away from the fight.


The game starts out with a offering of peace being offered between the BeanBean Kingdom and Mushroom Kingdom, however as the representatives approach Princess Toadstool it turns out this was a trap and the attackers do something to the princess.
After some mischief bringing the bros to the castle it turns out Toadstool's voice has been stolen and replaced with explosives and you have to go to the BeanBean Kingdom to get it back and find out what they possibly would want with her voice.

To find the answers you will have to play the game for yourself, I hope you enjoyed this review, feedback and comments are welcome.


Personally I love this game, it's one of my favorites on the GBA, I highly recommend it if you like RPG's, Mario games and puns.

--Thad out

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