Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Mario & Luigi Dream team bros review (3DS)

Mario & Luigi Dream team bros Review

Story: One day the mushroom kingdoms princess Peach gets a invitation from Dr. Snoozemore to visit his island called Pi’illo island with some subjects from her Kingdom. The nice Dr. Even sent a Zeppelin to take her there with her people so Peach decided to invite Mario and Luigi to come with her. However, on the journey a mysterious enemy attacks them and the ship crashes right into the island. Miraculously none of them got hurt (well except poor Luigi that is) and they are greeted by people that have heads shaped like Cubes (one of them has a really cool french accent). What awaits our heroes in this strange island? Well, you have to get the game to find out!

The Mario & Luigi series has always had a lot of heart and humor in their games, and this one is no exception, or rather this might be the best one yet. It really doesn't matter if you have played the older entry’s in the series to enjoy the story in the game and its characters; although if you have played them, then you will notice a lot of different references to the older games (for example an important side character from Bowser's inside story returns in this game). 

For me the story has been very enjoyable and fun; even Peach of all characters has shown more interesting emotions other then smiling all the time and saying “Help me Mario!” (who knew that Peach gets excited when someone mentions a Treasure hunt). Mario and Luigi also show emotions through their facial expressions and through their very funny Italian accents. This game also has some interesting twists, but it will never really become dark (not like in Partners in time. . . You know what I am talking about if you have played that game through before). When I say this game may have the best humor in the series yet, I do mean it. There will be a ton of different jokes that they will bring up (someone will comment on how a certain character looks like she is nude, yeah you read it right) or when a certain other character is, well, a “jerk” to our heroes. 

Game play: For those who don’t know all the Mario & Luigi games have been a mix between turn based and action RPG. Basically in battles Mario and Luigi can actually dodge the incoming attacks, and even counter their enemy’s if you timing is just right. Also when you attack if your timing is just right, you may get a double attack or just a more powerful version of it. 

Following series tradition, you will explore a big world with a ton of secrets and extra objectives that will reward you with even more rewards. Getting to new areas in Dream team is very similar to Bowser's inside story, where it is linear, but it is not like Partners in time where they teleport to different stages. All the enemies are also visible on the field so if you want to, you can skip most of them (although that is a REALLY BAD IDEA, trust me on that one). The battles with different enemies are started with either you just running straight at them or by jumping/hammering them for damage before the battle really starts. A fair warning though, enemies can get a jump on you if you let them come from behind you or if you made a clumsy mistake by missing a jump as well. In the battles  you can also perform something called a “Bros Attack” later on (or BP for short) where you again use timing to TONS OF DAMAGE (high five for anyone getting this reference) unto a enemy. If you have a hard time getting the timing just right you can actually practice it in the menu where you see the moves you can perform which will help greatly for those who wants to perfect the moves (without spending any BP points). You also can only learn the moves by finding attack pieces scattered in different areas which is a returning feature from the other games.
After the battles you gain XP, money and gifts if the enemy dropped any, and when the XP has hit a certain point, you will level up and increase your stats however, you also get a bonus chance to increase any stat of your choosing by 1-5 points. If you have bonus increased only one stat for at least three levels straight, the game will only give you the chance to bonus increase it by 1-2 so be more creative!

After you hit a certain level, you will get a new “rank” where you get many different options on what you can do with your character. For example you can get one more slots for equipment, badges give additional effects (more on this later), you get 20% more XP (a must have for a low level run of the game), you take 20% less damage from enemy’s etc etc. But here is the catch, you only get five ranks in total which means you have to choose carefully what bonuses you actually want for your character.

As in tradition to all RPGs of all time, you can also buy equipment and items from different stores to increase your characters stats or just make the game easier. Just let me tell you this reader the only items you will want to worry about will be Syrup jar’s since those can restore BP points which you will use A LOT. 

Now lets talk about badges. Badges have been a feature of every Mario & Luigi game up to date. Before they were used as equipment to give Mario & Luigi different extra abilities, but in this game they have given them a new twist. You combine two different badges which will work differently, depending on the kind, for example the combo you start with will heal both Mario and Luigi 30% of their life. In battles you have a meter at the top of your screen which will fill up if you time your attacks better, when fully charged it will store the effect at the bottom screen of the 3DS. You can store up to two different effects there, but here is the nice thing, when it is your turn you can use the effect directly, without one of your characters losing their turn; so that’s  pretty nice.

Finally lets talk about the big gimmick of this game: Entering Luigi’s dreams. At a certain point in the game Luigi will simply sleep on places where Mario can enter his dreams, and here in the dream world the rules changes (duh). First of all the over view becomes a 2d platformer view and in battles Mario combines with Luigi’s dream version of himself, simply called “Dreamy Luigi”, (oh there will be more puns in the game just you wait reader) which greatly increases Mario’s stats and gives him new abilities.

For example, when you perform a normal jump attack Luigi will multiply into like 6-10 copies of himself on top of Mario, and when you get a double jump attack in the copies will jump into the air and rain down unto enemies.
Speaking of battles most of them will have at least 10 or more foes at the same time.

In the dream world you will also see Luigi’s sleepy face at the bottom screen where you can well, have fun with it, but you will also use the face for future puzzles; for example if you drag Luigi’s mustache at the bottom screen it will work like a vine on the top screen where you can fling Mario to otherwise hard to reach places.
*phew* now that was a lot to take in wasn't it reader? But yes, the game play has been fun as expected, they have combined all the features from the other games in the series and perfected them (in my opinion). But they still managed to add new stuff. Seriously, these games keep on impressing me with every new installment with their creativity and very fun game play, (I wish more RPG’s had a dodge mechanic with counters!)

Graphics: In short they are EXCELLENT! The long version: basically in this game instead of making typical 3D models for the characters they went with sprites, (for those who don’t know basically everything that isn't a 3D model in a game, look at Super Nintendo games to see what I mean) and let me tell you, these sprites looks gorgeous! It’s like they made a animated painting out of them! But for some reason when you look at Mario and Luigi’s normal sprites in the over world you don’t see their well, letters on their caps (I guess it was hard to animate something so small).
When you are in the dream world, as I mentioned, you see Luigi’s face at the bottom screen and he looks great, he is really well animated and just so Luigi (sorry).

Later on in the game you will encounter a very special boss battle that will make your jaw DROP, in this battle they pushed the graphics to the max and everything looks so stunningly gorgeous! So yes its really good. Seriously more games should use sprites because they can look so gorgeous if done right.

Music: As expected, following the series traditions the music is just excellent. There are many tracks here that will be stuck in your head *cough* Battle theme *cough* and they are just very fun to listen to. When you enter the dream world you get remixed versions of different tracks like the battle theme which sounds great.

Replay Value: Now this is a hard question isn't it? As I mentioned you get ranks as you level up and can only choose few of the bonuses; If you do multiple play through's you can experiment with these ranks. The game keeps on giving you new enemies at the right time and gives you new puzzles to keep things fresh throughout the whole game, but if you have completely done everything in your first play through then most likely you won’t be coming back until you have forgotten most of the story. The replay value greatly depends on what kind of gamer you are.

Difficulty: The game keeps a steady pace by giving the player more challenge and new puzzles, but it will never really be “hard” since you easily get A LOT of different healing items and even the badges can heal you! The true challenge comes in perfecting your timing with bros attacks and your dodge because this game has something called challenges where it rewards you points depending on how good you are with attacking with different attacks and how good you are with dodging. For example if you perform 10 Excellent! (Best possible timing you can have) in a row (not only in one battle) you will get points for it, when you get enough points you will be rewarded with different items and gear. Tip save the challenger shoes and challenger pants, save them trust me on this one. You can look up what challenges you have in your inventory and see what you have to do to complete it.

Overall the game isn't that hard if you are good with your timing and good with RPGs in general but if you haven’t played a RPG before then this is a great place to start.

Interesting points: Did you know that if you go to the top of a certain castle in this game you will find a Toad mentioning that he loved his visit to Pi’illo island so much that he will make a blog review of it. It is now confirmed that the internet exists in the Mushroom kingdom! (Although to be fair there were the Leet speaking brothers in Partners in time. . . . Don’t know what Leet speak is? Google it). 
Final verdict: The Mario & Luigi games have been the only Mario games that I really look forward to, because of the humor and how creative they are. This game didn't disappoint me, heck it surprised me how much new stuff they could do with the series. So the final verdict is 9/10. I really loved this game, no doubt about it, but it could have been a little more challenging. In Nintendo tradition these days, the game holds your hand for a long time before you truly get to figure stuff out yourself, which can be a double edged sword. I would have liked them to challenge the player to figure more stuff out for themselves. If you have a 3DS and you enjoy RPGs don’t miss out on this very gorgeous and fun game!

That is all from me readers! Have a great day