Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga.
Mario & Luigi is at best in describing, being the third game in the Super Mario RPG series, and rightfully deserves its place in the series. Graphic-wise M & L is beautiful, the graphics are colorful and greatly convey the whimsical story that M & L presents. The game starts off innocently enough with a witch and her escort visiting Princess Peach in guise, and stealing her voice and replacing it with explosive. When she speaks, the words are replaced with icons of sorts that fall to the ground and explode.
Music-wise, M & L presents classic Mario themes, and overall the music is rather good. (Don't expect me to be real deep when it comes to music because I don't pay much attention to it on the GBA because I usually turn the volume down low as not to disturb those around me) But unlike some games, the music in M & L did not make me want to turn the volume down all the way. So in other words it didn't irritate me and make me grate my teeth.
Game play-wise, the game controls well. You must use both the "A" and "B" buttons to control Mario and Luigi, in and out of battle. Outside of battle you use the start button to switch positions for Mario and Luigi, and by switching back and forth you can use special abilities. By pressing the "L" shoulder button, you can switch between these abilities. Mario can jump of top of Luigi and doing a spinning move that can carry the brothers over gaps, while Luigi can jump on top of Mario to perform a high jump that can get them to higher ground. After playing the game for a while, you gain the use of hammers, that can break certain obstacles. You can jump while walking around, to hit blocks that float above the ground, that give coins or items. Enemies move around the map as you do and you can engage battle or for the most part ignore them. You can jump on them to give them extra damage at the start of the battle, or after you acquire the hammer, you can hit them to stun them (I don't remember if the hammer does any damage at the beginning of the battle, because I only know that it has only stunned them for a short while as far into the game that I am.) But beware, that if you jump at and enemy and miss and the Brother that is in the back is hit, they will not be able to do anything until their turn comes up, leaving them open to any and all attacks that come there way in between. In battle you jump to attack, but some enemies can't be jumped on, which is why you have a hammer. You also jump to dodge, but some attacks can't be dodged while jumping, which is why you have a hammer, which you can use to defend. Defending with the hammer can take a little use to, because you have to hold the button for a short while before the hammer is ready (obviously because it's heavy
) and you have to release the buttons at the right time, hold them too long and the hammer will fall off the handle. Same with attacking. You must swing the hammer as soon as it starts to shake to get the most out of the, or else the hammer will fall apart and you will only do a small amount of damage. You can make them both dodge at the same time, and can make them both attack at the same time if you use the combo attacks.
The combo attacks come in three difficulties. 1 is the easiest which pretty much holds your hand while you perform the attack, which it tells you when to press the "A" button for Mario and "B" for Luigi. You control which difficulty level you use. Increasing the level to 2 results in you getting less help during the combo and 3 gives you none. (I don't know if there is any levels above 3, I haven't seen any yet) But supposedly at higher levels the results are better. Also you will eventually learn new advanced moves while using your combo's (which use up your BP "Brother Points, which act as like MP Magic Points)
You gain EXP and sometimes coins and items at the end of battle. Gain enough EXP (like in almost all RPG games) and you will level up. Mario and Luigi level up differently (how I don't know yet) but you are given a chance each time you level up to give one stat a bonus. You select the stat you want to give the bonus to and then a roulette wheel will spin and you press the button and you will (at least as far as I am) get anywhere between a 1 to 4 point bonus added to that one stat. I don't know if the wheel is random, or if there is some strategy into getting a certain number. I get 1's, 2's, 3's, and 4's.
The only problem I have had with the game, is not even an issue with the game. You control Mario and Luigi at the same time. You can make them both jump at the same time and all. I have never played a game like this before, and if I don't pay attention I confuse myself, especially if I get Mario and Luigi not in correct order I can forget which button controls which Brother and can mess me up. There are some parts of the game that require you to participate in games. Like jumping the boarder rope, like thing. Not real hard, but at least easy to get the hang of. In battle I find that when dodging, it is easier for me to make both Mario and Luigi dodge at the same time to be easier than watching to see which Brother really needs to dodge, because I often forget which button to control because by habit I have grown up playing games that used one button and never two at the same time, not like this.
But the game is fun. Controlling Mario and Luigi at the same time may sound overwhelming, but it's not, at least not after playing a little while. After a while, it starts to feel natural.GRAPHICS
10 (So Far