Mario and Luigi: Superstar saga is a RPG that takes both of the brothers on an adventure. Remember Legend of the Seven Stars on the Super Nintendo and Paper Mario on the Nintendo 64? This is the third of the Mario RPG and it doesn't disappoint, it lives up to the greatness of the other ones and does a lot more too. It offers great fun and a superb challenge and featured a lot of faces from other Mario games as well as a bunch of new ones. Read on to find out why this game may be the best on offer on the Gameboy Advance.
The story. I bet you know already, Peach gets kidnapped by a angry fire breathing koopa called Bowser. Well for once it's not! But that doesn't say it going to have a decent story. Yes the plot is some what on the strange side. Princess Peach gets her voice stolen and the brave Mario and Luigi must go and get it back. Bowser knowing he can't kidnapp Peach with chaos reigning where ever she speaks, so he decides it's time to set aside their difference and he goes and helps them. Your adventure then begins, on the Koopa Cruiser, leaving the Mushroom Kingdom and heading for the Beanbean Kingdom, where Peach's voice has been taken. With Mario games you never really expect much from the plot, so this isn't going too much difference.
The sounds on Mario games never fail to impress me. The old classic Mario Bros. music remixed is as good as ever, also there is the introduction of new music. No voice acting as normal, i guess we could consider that a good thing. The Bros do make the occasional noise such as "oh-a no" and things but we really don't mind that at all.
The visuals in this game are stunning to say the least. The environments are colourful and look as if they have been painted across your screen. The animations on Mario and Luigi and the baddies seems perfect, they seem to have an incredible amount of detail for a gameboy advance game. I really just can't compliment this game enough in this area. Normally I find one flaw but with this there simply isn't any here, at all. Great time has been taken with this and the result is brilliant!
Gameplay, now we're talking! You control both of the brothers at once which adds a nice little twist to the gameplay. As you would expect the D pad moves them, and A and B are the brothers controls, at first they can only be used to make one of the brothers jump, but as you get through the game you will learn all sorts of other things such as Luigi's high jump and Mario's spin jump as well as Hammers and all sorts. The tricks you learn help you progress trough the game, for example when Luigi learns to high jump you will be able to reach higher ledges. That's only one of the many things though. The battle system is very solid, first thing though to get into battle.
You can just walk into a baddy but if you want to hurt them before you even go into battle jump on them or whack them with your hammer. In battle it's basic but it does it's job well. "A" controls Mario and "B" Luigi, you can decide to use an item to recover HP or revive a defeated brother, simply attack, run away (You lose coins though) or do a Bros. Attack, where both Mario and Luigi do a deadly combo, you can avoid attacks to by jumping. With battle experience you gain levels and when you gain a level your stats will increase, things such as HP, strength and much more, also you get coins and other items for defeating foes. The Beanbean kingdom is pretty big and the environments vary from a dry desert to woods, this means there is a great variety of baddies for you to enjoy killing. Also the game has Boss battles which require more thought than a normal battle, things like having to attack things in a certain pattern. Every little aspect of the system in this game is polished to perfection and it makes the game play so much fun and addictive, a outstanding effort has been put in by the developers and they have achieved utter perfection in this area!
It's wacky and comical but will it keep you playing? Well yes. This game is one fairly big adventure so it's not going to be a one day job to complete, a hardcore game could possible finish it in a weekend. Not to mention Mario Bros is still included and can be a bit of fun. All in all you will be playing this game for ages, so it is worth all of your hard earned cash and more, you will beat and and come back to keep beating it.
Mario and Luigi is a welcome edition to the Mario Collection. It offers a great deal of fun, great visuals, strange but funny story and is an all round solid role playing game. If you own a GBA you should own this, because it quite simply is one of the best on offer on the GBA and the entire Mario series. It scores 9, but bare in mind that this is a high 9.
Final Score: 9/10