Review – Mario & Luigi: Dream Team Bros. [3DS]

Posted: July 29, 2013 in 3DS, Reviews

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It’s not really safe for Peach to stay in the Mushroom Kingdom anymore, or go on holiday, or make royal visits. In fact, it’s probably best she be locked up for all eternity or at least given some more basic fighting training so she can use some of her Super Smash Bros. moves to evade being abducted. Having Toadsworth as your escort isn’t deterring anyone anymore.

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Mario and Luigi: Dream Team Bros. begins with Peach on a visit to Pi’illo Island when she is abducted by Antasma whom, like every other antagonist in the series has a severe fondness for the colour purple, and is whisked away into the dream world. In order to find out more information about Antasma and how to advance in their routine of rescuing Peach, Mario must enter the dream world to awake the old folk of Pi’illo Island who have been imprisoned in stone pillows. Using Luigi’s talent for falling asleep instantly Mario leaps into his dreams when he rests his head on the stone pillow. This is where the new gameplay elements come into play.

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Opposed to the top down approach used in the real world, the dream world is shown at a 2D angle with lots of platforms to run and jump across. The action here is kept fresh by having Luigi, known in the dream world as Dreamy Luigi, interact with various elements in the dream world which can be further manipulated by abusing a sleeping Luigi shown on the touch screen. They are introduced incrementally but are preceded by a rather slow tutorial and at times you can find yourself being thankful you only have to use an ability you’ve already learned.

Originally it felt as if the focus of the Dream Team Bros. would be in the dream world; however ventures to save a member of the Pi’illo rarely exceed five minutes. In battles, Dreamy Luigi adds his power to yours; leading to some tasty Mario attacks where one jump attack by Mario is followed by a squad of “Luiginoids” dropping down after. Luiginary attacks replace Bros. attacks, which has Mario assisted again by a horde of Luiginoids coming together to make a hard hitting attack force. Taking a leaf from Bowsers’ Inside Story where Bowser got so stimulated he grew to immense size, Luigi’s love for his brother in times of crisis has Dreamy Luigi grow to such a large proportion you have to turn the 3DS on its side to get all the action in.

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Since most of the real world action is mainly travelling between points of entry to the dream world, it’s unsure where the focus is but it strangely works. The simplicity of the dream world is too basic to stand alone and the real world travelling serves as filler with little enemies along the way. Put it all together with the storyline and it gels rather nicely. However you’ll soon notice that each objective in an area is basically a dungeon in the open world which makes a welcome change from having to visit a themed temple.

This is tied together with a perfectly written script with references to previous titles in the series and new quirky characters to get used to, the Massif Bros. are a prime example. Their constant funny beef comments regarding strength leading to “Beef, Beefier, BEEFIEST! ULTRABEEF ASCENT!!” along with a “Beef Off” to prove the Mario Bros. are not cutlets is hilarious. Characters from previous games also make an appearance, the Beanish from the Beanbean Kingdom and Hooskis, relatives of the Hooligans from Superstar Saga, Kylie Koopa from Partners in Time and Broque Monsieur (From Bowser’s Inside Story) and his race the Brocks. With the exception of the tutorials it’s hard to get tired of the writing which has gone into this game.

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83089_CTRP_Mario_L4_scrn03_Ev04 copyThe battles in Dream Team Bros. follow the standard RPG ‘Get EXP and level up’ method, as well as equipping various gear to improve your stats. Badges can be bought which when joined together produce different effects, collect ‘em all and find your perfect battle combination. One element which sets it apart from other RPG battle systems is such a refreshing change from remembering many enemies’ weaknesses and resistance and attack combinations. You have a few choices – jump on them, smack them with a hammer, team up with a Bros. attack or Luiginary attack if you’re in the dream world. Battles require further attention which many RPG’s do not offer. Instead of just picking the right attack and button pressing until it’s your turn again, you really have to be on the ball here. Each enemy has a certain attack pattern and you have to keep your wits about you if you want to evade the attack which is aimed at the intended Bro. Once you’ve learned to adapt this leads to the heavy possibility of winning a battle without having taken a single hit, which is immensely satisfying.

3DS_MarioLuigi3DS_022013_Scrn05 copyI’m a big fan of the Mario and Luigi series. They keep things so simple without becoming stagnant. It takes elements from its predecessors but at times can feel like they’re trying too hard to fit too much in. However it doesn’t push itself to the point of being too overbearing. RPG’s like this don’t come around often sadly, but it is rejuvenating that when one does and you know it’s going to be good. Mario and Luigi: Dream Team Bros. is certainly one of those titles.

Pr0s
A] The touch screen gets used for more than just a map!
B] Lively soundtrack
C] Great writing
D] Simple controls

Cons
A] Too frequent lengthy tutorials
B] Can feel too easy
C] “More of the same” storyline

Gameplay – 4/5
Playability – 4/5
Visuals – 4/5
Audio – 4/5
Lifespan – 4/5

Final Score 8/10

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