Nintendo released its lovable role-playing game, Mario & Luigi: Dream Team, this past Sunday. The fourth entry in the celebrated franchise sends the iconic twosome through the real and dream worlds as they rescue Princess Peach and the friendly Pi'illo People. We've had the game for a little while, and without giving too much away, here's what we dig most about this charming adventure.
Stuck? Pick up Prima's Official Mario & Luigi: Dream Team Guide.
The Mario & Luigi series is known for witty and at times laugh-out-loud funny writing, complimented by silly animations and plenty of slapstick moments; at Luigi's expense, of course. Where Dream Team ranks among the others is up for debate (Superstar Saga set quite a benchmark), but know this: the game's humorous dialogue is one of many reasons to continuously push the story forward. Unlike some RPGs, you'll want to speak to everyone. In particular, the French influenced Broque Monsieur.
As for Luigi, just because 2013 is his big year doesn't mean Nintendo went easy on Mario's green-clad bro. He manages to get into a variety of head-scratching situations, despite being asleep most of the time.
Luigi has a habit of catching Zzz's at key moments in the game, allowing both he and Mario to enter the Dream World. This is where a bulk of Dream Team's puzzle solving takes place, and Nintendo lets you interact with sleeping Luigi a number of ways. For instance, tickling his nose on the bottom screen causes him to sneeze, which propels blocks from the background into the foreground on the top screen, granting Mario safe passage. Meanwhile, pulling on his mustache with the stylus doubles as a slingshot, propelling Mario to new areas. It's a cool way of figuring out some of the game's trickiest brainteasers.
Audio and Visual Presentation
Nintendo's Mario & Luigi titles stand out from other RPGs, with bright/cheery graphics and upbeat soundtracks. Dream Team is no exception. You'll visit a plethora of cartoon-style worlds in both the real and dream worlds bursting with the tiniest of details, from old-looking stones in a castle to characters and slick animations. Foot-tapping music compliments the visuals, and there's a good chance you'll look for it online after putting the game down. There is, of course, one highlight over the prequels, glasses free 3D. Nintendo continues to prove its mastery of the 3DS hardware, and manages to get the most from the system's much-touted effect, with 3D that's easier on the eyes than prior games; we prefer to keep it on the lowest setting.
Here's another Mario & Luigi staple that remains more or less intact. Time-based combat puts a fun spin on the usual turn-based battles, as you press a brother's corresponding button at just the right time to maximize attacks. Beyond that, you'll be able to use a host of different items to pound enemies into submission, including the trusty hammer. Equipping badges, meanwhile, cause special effects during battles, like restoring 30 percent of each character's hit points (HP). Perhaps the coolest feature, though, are Luiginary Attacks, where Mario harnesses the power of several mini Luigi's. Watch as the pipsqueaks literally get the drop on their enemies, then transform into a wrecking ball for Mario to ride.
Turns out, Mario & Luigi: Dream Team contains achievements in the form of Expert Challenges. Although completing them doesn't contribute to a Nintendo gamerscore, you'll accumulate points that eventually lead to rare pieces of gear. You don't need to obsess over this to get far in the game, but it's a nice incentive and something to strive for.
What do you love most about Mario & Luigi: Dream Team? Let us know.
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