Nintendo and Alphadream’s new 3DS game, Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam, brilliantly combines the Mario & Luigi universe with Paper Mario, creating a unique tale of not one Bowser that must be stopped, but two! Fortunately you have a pair of Marios, along with Luigi and other compatriots to lend a hand.

Don’t succumb to your foes! These Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam tips will help you stay in the fight.

Knowing the Battle System

If you're familiar with either the Mario & Luigi or Paper Mario series, then you'll easily adapt to the gameplay. When engaging in battles with enemies, timing plays a crucial role in your attacks to give these moves extra power.

For instance, when you stomp an enemy's head, you'll see an indicator letting you know when to press the button so you can bop its noggin a second time, dishing out additional damage. It's a matter of timing, but it's fairly easy to get down – and once you master it with all three characters, you can do some major harm and shift the battle your way.

This timing can range from "OK" to "excellent." You'll start off with just "OK" at first, but as you go through battles, you'll eventually get better.

Items can also be useful when it comes to the heat of battle. These come in the form of cards you can apply for one time use, such as giving your hammer additional power or equipping a special item – like boots or some other sort of gear – for extra strength. Try to save these for the battles that really matter, like when you're going up against bosses.

Defense plays as much a part as offense in Paper Jam, as you can not only dodge incoming attacks from foes, but sometimes even deliver counters that can hurt them in the process. You'll see an enemy charge at you and have about a split second in which to react. Hit the button at the right time and you'll slip by unscathed – and maybe even take a couple of points off them in the process.

Using Bro Points

You don't necessarily need to fight enemies on your own. After all, you're a team now, with Mario, Luigi, Paper Mario and others.

The first thing you'll want to do is see how many BP you have. BP stands for Bro Points, and you'll be able to use these over the course of the game to unleash Bros and Trio attacks.

These can be put together with a matter of timing, having all three characters go in a battle formation and delivering triple the damage. Again, this is best left for tougher enemies like bosses and larger opponents, so save these for when they really count.

You'll also want to make sure each character is at sufficient health. If one of your players gets wiped out and faints in battle, you won't be able to use them to execute the special attacks. Maintain HP and team up with your bros when the time is right.

Something for All Types of Players

Those who prefer to get into Paper Jam without the difficulty can do so with the game's Easy Mode. This enables you to have unlimited access to items like Hint Blocks and Easy Attack Mode.

In Easy Attack Mode, attacks are slowed down so you can master the button presses more easily than in regular mode. However, this comes at a price, as you'll use up BP (Bro Points) whenever you use this. You can turn it on or off at any time with the R button. Try the game without this at first and use it if you feel it's necessary.

For those who prefer a challenge, however, there's Expert Challenges. With these, you'll have certain goals that need to be met, such as using Luigi to wipe out an entire enemy crew (not as easy as it sounds) or using only specific attacks on foes. These are best recommended for those who get the hang of the battle system, but it's very rewarding for fans of the series.

Don't Forget Your amiibos

If you have access to an NFC reader or a new Nintendo 3DS, you can scan amiibo characters into the game to earn new cards for use in battle.

To do this, go to the Register amiibo screen. You'll need to make sure any saved data is removed first (it's best to start by scanning them before beginning a new game).

Once that's done, look for "?" cards scattered throughout the game. Enemies usually drop them, and you can purchase these from Toad in shops as well.

Once you have these cards and your amiibos are scanned, you'll be able to create new cards that will help you along. Your best bet is to use two different amiibo characters to create a Duo Card, which is more powerful than usual cards.

You can also make Sparkle Cards that are equally strong, but there's a catch – you need two of the same amiibo in order to do this. We're not sure how many people own two of the same character, but maybe you can check in with a friend to create it. They can be registered to another system, but you'll need to make sure they're assigned a separate character card for your handheld. Once you're set, the Sparkle Card will be in your deck, and you'll be ready to do battle. (Note: you'll only be able to make a single Sparkle Card a day – so don't get greedy.)

That's it! Remember to save these cards for the battles that really count, and enjoy the ride. Paper Jam has hours' worth of gameplay, quests and humorous situations that will have Mario & Luigi fans feel right at home.