Mario & Luigi: Dream Team is the fourth entry in the long running Mario & Luigi series that debuted back in 2003 for the Gameboy Advance. Since its release, the series has gotten some major upgrades in terms of gameplay, and visuals. Hitting its fourth entry on the Nintendo 3DS, the brothers are back and they’re up for another adventure that they will never forget. Bringing back the old cast from the past titles like Peach and Bowser, Dream Team is something fans of the series have been looking forward to since it was announced. Was it worth the wait?
Compared to past Mario & Luigi titles on the handheld, does Dream Team have anything new to offer? Let’s take a look at what’s HOT and what’s NOT in our review.
When it comes to every Mario game, it’s very rare for them to have a serious story as most are rather simple. Despite the simplicity and laid back story that they want to tackle, we know that they shine on the aspect on how they show and tell it to gamers, which worked in all of their games for thirty years.
Dream Team takes place in an island called Pi’illo where everything seems so peaceful and quiet, that’s until the brothers and Peach arrive. In a quest to escort Peach to the castle to meet the person who invited them, things start to go crazy when all of a sudden Peach is kidnapped by an evil Bat King called Antasma, who has plagued Pi’llio Island since ancient times but somehow manages to escape from the dream world he was imprisoned within. As always, both brothers are determined to do everything to save Peach but that mission turns into something bigger when both of them are tasked to save not only Peach, but the ancient creature who has lived on the island before.
With Antasma now back in the present world, Mario and Luigi are tasked to go within the dream world and save not only Peach but the ancient people of Pi’illo that will help the brothers seal Antasma back again. Thanks to the unique ability of Luigi, where he always falls asleep, they are able to go to the dream world using Luigi’s subconscious. For the past three Mario & Luigi games, Mario has always been the star but this time, Luigi will play a big role in this game where he has become the key into saving Peach and the rest of the people on the island.
Sure, the story may not sound too awesome but that is not something you will look forward to. In your thirty hour adventure in Dream Team, every conversation will put a smile in your face. The focus of Dream Team seems to give players a little of sense of humor, even though some of them are not funny. Expect characters to talk a lot and gives all sorts of jokes to make the game’s narrative humorous. Honestly, it works as you can see how witty the characters are.
From Bowser Inside Story to Dream Team, the game has improved by a mile when it comes to visuals. Similar to past titles, one of the things fans can expect is that Dream Team offers a colorful yet detailed world again. The beauty of Pi’illo Island will shine right on your Nintendo 3DS as every detail to its art is phenomenal. Though voice overs are always the things that lack, the mumbling is good enough to understand everything the game has to offer.
Since both Mario and Luigi will be going back and forth between the dream world and the present time, players will see two different kind of level designs. When venturing through the dream world, players will be brought into the 2D side scrolling platforming type of game, although the RPG elements remain. Think of the dream world as the Super Mario Bros. game where you do endless platforming, but it gets fun and challenging thanks to the puzzles and enemies players will get to stomp on. As for venturing through the present world, it will be similar to the past Mario & Luigi games we’ve seen before, which is pretty much like a regular RPG game, though this time the game’s environments and even characters are in 3D!
In addition to having a phenomenal, yet colorful presentation, the game also succeeds in its soundtrack. Those who are familiar with past Mario games, they will hear a lot of remixes like the one from the original Super Mario Bros. game. Luckily, players who enjoy remixes of old tunes from past Mario games can listen to them most of the time as the game will loop it most of the time.
Innovative Gameplay – Luiginary Works
Aside from being a RPG game where it has a turn based battle system, which tends to become boring, Dream Team manages to shine in certain things thanks to the plethora of innovative new gameplay styles. One of the new additions that I find very fun to use is the Luiginary Works. When in the Dream World, Mario can use Luigi as a tool to help him go clear the dream world he’s in. If at some point he’s stuck and can’t get into the upper platform, players can use Luiginary Works, depending if its available, to get to the desired area. Whenever players see a Luigi icon on screen, Mario can command his brother to transform into something that will help Mario get across the other area. As soon as the Luigi in the dream world transforms and blends with the environment, players will then have to do something to Luigi back in the present world using the bottom of the screen.