Skip to main content

Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story


I don't know how common the knowledge is, but the Mario Franchise has a surprisingly robust history of quality RPGs.

Starting way back on the Super Nintendo, with Super Mario RPG, the series has a history of going light on the RPG elements, and featuring gameplay that's heavy on timed inputs to increase the strength of attacks, or to avoid taking damage. The Mario & Luigi series started on the Gameboy Advance with Super Star Saga, and took a slightly different approach to controlling the characters. Instead of gathering an eclectic cast of original characters to join Mario on his journey, you instead control only Mario and Luigi, for the entirety of the game, and each is assigned to either the a or the b button. In battle, you use the B button to select Luigi's actions, or to evade or counter attack, Mario is assigned to the A button. This is expanded upon by giving them special attacks that they perform cooperatively, for instance, one attack has them kicking a turtle shell repeatedly off an enemy, and you have to hit the button for whichever brother it's going toward in order to continue the attack. Outside of battle, the brothers are tethered together, but still controlled separately when it comes to jumping, requiring you to time gaps properly to get both of them across, or risk going back around. Throughout the game you acquire new abilities outside of battle that allow you to access new areas, and solve new puzzles. For instance, after gaining the hammers, Luigi can use his to smoosh Mario down until he's half as tall, and can then fit through small holes, this kind of gives the game a metroidvania feel, where you're encouraged to backtrack to past locations in order to use your new abilities to access new areas.

Super Star Saga is probably one of my all time favorite RPGs, so I was a little disappointed with the second M&L game, Partners in time. This was the first on the DS, and thus had two more face buttons to utilize (X & Y) which they did by introducing the baby versions of Mario and Luigi, who rode piggybacked on their future selves. Really the only problem I had with this game was just that 4 things to keep track of at once was really just too much. I'm not much of a twitch gamer in the first place, and I found myself just not successfully executing attacks since I couldn't keep track of it all.

Now that we're caught up, here's the third M&L game, Bowser's inside story. Instead of the baby Brothers, the X and Y buttons are now assigned to Bowser, who doesn't actually fight in the same battles as the Brothers do, but rather occupies the top screen on the DS, while the Brothers are on the bottom screen, which is typically inside Bowser. See, the plot is that someone invades the mushroom kingdom, and kicks Bowser out of his castle, then tricks him into eating a mushroom that makes very large, and run around in a berzerker state sucking everything in sight into his belly. Then he shrinks back down and regains his senses. Gameplay goes back and forth between Bowser trying to regain the his castle, and the Brothers repairing or improving his insides. At one point Bowser is tricked into overeating some incredibly fatty foods, and the Brothers must jazzercise his muscles to help him burn off the calories, at other times, Bowser can swallow small opponents, after which the Brothers must fight them in his belly. This theme culminates in the ultimate fight in the end, where Bowser must repeatedly swallow an entity that is healing his opponent, so that the Bros can beat it down.

The gameplay is fun and fresh, but more importantly, the writing is just hilarious, there are a lot of puns, and just odd statements that I couldn't get enough of. Ultimately, I like Bowser as a character in these games, he's not really evil, just kind of a lovable jerk, and I would welcome many more opportunities to control the Koopa King.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Toy Review: Tekkaman Blade & Pegas

Today I've got Tekkaman Blade & Pegas from Bandai's Soul of Chogokin SPEC line. SPEC is a subset of the Soul of Chogokin, and is supposed to feature more modern characters, in more toy like incarnations, also typically with less metal content. This is the first SPEC toy that I've ever picked up. There have been a couple of different cartoons feature the Tekkaman character, none of which have I seen, but from what I've gathered, this toy is based on the designs from the 90's OVA Tekkaman Blade. In the cartoon an invading alien force abducts humans and turns them into cyborg warriors called Tekkamen. Blade is the title character, and he manages to escape being fully brainwashed, in order to return to Earth and thwart the invasion. The conversion process being icomplete, he has some disadvantages, which require him to use the larger mech, Pegas as a means of transforming into his Tekkaman form, also he can only stay in his Tekkaman form for 30 minutes, or risk goin…

Marvel's Civil War II is even stupider than the first one

Mainstream comics are inherently ridiculous, which is probably why I enjoy them so.  Lately, by which I mean for at least the last decade, the trend from Marvel and DC has been to have a big "universe changing" event that mostly happens in it's own limited series, while splashing out into the majority of other titles being published at the time.

Probably the first that I really followed, at least as an adult, was the first Civil War series. Brief synopsis: Lesser known superhero team fights a team of villains, and an entire school full of children get called, backlash is that the government institutes mandatory regulation and training of anyone that tries to be a superhero, Captain America is against, Iron Man is for, they fight. I tried to read all of the tie-in books, but ultimately got really annoyed when different writers decided to write the same character, at roughly the same time, and get them completely different. If you read the chronological order, you go direc…

CM's Star Gaogaigar

So, this is Star Gaogaigar from the King of Braves Gaogaigar cartoon, one of the infamous Brave series of cartoons. Basically, the Brave series was a handful of cartoons with toylines supported by Takara after the original Transformers line had stopped being profitable. Each series was unrelated to the last, and was heavily aimed towards selling toys, featuring a lot of combining figures, especially centered around a central hero character, which would combine with just about everything else under the sun for various upgrades. A lot of Transformers fans consider the toys to these cartoons as the spiritual successors of the original Transformers line.

I've never watched the cartoon, so instead, here's the opening:







Now that that's out of the way, look at that box! It's huge! Height and width, it's about on par with the larger Soul of Chogokin boxes, but the thing that's really odd about it, is that it's just as deep as it is tall, if you look at it from the sid…