Mario & Luigi Superstar Sage originally released in 2003 and brought a rpg Mario game to handhelds. Now to start with, I haven’t gotten a chance to play Super Mario RPG or the first Paper Mario, so this was my first introduction of a system like this in a Mario game. Unique cast of characters, new powers and a fun story make this game one of my favorites. I was excited to hear that this was going to get a 3DS release with new graphics and additional game mode with the side story of Bowser’s Minions. So let’s begin with the story.
Mario & Luigi Superstar Saga, follows the story of how Mario and Luigi must stop a new villains Cackletta and Fawful from using Princess Peach to harness the power of the Beanstar and take over the Bean Kingdom. To do this, Mario and Luigi will have to work together to fight off Cackletta forces and other enemies through out the kingdom. The Bean Kingdom descent sized kingdom filled with area unique areas with unique enemies. The brothers will also learn new teamwork techniques and powers to help with their journey. The story at times does get silly but it offers several challenges in puzzles and mini-games that have a good balance of challenge and fun. Having fun characters like Prince Peasley and Popple, the thief. Also for me this was the first time that I didn’t really face Bowser as the main villain so it was nice to see him in a new light. The combat system is one of my favorite among most games.
In Superstar Sage, combat is a turn base with the ability to react to enemy attacks. The thing that is unique about this is each brother is assign to 1 button. All of Mario actions are tied to the A button and Luigi is tied to the B button. This is true in combat and while exploring the map. This make using abilities unique as you have to make sure you use the correct button at the correct time. At the beginning Mario and Luigi only have their jumping ability to take down their foes. As the game continues you will gain access to Hammers, for spiky enemies, and Fire and Thunder attacks to deal elemental damage. On top of each brother having this basic attacks, each one has a unique Bros. Attack. These are teamwork attacks that require a sequence of buttons to be press correctly to execute a powerful move. These use BP or Bros. Points so make sure you use them wisely or have a way to restore these point during battle. The abilities you gain throughout the game are not only helpful in combat but will give Mario and Luigi abilities to use in the world to solve various puzzles, such as making Mario small to explore a part of the map or press a switch. The gear in Superstar Saga is important as well.
You will have 3 items to equip onto Mario and Luigi. Pants, Badges and Special Items. These items can be found through the Bean Kingdom by defeating enemies, completing quest and puzzles or buying them when you get near the castle in the center of the Bean Kingdom. Not only do they increase stats on the brothers but some may have special abilities such as giving the wearer a temper shield or healing after a certain attack. Other items in the game are Mushrooms, Syrups, Herbs and other items to restore HP, BP and cure statuses. There is a good amount of items to collect and utilize in this game.
The other part of this game is a side story called Bowser’s Minions. This focuses on after the first act of the main game, Bowser and his minions are separated and one of them decides they need to find their leader again. This game mode is more of a auto-battle with paper-rock-scissors mechanics. There 3 types of units you can use to make up a team of eight: Ground, Range, Flying. Ground units are strong against Range units, Range units are strong against Flying units and Flying units are strong against Ground. Haven’t played a lot of this game mode, the first area worth of battles mainly, but like I said before most of the combat is on auto pilot. However there are some events that require you to press the A button to use a super attack against a foe. This game mode really hasn’t grabbed my attention, but it is a fun mode to mess around in and I do plan to give it more time over the next couple of weeks.
I would suggest you pick up this game as it was the beginning of the Mario & Luigi game series. Superstar Saga is a fun and unique time from other Mario games and would really love one to be released for the Nintendo Switch.
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Until next time, keep gaming and have fun.