Mario and Luigi Superstar Saga - GBA

Also known as: Mario & Luigi RPG

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Viewed: 2D Side-on, Scrolling Genre:
Adventure: Role Playing
Arcade origin:No
Developer: AlphaDream Soft. Co.: Nintendo
Publishers: Nintendo (US/GB)
Released: Oct 2003 (US)
21 Nov 2003 (GB)
Ratings: PEGI 3+, ESRB Rating Pending
No Accessories: No Accessories


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Being a Nintendo fan, and a dedicated one at that, is hard work, especially if you have the misfortune to live outside of NTSC regions. A nauseating mixture of crushing disappointment and startling joy intertwine, generating a rollercoaster of emotions.

No Animal Crossing - you hate Nintendo. GameCube bonus disks and an early Mario Kart release - you love Nintendo.

Secretly, you always loved Nintendo and you were never going to stop, but it’s best to keep that secret, otherwise you never know what may happen.

Anyway, back at Nintendo’s rather disappointing E3 conference in 2003, lots of fist-shaking by Satoru Iwata (“The power of GameCube, the power of Game Boy Advance and the power of CONNECTIVITY!” – classic stuff!) somewhat overshadowed what some saw as the biggest new game on show. A new Mario Game! And it’s an action RPG! And it features Luigi! And everything!

Startling joy, indeed. However, there was, of course, crushing disappointment lurking around the corner. The game looked for all the world like a two-player co-operative RPG. But it wasn’t. Frustratingly and somewhat short-sightedly, Nintendo had decided to go down the single-player route, albeit with the running joke that is the original Mario Bros thrown in to sell link cables.

So what can you expect from Mario and Luigi Superstar Saga to give it its full, somewhat fruity name?

For a start, it’s set in an an all-new world known as Beanbean kingdom. And, prepare for a shock, Mario has befriended Bowser, his eternal big fat lizard Nemesis. A witch has stolen the Princess’ voice, and now when she speaks, she alarmingly regurgitates bombs - not a good thing. But the witch also has an eye on Bowser’s kingdom. Something must be done.

This is an epic adventure and is the must have game for Game Boy Advance this year. Combining RPG elements with ultra-camp humour, puzzles and classic platform action requiring the different skills of Mario and Luigi to complete, there’s not really that much more to be had. You’ll recognise characters along the way in a true Mario world.

Buy, play, and love.