3DS Review: Mario & Luigi: Dream Team Bros

Sweet Dreams are made of these, who am I to DisLuigi?

The Mario & Luigi games have always been popular; the Mario Bros’ comedy double-act RPG series has always been full of humour and great gameplay. The new game takes on Pi’illo Island as Peach is invited there and is taken hostage within a Dream World which the brothers can enter through Luigi’s dreams, sounds bizarre? It’s got more confusion about different stages of dreams than Inception!
The gameplay remains faithful to the past Mario & Luigi games, offering a world to explore full of items to collect for turn-based battles, plenty of side-quests and boss battles to test your might. In the last game you had to switch between being in the outside world to inside Bowser’s stomach, this time you do so between the world and Luigi’s dreams which can only be entered through specific areas through the game.

The story is hilarious and ingenious as ever, the writing is just full of comical moments and is without a doubt the best in the series thus far, I thought it’d be hard to top Bowser’s Inside Story but the team at Nintendo have done just that. The Dream World is clever and the use of the touch-screen for Luigi’s special abilities to solve the puzzles inside it is innovative and never feels forced. If there’s one complaint I really have about this entry, it’s that it does retread a lot of old ground and towards the end of the game you have to backtrack to the past areas to collect special items.

Combat remains the same but you do get some new abilities that use the touch screen and tilt controls of the 3DS, the 3D element can also help you to judge the distance of some abilities and if there’s any real problem I have with it, it’s that if you die you can simply hit the “Easy Mode” option and be seriously overpowered, plus it doesn’t come with any consequence to your EXP or loot so most will pick the easier option to progress through the more difficult battles.
Luigi is the real star of this entry as he can gather tons of extra Luigi’s for battle and for solving puzzles by going into the dream world and altering the weather, melting ice or blowing objects from the background to the front and even transforms into a giant version of himself as he battles the bigger bosses. You have to turn the 3DS on its side as if you were reading a book and use the touch-screen to attack. These battles are fun but there isn’t enough of them, the game took me roughly around 20+ hours to complete so it’s a bit shorter than past games but it’s fun all the way, despite the backtracking towards the end.

Visually, the game makes good use of the 3D effect but it isn’t a huge leap from the GBA/DS titles, the only time it shines visually is during the gigantic Luigi battles, that’s not to say the game looks bad because it still looks amazing as it ever did, it just hasn’t pushed the system to its limits like I hoped it would. Voice-acting is typical of a Mario game with the odd noise from certain characters like Mario, Luigi, Peach and Bowser while the music is a mixture of old-style Mario music and tunes that you would expect from the Mario & Luigi series.

The Verdict

Mario & Luigi: Dream Team Bros is the best entry in the franchise so far, it makes great use of the 3DS and is the funniest game in the series. It has a great story, hilarious dialogue, familiar combat and it’s a solid RPG/action game from start to finish.