Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga
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Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga is a role-playing video game developed by AlphaDream and published by Nintendo for the Game Boy Advance in November 2003. It is the first installment of the Mario & Luigi RPG series. A remake for the Nintendo 3DS was released in October 2017 called Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga + Bowser's Minions.
Why It's A Superstar
- Colorful and vivid graphics.
- Lots of fun and humor, both in the story and dialogue.
- Challenging, but fair combat.
- For a change, Bowser isn't the main antagonist (at least intentionally).
- Similar to what Super Mario World did, the story is set on the Beanbean Kingdom instead of the Mushroom Kingdom.
- The battle system is different from that of traditional games of the genre, with emphasis on timing and more elaborate attacks (much like Paper Mario).
- Cooperative gameplay between Mario and Luigi.
- Combining the Mario Bros.' skills to solve puzzles and progress through the story is quite satisfying.
- Many combat elements are borrowed from the Paper Mario series, making the game feel like a portable Paper Mario version with its own unique spin.
- Mario and Luigi can unlock and use Bros. Attacks, which requires players to cooperate between their actions to perform powerful combination attacks.
- Items such as Mushrooms are used for healing, peppers for boosting stats and 1-Up Mushrooms for reviving fallen bros.
- Superstar Saga features an enhanced remake of the Mario Bros. arcade game (much like the Super Mario Advance series).
- The game also supports rumble functionality when used with the Nintendo GameCube's Game Boy Player accessory.
- Many improvements and features have been added in the 3DS remake, most notably the graphics' overhaul and the addition of the Bowser's Minions side mode.
- Geno from Super Mario RPG makes a brief cameo in The Star 'Stache Smash minigame (He doesn't return in the 3DS remake, sadly).
- The soundtrack is awesome and fits the atmosphere of the game pretty well, especially the boss battle theme.
- The final boss, while amazing, is notorious for its unfair difficulty.
- In the 3DS remake, Mush Badge A and Mush Badge AA deal less damage than in the original game.
- The game has heart blocks, but they are only in the Japanese GBA release and the 3DS remake, meaning Americans have to use items to restock in the GBA version.
- There is no boss rush mode, even in the remake.
- Prince Peasley can be a bit annoying at times.
- Bowser is a huge Butt-Monkey in this game (yes, even more than Luigi), especially after Cackletta possesses him.
Superstar Saga received universal critical acclaim, and is named one of the best Game Boy Advance games of all time. The game's comical dialog and themes in particular were lauded by critics. Eurogamer's Tom Bramwell commented that "each line of dialogue and identifiable cameo is handled with a loving sense of humor."
- The game takes inspiration from Tomato Adventure, another role-playing game by AlphaDream released on the same platform, and features a boss with a design similiar from one of the latter game's enemies and even an rearranged, though unused theme of Tomato Adventure's title theme.