Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story
Release Date: September 15, 2009
Platform: Nintendo DS
ESRB: E - Everyone
Mario & Luigi, the RPG series that sprouted onto the GBA is finally making
its second appearance on the Nintendo DS. Bower’s Inside Story is another fine
game from Nintendo and it is all thanks to those plumbers. If you don’t own this
game yet, then you have some series problems because this is a mandatory game
for all DS gamers.
The third game in the Mario and Luigi game takes you into uncharted waters,
inside of Bowser. The breath-of-fresh-air villain Lord Fawful is back and his
return is giving the Mushroom Kingdom a whole new meaning to life. Bowser is
tricked by Lord Fawful in actually sucking up Mario, Luigi, and the whole
Mushroom Kingdom. What follows next in this game is an adventure that takes
place inside of Bowser and around the remains of the Mushroom Kingdom.
You get to control both the Super Mario Bros. and Bowser through both of the
Nintendo DS’s screens. Gameplay is similar to past games in the series but this
time around you have to play two stories at once, each with their own sets of
buttons. A cool concept but there are times you might forget which buttons to
use since most games have you using every single button and not just two here
The turn-based battles have the same magic as they always have. You can counter
attacks by hitting the right buttons at the right moment and you can pull off
some extra damage if your fingers are fast. The Mario Bros. use the A and B
buttons while Bowser has the X and Y ones. Like I stated in my last paragraph
these points will confuse you at times, mainly since you are use to using all of
the buttons for Nintendo DS games.
Certain battles, regular and boss encounters, will have you fighting on both
fronts. Bowser will suck up the enemies and then the Super Mario Bros. will
finish the rest. I thought this was a pretty cool concept but it doesn’t seem to
go too far to tell the truth. It is more of a gimmick than an actual gameplay
mechanic that was used properly.
The games story is split up with Mario and Luigi trying to find Peach and escape
out of Bowser while Bowser himself is trying to reclaim his kingdom. Bowser’s
part of the story is more on the silly side, which is a nice change of evens
considering Mario and Luigi have saved the Princess how many times? At least
this time they are saving Peach inside of Bowser, literally.
During the story the developers went ahead and tried to use the whole two story,
two sets of characters more than just those battle moments. Puzzles will have
you using Bowser drink water while you swim to different locations and you can
hit balls of lightning to get certain parts of Bowser moving. Yeah it does sound
sort of lame when I write it down in words because quite honestly it is. Another
wasted opportunity just like with the double screened battles.
Unlike the last Mario & Luigi game this one is plagued with idiot boxes. Jesus
Christ I know how to use the hammer. Oh God yes I know how to use the stylus to
touch the bottom screen. Sometimes these tutorials will go on for so long you
will skip them completely. Usually this isn’t such a bad idea but there are a
few points where you should read the boxes.
Even with my minor issues with the game I still found a lot of great aspects of
the game. Bowser’s Inside Story has a good amount of “spoken” dialogue (if you
count random noises, but hey that’s all we ever get from Mario games for the
most part), the music is great, and the graphics/animations are a dream come
true for anybody who loves Mario. The developers even went as far as using the
microphone feature for the game and it works/makes perfect sense using it.
For what its worth I would have to say this is one of the best games on the
Nintendo DS right now. The gameplay is easy to learn and the story is great for
all ages. Hardcore gamers might get sick of all the idiot boxes in this game but
what is a little reminder going to hurt, right?
Gameplay: 9.75 out of 10
+ Easy to learn and a lot of fun.
- The button layout for each set of characters is sort of
Graphics: 10 out of 10
+ Best looking Nintendo DS game I have seen this year.
- Nothing at all.
Audio: 10 out of 10
+ Bring on the Mario music and sounds.
- Nothing at all.
Replay Value: 9.25 out of 10
+ Solid 20 to 30 hour Mario experience.
- If you get 100% the first time through there isn’t anything
more to do.
9.75 out of 10