Mario and Luigi: Dream Team Bros. (Hands-On) (Nintendo 3DS) Preview

By Adam Riley 26.06.2013 11

Review for Mario and Luigi: Dream Team Bros. (Hands-On) on Nintendo 3DS

The Mario and Luigi series of RPGs, dating back to the Game Boy Advance with Superstar Saga, has quickly left Paper Mario behind in terms of quality, with recent changes in the form of the more platform-esque Super Paper Mario on Wii and the rather empty Sticker Star on 3DS not living up to the quality of the Nintendo 64 and GameCube iterations of days gone by. Whilst there was a misstep with the second outing, Mario and Luigi: Partners in Time, Japanese developer AlphaDream not only got itself back on track for Mario and Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story, but crafted such a delectable treat that Cubed3 awarded it a rare 10/10 score and sales around the world far exceeded any other entries in the Mario RPG line. Now the Mario brothers are back in their fourth comical role-playing adventure, and the first on 3DS. Cubed3 recently had chance to go hands-on with Mario and Luigi: Dream Team Bros..

Guess what? Princess Peach has been kidnapped. Shocker, right? Well, this time she has been whisked off to a dream world that for some reason can only be accessed by Luigi, with Mario jumping into a special portal that appears above the snoring green brother's head at various points in the game. However, Mario in dream world is not alone, since a 'dream' version of Luigi appears, one that is supposedly a little bit taller, stronger, and…more handsome! Yes, humour is key in Mario and Luigi: Dream Team Bros. and it is apparent right from the very start. Whilst Paper Mario: Sticker Star felt surprisingly stale, AlphaDream's latest continues the belly-laughs thanks to the quirky script and hilarious interactions between the brothers themselves and with others. The regular utterances of Italian-styled gibberish, complete with over-the-top hand and facial gestures cannot fail to raise a titter from time-to-time, and help make the game even more enjoyable.

In the gameplay stakes it all feels extremely familiar, dating back to Super Mario RPG on the SNES for battle style, with it slowly being developed over the years since Square Enix's classic. Here Mario and Luigi take turns to leap on enemy heads (presumably other weapons will be available later in the game, as per the norm), with the correct timing of button presses increasing damage doled out, and helping with defensive duties when foes are ready to strike, sometimes even landing a counter-attack blow if lucky.

Screenshot for Mario and Luigi: Dream Team Bros. (Hands-On) on Nintendo 3DS

As for new elements, discovered in the early hands-on, the game focuses a lot on using Luigi in the 'real' world to help out the dynamic duo in the dream land, rather like how interacting with Bowser helped them when inside his body in the DS game that Cubed3 loved so much. Two early examples encountered were dragging the edge of Luigi's moustache with the stylus to pick up Mario on the top screen and then letting go to fling him to new heights, whilst another had the player tickling Luigi's nose to make him sneeze, thus pushing blocks in the far distance into the foreground for easy access to items or to create new platforms for progress. This is where the 3D effect works really well, but it also comes into good effect during battles when watching movement patterns of enemies.

Familiar battling, with an added twist of dream Luigi becoming one with Mario in the depths of the sleep-filled sections to devastating effect (Mario hits an enemy, and a tirade of Luigis come following after if the strike was timed right); cute visuals that are reminiscent of chunky Super Mario RPG or Golden Sun characters; a mix of open world exploration and 2D platform scenarios; a highly addictive soundtrack laced with laugh-out-loud voices and sound effects; and plenty of complementary additions that do not deviate too much from the excellence of Bowser's Inside Story, yet feel fresh enough to not feel boring. Basically, all signs point to a piece of pure gaming goodness and yet another hit from AlphaDream.

Screenshot for Mario and Luigi: Dream Team Bros. (Hands-On) on Nintendo 3DS

Final Thoughts

Even after only a short time with Mario and Luigi: Dream Team Bros. it is highly apparent that this is the game Mario RPG lovers were waiting for. Whilst Shigeru Miyamoto's influence on Paper Mario: Sticker Star clearly hampered its overall enjoyment factor, thankfully it appears that AlphaDream was left to its own devices and what is on offer here certainly looks and feels like a pleasing successor to the already fantastic Bowser's Inside Story. The final game cannot come soon enough!

Also known as

Mario & Luigi: Dream Team

Developer

AlphaDream

Publisher

Nintendo

Genre

Turn Based RPG

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10 (2 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now    Also on Also on Nintendo eShop

Comments

100% certain buy from me this.
Great to see it shaping up so well.

http://www.fanficmaker.com <-- Tells some truly terrible tales.
Last update; Mice,Plumbers,Animatronics and Airbenders. We also have the socials; Facebook & G+

I still have to play the two DS games before picking this up as I've only played Superstar Saga so far. A lot to catch up on but I'm sure it'll be worth it.

For me it's BiS-->SS-------------------------->PiT and currently, from what I've played of DTB, it's close to SS.

I've heard a few people disagree with my overly positive opinion of BiS, but I simply adore that game - so much packed into it, brilliant visuals, amazing soundtrack, refined gameplay, plenty of takes on popular games (the Rhythm Paradise one stands out), and so many little extras that make it such a pleasure to play through.

Dream Team Bros. is shaping up similarly so far, so I have high hopes.

Adam Riley [ Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited ]
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter

SirLink said:
I still have to play the two DS games before picking this up as I've only played Superstar Saga so far. A lot to catch up on but I'm sure it'll be worth it.

Skip PiT, its a lot shorter and no minigames as such - its no where close to SS's quality.

http://www.fanficmaker.com <-- Tells some truly terrible tales.
Last update; Mice,Plumbers,Animatronics and Airbenders. We also have the socials; Facebook & G+

I appreciate your "warning" but I'm not just going to skip a game in a series unless it's a terrible game and that's not the impression I'm getting from the dozens of positive reviews for it on Metacritic.

Yeah, if you're a fan of the series, you'll still enjoy it. Having reservations might work better, actually, since you could end up being pleasantly surprised. It's not BAD - it was just that after the excellence of Superstar Saga, it proved to be a bit disappointing. They tried something different with the baby Mario brothers and the dual screen setup, but I found it a bit...lacking in some respect. I don't remember too much now as it was SUCH a long time ago. All I know is how much I adored Bowser's Inside Story when it finally arrived Smilie

Adam Riley [ Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited ]
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter

That sounds like a Zelda situation to me, where the bar is set really high and people's least favourite instalments are typically still great games.

( Edited 28.06.2013 13:09 by SirLink )

It's a curse and a blessing at the same time, I suppose! Wind Waker and Twilight Princess are good in their own right, but I didn't like them too much due to the calibre of other Zelda games in the past.

I was concerned about Dream Team Bros at first for the same reason, but so far, so good!

Adam Riley [ Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited ]
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter

Twlight Princess is your disapointing example?  You want a disapointing Zelda it has to be Sprit Tracks.
How can you have a Zelda on rails?!! That game was madness. They might as well removed the overworld autogether and just had a mario-world style map.
[/old rant I cant let go]

http://www.fanficmaker.com <-- Tells some truly terrible tales.
Last update; Mice,Plumbers,Animatronics and Airbenders. We also have the socials; Facebook & G+

Smilie Yes, TP and WW - I loved Phantom Hourglass, and since Spirit Tracks was pretty much the same, I enjoyed that as well.

Which is your favourite Mario and Luigi?

Adam Riley [ Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited ]
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter

pft, you guys are insane.
How can you like Zelda games without exploration???
PH has some exploration, basicly refined TWW overworld - But ST had none. Nothing at all was there you wernt told explictl about. You had no freedom to explore at all.


TP and TWW are precisely a bazzlion million gazillion times better then ST!


http://www.fanficmaker.com <-- Tells some truly terrible tales.
Last update; Mice,Plumbers,Animatronics and Airbenders. We also have the socials; Facebook & G+

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