Mario & Luigi: Dream Team Review
Mario & Luigi: Dream Team Box Art
System: 3DS
Dev: AlphaDream
Pub: Nintendo
Release: August 11, 2013
Players: 1
Screen Resolution: N/A Mild Cartoon Violence

Behind the usual zaniness are some touching moments that shine the spotlight on Mario and Luigi's relationship as brothers. Although they only speak in unintelligible gobbledegook that is interpreted by other characters, the game's superb sprite work clearly shows their emotions. We see Mario as the devoted older brother who never gives up on Luigi and graciously takes a supporting role when Luigi's dream powers bring him to the forefront. We also see Luigi as the younger brother who idolizes Mario and dreams of throwing off his own reputation as a clumsy screw-up. It's rare that we see sibling relationships explored in games, and it's quite heartwarming to experience this human side of Nintendo's venerable mascots.

Mario & Luigi: Dream Team Screenshot

The high-quality sprites for Mario, Luigi, and the game's other characters aren't the only bright spots in its audiovisual presentation. Both the 3D Regular World and the 2D Dream World settings are sharp and vivid. Each Dream World is a weird, topsy-turvy version of the area from which it was accessed, giving plenty of diversity to the Dream World environments. Great animation brings everything to life, from the movements of each individual Luigi in a Luigi stack to the over-the-top moves in Giant Battles.

Although it's not up to the standard of Nintendo's best Mario soundtracks (I miss you, Mario Galaxy), the music in Dream Team is high quality and catchy. The sound effects are great, and Charles Martinet's memorable Mario and Luigi voice clips are used to good effect. There's still no real voice acting in the game, but considering the outrageous accents many of the characters have, that's probably just as well. What's funny in text could easily be mauled by a voice actor.

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Now in its fourth incarnation, the Mario & Luigi RPG series keeps things fresh by adding crazy new gameplay concepts into each game. The Dream World is the best of these so far, and allows the game's creators to advance Mario and Luigi's character development in a way that's rarely seen from Nintendo. A game that feels fresh and fun throughout, Mario & Luigi: Dream Team is recommend for anybody with decent reflexes. Role-playing fans will be happy that unlike Paper Mario: Sticker Star, this game retains its RPG elements. Other gamers will simply enjoy the solid gameplay, colorful world, and the sense of humor and fun that pervades the entire experience.

By
Becky Cunningham
Contributing Writer
Date: August 7, 2013

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
4.5
Graphics
Sharp, vibrant world design and excellent sprite work add greatly to the overall game experience.
3.9
Control
Control is generally precise, but certain gameplay segments will feel too gimmicky for some players.
4.0
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Catchy tunes and great sound effects make up for a lack of voice acting.
4.5
Play Value
Dream Team is fairly lengthy and there are always new things to see and do, keeping gameplay fresh.
4.4
Overall Rating - Great
Not an average. See Rating legend below for a final score breakdown.
Review Rating Legend
0.1 - 1.9 = Avoid 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 3.5 - 3.9 = Good 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair 4.0 - 4.4 = Great 5.0 = The Best

Game Features:

  • Spawn hundreds of Luigis that mold into different forms such as bouncy towers, wrecking balls, and giant hammers for special attacks or to pass obstacles.
  • Poke, tickle, and move a sleeping Luigi on the lower touch screen to alter the dream world on the upper screen.
  • Master two worlds by switching between controlling both brothers when battling in the real world and controlling Mario and an army of Luigis in dream-world battles.
  • With the Nintendo 3DS system turned sideways like a book, experience larger-than-life Giant Battles with a gargantuan-size Luigi on one screen and the enemy on the other screen.
  • Find new items and gear to customize Mario & Luigi to fit your play style.
  • To help players through the adventure, the game offers various support features, such as a Hint System that offers tips on surviving a particular engagement, or an Easy mode to make a particular battle easier.

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