GBAtemp Recommends #75: Mario & Luigi - Superstar Saga

Discussion in 'GBAtemp & Scene News' started by Hadrian, Jul 28, 2013.

  1. Hadrian

    Hadrian Better than Craigslist

    Former Staff
    Oct 12, 2004

    Welcome to the 75th issue of the GBAtemp Recommends Revival Project! This is a weekly (yeah yeah there was a three month break) feature where I share my favourite used to be we but you know, I guess you folk are shy. Some may be well known, others I feel have been ignored but all are fantastic and deserve at least a play.


    Unlike many people, I didn't enjoy Squaresoft's Super Mario was "meh" to me, however I did love the crap out of Paper Mario which has become Nintendo's home console Mario RPG title (though recently there was an entry on the 3DS), for handheld gamers we had AlphaDream's excellent Mario & Luigi series which has become well known for it's humour and fantastic combat system.

    The first title debuted on the GBA worldwide in November 2003 and was the very first Mario RPG to hit a handheld console as well as becoming a smash hit with critics and gamers alike. The main development was handheld by Nintendo's 2nd party developer AlphaDream (whom previously have only worked on Tomato Adventure and Koto Battle) with the mini games being handled by Vanpool (the two fine Tingle RPG titles, Magician's Quest and Dillion'ds Rolling Western).

    The gameplay is quite different to other RPG titles in that platforming was quite a key element, with Mario & Luigi both having to interact with each other to perform many moves to get to hard to reach places, interact with objects and sceneary as well as complete various puzzles. As well as that like in other games of the genre you must converse with other characters in the World to progress. The battle system was somewhat unique, while it was turn-based you had much more control during you turn which made combat much more fun' Timing your moves is very crucial to suceeding to inflict more damage onto your opponents as well as being able to dodge the enemies attack. There are also combo moves to learn and pull off as well. All in all this made battles far less monotonous than other games. What also helped (and hinder) battles was the ability to either attack or get attacked by enemies on the world map, getting hit by something could cause dizziness when you come to battle and make you gain more hits by your opponent, however get a successful strike in first and when you get to battle that will inflict damage onto the enemy as well as put them out for a turn.

    While the gameplay was fantastic the story and dialogue kept you playing too. Written by Hiroyuki Kubota, it was often very funny and gave us great characters such as Bowletta, Cackletta & Fawful. The story goes like this; A Beanbean Abassador and her assistant comes to Mushroom Kingdom to offer Peach a gift...however this ambassador turns out to be the villainess Cackaletta & Fawful and this is just a ploy for them to steal Peach's voice and replace it with an some kinda of explosive volcabulary magic...thing when she speaks. Then after a bit Bowser comes along to do his usual "kidnap-Peach-me-do" routine and after a losing battle against the Mario Bros, learns of what has happened to Peach and decides to help the Mario Bros as he is afraid that Peach's explosive voice could destroy his castle. While on Koopa Cruiser, it gets attacked by Cackaletta & Fawful and it ends up crashing down to the Stardust Fields with Mario & Luigi ending up in Beanbean Borderlands where they then embark on their adventure to retrieve the Princess's voice.

    Graphically it is very pleasing and very 16 bit. The sprites were very well animated, bright and colourful and the world you navigated around fitted with the Mario theme. The sound was fantastic, you'll hear the usual sound effects that you would expect from a Mario title. The music was composed by Yoko Shinomura who was famous for her scores for Street Fighter II, Final Fight, Kingdom Hearts and many other Squaresoft titles and it fits amongst some of her best work too. It fitted in the Mario universe and is very catchy and you'll find yourself humming the tunes.

    This game is often cited as one of the greatest handheld RPG titles and also is highly recommended to those who may not be too fond of the genre. It has spawned three sequels; Partners in Time for the DS which involved Baby Mario Bros but wasn't as much fun due to those two being added to the game and kinda making gameplay less fun but it was a solid and funny title. Then came the classic Bowser's Inside Story also for the DS, where you got to control Bowser as well as the Mario Bros, again is was hilarious and ranks as one of the finest DS games. The fourth game, Mario & Luigi: Dream Team was released to strong reviews on the 3DS a couple of weeks ago in PAL territories and on the 11th August elsewhere and offers a different graphic style with the focus squarely on Luigi. but if you haven't played Superstar Saga...FOR CHUFF SAKE GET TO IT!!!

    If you enjoyed this week's edition of GBAtemp Recommends! please leave a comment in the thread. This helps us monitor feedback and ensures we keep posting these articles in the future.

    Platform Gameboy Advance
    Released November 2003
    Developer AlphaDream &Vanpool
    Publisher Nintendo
    Director Yoshihiko Maekawa
    Genre Turn-based RPG
    JinTrigger, Fluto, xwatchmanx and 7 others like this.
  2. Joe88

    Joe88 [λ]

    Jan 6, 2008
    United States
    Could never beat the last boss...
  3. Enchilada

    Enchilada GBAtemp Regular

    Jul 3, 2013
    Oh god. I love this game!
  4. chris888222

    chris888222 GBAtemp's Flygon Fan

    Oct 11, 2010
    Just finished this game on my iPhone (it was so difficult to play this game using on screen touch icons). Simply awesome.

    I was kinda lucky when I faced the final boss. It boosted its specs instead of attacking me. If it were to use the arm spin then I'm screwed.
  5. DinohScene

    DinohScene Temp's most beloved homosexual

    GBAtemp Patron
    DinohScene is a Patron of GBAtemp and is helping us stay independent!

    Our Patreon
    Oct 11, 2011
    В небо
    Yaay Hadrian is back!!!

    I <3'd this game.
    Annoyingly but <3'd it none the less
  6. mightymuffy

    mightymuffy fatbaldpieeater

    GBAtemp Patron
    mightymuffy is a Patron of GBAtemp and is helping us stay independent!

    Our Patreon
    Nov 6, 2002
    United Kingdom
    Wigan, land of the Pies
    Ohhhh, top quality game!! Easily the best in the series, and also definitely one of the best GBA games of all time - a true classic! The fact it's also one of the funniest games I've played is just icing on the cake...
  7. emigre

    emigre Oh Jeremy Corbyn

    Jan 28, 2009
    United States
    Obligitory dissenting opinion: I don't like Superstar Saga. Never got into the M&L series.
  8. DS1

    DS1 伝説の雀士

    Feb 18, 2009
    United States

    But did you like Legend of the Seven Stars?
  9. weavile001

    weavile001 Spiritmaster

    Jun 10, 2012
    Superstar saga wasn't THAT good, I think that Bowser Inside story and Dream Team are way better....
  10. emigre

    emigre Oh Jeremy Corbyn

    Jan 28, 2009
    United States

    I emulated it briefly so no opinion.
  11. Osha

    Osha Weh

    Jun 19, 2012
    One of the best GBA games in my opinion.
  12. Akotan

    Akotan Mathematical!

    Mar 14, 2004
    Totally must-play! And it only makes growing the hypeness about Mario and Luigi: Dream Team imminent release! :D
  13. BORTZ


    GBAtemp Patron
    BORTZ is a Patron of GBAtemp and is helping us stay independent!

    Our Patreon
    Dec 2, 2007
    United States
    Can I at least ask why?

    Hadrian, I'm so pumped you are back :bortz: LET ME LOVE YOU

    I friggin love this game. I've beaten it probably around 5 or 6 times I'm guessing. Fantastic and the best one in the series.
    EZ-Megaman likes this.
  14. TyBlood13

    TyBlood13 Weeaboo Trash

    Jul 1, 2012
    United States
    Probably in the middle of how much I like the Mario RPGs. Still really good, but it just didn't resonate with me as much as PiT, Thousand Year Door, or SMRPG.

    But still miles ahead of Bowser's Inside Story & Sticker Star
  15. Ryukouki

    Ryukouki See you later, guys.

    Jan 31, 2008
    United States
    Oh nice to see this series make a comeback!
  16. emigre

    emigre Oh Jeremy Corbyn

    Jan 28, 2009
    United States

    It just didn't resonate that much with me.
  17. codezer0

    codezer0 Gaming keeps me sane

    Jul 14, 2009
    United States
    The Magic School Bus
    Super Mario RPG is the only reason I got into the RPG genre at all.

    Superstar Saga was one of the games I really wished was available for the ambassador collection on the 3DS. It would have certainly filled the void easily.

    That said, the final, final boss of the game really screws you over from the beginning if you're not prepared for the screwjob it gives you from the get-go.
  18. soulx

    soulx GBAtemp Legend

    Apr 4, 2009
    I absolutely adore this game, honestly ranks as one of my top 10 videogames of all time.

    Everything about it just represents what I want from an RPG. Instead of the been-there done-that turn-based system, the battle system adds a new twist to things allowing you to counter-attack during an enemies turn making battles actually fun. The dialogue is hilarious with some of the best written characters of any RPG (Fawful anyone?). The music is absolutely stellar and the sprites are just a joy to look at. It's just an all-around great game.
    gamefan5 likes this.
  19. dragonmaster

    dragonmaster THE WALKER

    Sep 9, 2005
    What an excellent game of gba era :) it was one of the best rpg I played over on the gba and I have not got a retro mania so I will emulate it on xbox as my gba cart is dead :/
  20. Nathan Drake

    Nathan Drake Obligations fulfilled, now I depart.

    Jan 2, 2011
    I suppose I should pick it back up. I was heading down the mountain towards Bean Bean Kingdom after getting my hammers when I stopped and ended up getting distracted by more One Piece. Then again, I think it can wait until I finish Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II. Priorities.