Mario takes a break from his New Super Mario Bros games and jumps back into the 3D world; and this time he’s back in a familiar title to original Gameboy owners. That’s right Mario makes his triumphant appearance on the 3DS with Super Mario 3D Land. Super Mario 3D Land is a combination of both 2D Mario gameplay with his modern home-console 3D world gameplay, or as game designer Shigeru Miyamoto says “a 3D Mario that plays as a 2D Mario game” (quote here). Playing Super Mario 3D Land is a fantastic experience especially for the elder Mario players who fondly remember his old 2D adventures. Super Mario 3D Land brings back many classic features from older Mario Bros games and integrates them into a way that makes them seem fresh and new so that all players can enjoy it.
Platform: 3DS/ Genre: Platformer
Developer: Nintendo/ Publisher: Nintendo
Luigi, the most famous second-hand guy out there. We all know of him….as Mario’s brother but this guy’s popularity is more than some ‘main’ characters of other video game series! Since Nintendo has declared the year of 2013 to be the “Year of Luigi” and the fact that Luigi will be starring in many games this year ranging from Luigi Mansion 2 (release tomorrow), a new Mario & Luigi RPG game, and his own DLC pack for New Super Mario Bros U. (Nintendo Direct at it again!), I thought I might as well dip my hand into the hat. I think it is time for Luigi to get his own real game, outside his usual forte of higher-jump Mario in the Super Mario Bros series. Yes, yes we all know Luigi did have the Mario is Missing games and his most famous solo-adventure Luigi’s Mansion but I’m taking about a real Luigi adventure.
That’s right! More information on everyone’s second favorite plumber is out, all about his DLC on the New Super Mario Bros U game: Super Luigi U. The first bit of news is, they’ve changed all the original 80 stages into almost a completely new game. Luigi will play differently from his brother Mario, adding his higher jump and less traction making the game a new experience, and one Luigi fans will love. Secondly, the stages for the DLC will be shorter, which in turn makes the time a lot shorter to complete them, thus adding a bit to the difficulty level.
If you remember the last Nintendo Direct, the 3DS announced a new entry into the Mario & Luigi series; now we have an official release date. For European gamers it will launch into stores on July 12th, while the United States will get the game a full month later on August 11th.
Update: Nintendo Japan has now also announced a Nintendo Direct scheduled for the 17th, which it is calling “Nintendo Direct: Luigi Special 2″. The event itself is said to contain 3DS and Wii U information, could we be given a further look into the abundance of Luigi titles on offer this year?
Original Story: Nintendo has announced they will be hosting a new edition of Nintendo Direct.
Nintendo Direct had made another announcement today at 6am EST, but this time it involving their successful handheld, the 3DS. Today, games such as Donkey Kong Returns, a new Mario & Luigi game, Mario Golf, and a release date for Animal Crossing were all announced. If that wasn’t enough for you, the Wii U had a few news clips of their own, in addition to a new Pokemon for Pokemon X and Y and a special bundle for Europe Nintendo lovers!
Mario, Nintendo’s icon and presumably video game’s icon all over the world. Mario is most famous for his jumping skills, hat and overall combo, and looking endlessly for Peach in wrong castles…or just in general. Mario has jumped in all gaming aspects, from platformers, to adventures, to even party and sports games. But there is another title to add to the Mario legacy; his involvement in RPG. Mario first starred in a RPG during his Super Nintendo days, where Nintendo teamed up with Squaresoft (their Final Fantasy partners of the time) and created a game we had never seen before: Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars. The game was was a traditional turn-based RPG with a twist of action-RPG, as pressing the trigger at the right moment would do extra damage. This game left a craving for the Nintendo audience, which in turn led to a spawn of Mario RPG series’ : Paper Mario and the Superstar Saga series.
In playing all these Mario RPGs and being an avid Square[-Enix], s
quaresoft, square, fan I have come to say most of Mario’s games are very consist in the RPG world, which is something of a rarity. Most RPGs, that I’ve noticed, are something of a hit-and-miss kinda thing. You look at Final Fantasy IV and say the game was a very good game, then you look at Final Fantasy V or XIII and you are going what happened!? If you look at reviews from Mario’s RPG adventures and games they all have very favorable reviews, where the game with lowest score would be Super Paper Mario for the Wii (which in turn is it’s most recent and not much of an RPG). The dialogue of each story are great, funny, memorable, the battle systems are always unique and work to perfection, the side-quests are simple enough, every character has his own story (think of Luigi in each Paper Mario Game), the graphics are always well-done and clean, and the games itself are pretty innovative. While most Mario RPG games are welcome with open arms, a few have criticized the easiness of an “RPG” the Mario series has.
While the Mario role playing series games don’t jump my top RPG games of all time (FFIX, KH) they do come close to them.
Lets rank the Mario RPG in bottom to top order:
#7- Mario and Luigi Partner’s In Time (DS)
Partner’s in Time was the long awaited sequel to the GBA hit-success Mario & Luigi Superstar Saga. This game had high expectations going in, considering how well M&L did, but all in all could not live up to them. The game ran a similar system to Superstar Saga, and while it added new elements it took away at the same time. For example, Bros’ Supers did not exist, they were replaced with items. In addition, you technically had 4 players to control and the baby Mario and Luigi were almost like backups in case you were losing a fight. The over-world was done very well but its puzzles were less than enjoyable and you constantly had to do ‘solo’ adventures with your baby forms which weren’t all that pleasant. This game had me drifting in and out because it just wasn’t…Mario. The dark story was a good, but it wasn’t well presented or played and there really wasn’t anything memorable about this game.
#6- Super Paper Mario (Wii)
Super Paper Mario is actually a great game that only gets ridiculed for changing the “Paper mario way” (which does upset me too). In SPM, you play old classic Mario style side-scrolling platformer style, but you level up in it…so think Super Mario meets RPG. Goombas don’t die in one hit like an old game they have HP as do you. The unique feature in this game is obviously battles are faster since it is open world and there are no turn-by-turn battles. It really plays as in what if Super Mario Bros was an RPG? This game finally allows you to play as the other main characters of the Mario gang, but at the cost of not having a partner (quick note this is a first in the Paper Mario series as in Mario RPG you play as Bowser and Peach). Each has a unique special power. Mario can go “3-D” and see the world in both vision, Peach can float and use her umbrella as a shield, Bowser has x2 power (cause he has no double attack a la double jump) and can breathe fire, and Luigi can super jump. The game’s story is fantastic, possibly the best in the Paper Mario series, the gameplay is fun, the game is long so you get your RPG hours in, has some memorable characters, and creative worlds. Nothing bad to say about this game except for the overworld; because it is the only world with a town and real explorartion.
#5- Mario and Luigi: Bowser’s Inside story (DS)
Bowser’s Inside story was a save from the disgrace that was Partner’s in Time. This game combined elements from PiT and M&L SS well enough to make its own game, along with a few new tricks. The biggest new feature was playing as Bowser of course, who had his own reckless and fun adventures. The time you weren’t spent as Bowser smashing things, you were playing as Mario and Luigi inside his stomach. A very cool feature was that of solving puzzles in this game, as some of the puzzles required you to control both sets of characters to get to further areas, thus Bowser needed Mario’s help and vice versa. The story connects well but isn’t all that amazing but the specials are “redone” again to make it more player orientated. The game overall is the easiest of possibly all Mario RPGs as it aimed at newer and older audiences, so that is understandable.
#4- Super Mario RPG: The Legend of the Seven Stars (SNES)
This is the first Mario RPG game and the most classic of all of them, although that doesn’t mean it is my favorite. Yes, the game has an a die-hard story, awesome characters, and started the trend for the other Mario RPGs, but the game had a slower, more traditional RPG pace than the rest of the gang and I was looking for something new with Mario. The game uses the idea of open-world enemies in which you can see them and really changed the map for RPGs as it combined elements of Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy, and Secret of Man all in one! The game keeps simplicity in its equipment/items area, making it easier to understand for new players, the trigger-action commands keep the gameplay more engaging, and you won’t forget the time you had in this game; from solving puzzles to pretending you were a statue, this game really brings out the best in RPGs.
#3- Paper Mario and the Thousand Year Door. (GCN)
Paper Mario and the Thousand Year Door, one of Gamecube’s classics. In this game there is awesome “paper” graphics, you can finally use the “Paper” element and transform Mario into objects to solve puzzles like a paper airplane, boat, etc., and there are a bunch ofcrazy sidequests which even lead to another character! Mario RPGs have always had a strong suit for story-telling and this game keeps the trend alive, from its own deep story, to that of Luigi’s own Paper Adventure. This game improved on everything Paper Mario had, making fights now in front of a live audience who may assist or hurt you, the ability to let your partner take the lead, and cool badges like the Wario and Luigi costume badge. Everyone should try this game!
#2- Paper Mario 64 (N64)
When I first put Paper Mario 64 into my N64 I was taken back. This colorful game, which I heard was the”sequel” to my favorite game not named Super Mario Bros 3 I had to get it. I didn’t know what to expect so I popped it in and started a file and went to Peach’s Party and saw Luigi and other Mario characters and was immediately ready to play. Right after fighting bowser with the simple no action commands and LOSING (cue gasps here), the game just picks up from there, with you fighting your “rival”, to getting your first partner in Goombario. I loved this game, the badge system, the random funny charcters, like old man goomba, having the best sidekick ever named Koops, fighting the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles x Power Ranger Koopas, using my assists powers to solve puzzles, and pressing Z to spin everywhere, heck even delivering mail is fun in this game. Nothing in this game ever bored me I couldn’t stop playing; the controls are magnificent, the story is funny and entertaining, the sidequests are amazing, like after each chapter playing as Peach sometimes in a quiz show), I love the soundtrack, and hey I love Mario. (Did anyone feel the wish rod was stolen from kirby though? haha)
#1- Mario and Luigi Superstar Saga (GBA)
THIS. I should end the summary here for Superstar Saga right now. I’ve beaten the game 15 times and I still play it the game just has that kinda hook (don’t forget the multiplayer of classic arcade mario bros with it!). This game added comedy (many laughs during each playthrough), drama, suspense, action, RPG all into one! In fact, the game feels like two plays for the rescuing Peach and destroying Cackletta and Fawful to the Bowletta part. The Bros Combos are absolutely fantastic, in addition every move has a hidden command in it and you can do them forever! Solving puzzles are a game of in itself, from Mario and Luigi combining to high jump, helicopter, or to just you going to the arcade to play games. The overworld is well animated and clear and vast, the characters, like Fawful are unforgettable, and the game is just really entertaining.
So is Mario the king of RPG? No…not yet but he will always be close behind with these innovative game he makes. The Mario RPG series are all fun games, no doubt about it, but they are only about 20-30 hrs each and the difficulty doesn’t make it stand up to other Final Fantasy and Dragon Age games. If I had to say where Superstar Saga my #1 Mario RPG game would rank it would be behind FFIX, KH2, KH1, Dragon Quest IX, Superstar Saga, FFVII, FFVIICC (no tactical rpgs are counted).
Don’t forget Paper Mario 3DS: Sticker Star is coming out!
So guys objections?
Michael Troina writes features and reviews Nintendo games for Analog Addiciton. When he’s not writing or playing games or sports, he’s out at his job at the Daily Bugle taking pictures as the web-slinger we all have come to love…either that or he’s getting sandwich saving one world at a time. Find him anywhere with this flavors.me/michaeltroina