Nintendo Reviews Rating:
Age 6+
Posted: January 13th, 2005
By: Webmaster-Josh
Mario and Luigi: Superstar Saga increases the variety of Mario games with this GBA RPG. In this original series, by
developer Alpha Dream, Mario and Luigi partner up to do some serious damage. Does the game leave a mark? Read all
about this unique game in our full review!
Sound

The sound effects in this game seem as simple as many of the older Mario games. It gives this game a classic feel, but not
necessarily realistic. In fact, many of the samples are direct ports of their older counterparts. Obviously, jumping is one of
those. The developers did a good job sprucing the many other sound effects up. They all sound original, even if they
become overused. There is one glitch in the sound effects. When you get the ability to run fast, you can run into things
and knock them over. When you knock things over, the sound effect of running persistently continues, even though you
have stopped running. It is rather annoying.
The game's music is also rather annoying. I can understand the reason why there's not very much, but the samples are too
short and mostly get repetitive. Yes, it does fit the Mario theme, but a lot feels very forced. I would have liked more
developed music, instead of relying on the same tunes over and over. For how much the music repeats, it's not as bad as
you may think. There are a couple good samples, one being a boss tune. These good samples are few and far between, and
it's a shame to hear the music being this bad.
This game also lacks Stereo sound support. This would have really spruced things up. The good thing is that the voice
samples provide a little variety. Even though there aren't many samples, somehow, I wasn't expecting or wanting more.
Leave it to Charles Martinet to do a great job, as always. Overall, though, there's a little to be desired.
Control

The game's controls are very refined. The game uses a view that is isometric, meaning it creates a 3D like map, but only
in theory. The jumping is basically platforming stuff. Alpha Dream really could have messed up the design of the
platforms, but the game is very polished. It is very easy to navigate around the world, and the developers do an excellent
job making things obvious.
The battle system is also something that really could have been bad. The developers utilize the idea of timing to its fullest.
It's fairly easy to time your jump, hammer and hand attacks on enemies well. You will have to use Bros. Attacks
eventually. These attacks require a lot more timing to really nail. You can start off slow motion, but the easier it is for you
to execute the attack, the more Bros. Points it costs. The difficulty curve in this game is great, though. The game also does
a superb job explaining how to do everything.
Considering all that could have went wrong with this style, the developers did everything right. I am very impressed with
the controls. Everything feels very well made, and this is a game that is user-friendly to anyone. Beginners to this style
will love getting into it. Veterans will feel relieved that it is perfected in this game. It may be kind of easy, but it does
make use of the unique fighting style. And what's really cool is that when enemies attack, you interact with it. You jump
or use hammers to dodge attacks. I'll get into that idea in Design, but believe me, it controls fine. Overall, this is an
excellent control scheme.
Graphics

The game sports some very detailed animations. Honestly, I'm not really sure how
they pulled it off. The game animates in 3D (or it at least appears to be), and it
blends very well with the games beautiful areas and thorough landscapes. It's been
a long time since I've seen this much detail in a Game Boy Advance game.
The game also has excellent framerate. There's not a thing to worry about. If you
thought this game looked good in pictures, wait until you actually play it. The
developers exploit every possible emotion from the characters, and the graphics
looks just as good in battle, as they do on the field. This amazing blend allows for
some sense of realism, and really puts this over the top. Overall, I am impressed.
Replay

Mario and Luigi: Superstar Saga can be classified as a Role-Playing Game (RPG) without question. RPGs involve a little
more effort, strategy and time to beat. Thus, I always expect RPGs to be long. This game is short by RPG standards, at
only about 20 hours. After that, there really isn't anything to do. That's another bad thing. Most other RPGs have things
to do, but you really won't find anything extra to do at all. There's really no incentive to play this again, either.
Another thing that really bothers me is the lack of multiplayer options. Perhaps that's why they added the original Mario
Bros. arcade game. You know, the one found in all the Mario Advance games. That is the only way to experience this game
with multiple people. And that really seems thrown in just to try to add more game time. This game features a plethora of
Bros. Attacks that requires the use of A and B, and almost the entire game, you are required to use both Mario and Luigi
to solve puzzles. There are even points in the game where you have to separate. One player could control Mario and the
other could control Luigi. But no. There are no multiplayer options in the actual game. It would have made the game so
much more fun, too. So that combined with the short play time really hurt the score.
Design

This game is a blast to play! The game is a turn-based RPG, meaning you take turns with the opponent choosing an attack
and executing it. But in executing it, you actually execute it yourself. Instead of just sitting back and letting the computer
animate the attack for you, you control the character and time your attacks just right to deal powerful blows. You also
combine both the A and B buttons to execute Bros. attacks. If you use a Bros. attack many times, you'll gain an Advance,
which allows you to perform a slightly better version of the attack. The Advance version basically makes you have to press
more buttons, but ultimately gives you more ability with the attack.
Also, as you get better with each attack, you can increase the level of difficulty for each one. This in turn allows you to
save more Bros. Points and do more damage to the enemy. This allows you to keep the game at a difficulty level with
which you are most comfortable. The battles are always fun, and are very unique. You also manually dodge attacks, so if
you are good at timing, you can get out of a battle without a scratch. Each enemy is designed to work with the battle
system, so that some have weaknesses and resistances.
I could go on about the battle system, but I'm pretty you can get that it's great. Another really great thing is the plotline.
Plot is another major element of RPGs. This game doesn't have the best plot, but it works well with the game. The real
point is that this game is hilarious. Not just funny, but hilarious. I mean, I can't even remember the last time I laughed so
hard at some of the things the characters say and do. There's not too many of the moments, but they are genuine and
memorable. I wish there was more to remember this game by, but it certainly has left a mark on GBA RPGs. The design is
excellent.
Scores
Sound

7.9
Control

9.4
Graphics

9.2
Replay

6.9
Design

9.1
8.5
Final Words

I'm going to be writing a news article before I get any complaints about the score. I don't think enough players appreciate
the value of having a long game. This game is a great game, but you have to realize that it will end pretty quickly. The
sound could also have been a lot better. Still, I think this is worth a purchase. There's not many games with as much
charm and wit as this game.