The Mario & Luigi series has long been heralded by the gaming world at large. Different from the brother’s other outings, the series is always praised for its humorous writing and interesting use of the established characters.
Mario & Luigi: Dream Team is the fourth installment of the series and the first on the 3DS. Boasting gorgeous artwork, a new location and the ability to explore Luigi’s dreams, will Dream Team keep you up all night playing or will it make you fall asleep?
Mario & Luigi: Dream Teams opens with the usual cast of Mushroom Kingdom characters receiving an invite to Pi’illo Island, the site of a once great civilization. Ostensibly the crew has been invited by Dr. Snoozemore, but once they reach the island it’s pretty clear something is up.
Dream Team alternates between the real world, which has a 3D isometric view, and Luigi’s dreams, which are played from a 2D side-scrolling perspective. The battle system is the same in both worlds, where you control the brothers using an active time system, pressing the A or B buttons for Mario and Luigi respectively to make them get extra attack power or dodge an enemy’s attack. The difference in the dream world is that there are a multitude of Luigis to assist you and you can use the stick to move up or down the screen to better position yourself to do more damage on counter-attacks. The battles are fairly simple but they are rather fun despite that.
Where Mario & Luigi: Dream Team stumbles is its excessive amount of dialogue and hand-holding. I’m a couple hours into the game at this point and I’m sure I’ve spent most of that time reading. Sure, the opening sections of RPGs are usually text-heavy, but I’m getting to the point where I’m just fast-forwarding through all the dialogue, which is unfortunate because it’s translated rather well. There’s plenty of humor from both side characters and the always entertaining Broque Monsieur.
As I’ve mentioned there’s also a lot of hand-holding, and at some points it gets rather ridiculous, like when the guardian spirit of the temple taunts you with how hard his jumping puzzles are and then stops you every few moments to tell you how to jump. It also breaks the flow of battle to have Toadsworth explain the mechanics in great detail when it’s really not necessary.
Despite the verbosity of Mario & Luigi: Dream Team, I’m enjoying it quite a bit. Who’s to say whether I’ll still be positive on it after 30+ hours, but for now I’m really digging its charming presentation and the RPG-lite mechanics.
Has anyone else played Mario & Luigi: Dream Team? What did you think? Anyone tempted to pick this up?