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3DS: Friend Codes on First Page, OMG THE THIRD DIMENSION

The Damned

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I got Donkey Kong Original Edition for free via Club Nintendo some time ago, so the NES version is worthless to me.

Also Image & Form, devs of SteamWorld Dig, have announced that they'll be continuing the series on 3DS eShop and leaving their iOS roots behind (they love the support they're getting now instead of being drowned in silence as they were). So yay.

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It's been a while, but time for another review.



Mario & Luigi: Dream Team

Platforms: 3DS

Developer: AlphaDream

Genre: Turn-Based RPG


Mario RPGs have an interesting history. The first one, known as Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars, was a collaboration between Square Enix and Nintendo, and was released late in the Super NES's lifespan. From there, the RPG subseries of everyone's favorite Italian plumber was split in two. First came Paper Mario on the Nintendo 64, which was known as Super Mario RPG 2 in development. In this world, everyone was made of paper and the battle system took on its own 2D life. The second half came in 2003 with Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga on the Game Boy Advance. This one was far more reminiscent of Super Mario RPG, and for good reason! The developer, AlphaDream, is made up of several former Square Co. developers who worked on Super Mario RPG, and the music is by Yoko Shimomura, just like in that first game. Since that quest in a neighboring kingdom, the titular brothers have ventured into the past and also throughout Bowser's body; now, they embark on a new quest that will take them into the world of dreams.


As usual, the game starts the story off quickly, and a tutorial battle ensues. In the process, the blimp that takes the gang of Mario, Luigi, Peach, Toadsworth, and some Toads to the game's locale of Pi'illo Island is destroyed and descends rapidly to the ground... Or maybe not. For some reason, Luigi seems to have become rather narcoleptic and fell asleep, dreaming the whole trip. They're still going to Pi'illo Island, of course, but they landed rather safely. This new trait of his becomes important in the long run, as it allows him to fall asleep almost anywhere, easily allowing Mario access to the Dream World for whatever they need. It's not long before it's revealed that the island is the location of the long-lost Pi'illo Kingdom, which befell an unknown fate at the hands of a being known as Antasma.

The game takes place both in the real world of Pi'illo Island and that of dream versions of the various locations on the island. What's interesting is that the real world's gameplay is much like previous games in the series; you explore with a top-down view and use the various abilities you earn along the way to traverse the island. Much like the sections of the previous game that took place within Bowser, the Dream sections are flat 2D. However, while in the Dream World, you gain the abilities of Dreamy Luigi, a version of Luigi that can harness the abilities of the world of sleep. Soon after, you'll be able to use those powers, known as Luiginary Works, to activate certain objects and reach places you'd never think you'd be able to reach. And in battle, you can use the Luiginary Abilities to pull off amazing special attacks to handle the hordes of enemies you'll find within.


Of course, you'll have access to Bros. Attacks outside of battle as well. Much like Bowser's Inside Story, you earn new moves via Attack Blocks scattered throughout both Pi'illo Island and the Dream World. You also gain ranks as you level up; unlike the previous game, however, you get to choose the perks you get with each new rank. Just think before you pick, since you can't change the perk once you choose it, and since there's more perks than ranks, there's no way to get all the perks on one save file. The game also introduces an Easy Mode; if you die in battle, you can restart that battle either as normal or in Easy Mode, with your power and defense spiked really high. After battle, it returns to normal, so it's just a temporary boost if you just can't get past a boss and don't want to grind. Badges also return as they were in the previous game, where you combine two for various effects and charge the meter until it's full. The bosses use some really creative moves that take advantage of the hardware; there were a lot of neat surprises that I really enjoyed seeing. Of course, you'll be able to do the same thing with your special attacks too, really adding to the fun of using them. In addition, there's a piece of equipment which has varying stats depending on how many steps you've taken that day; using the pedometer in such a way really surprised me. There are also several Giant Luigi battles, in which the green plumber becomes absurdly large to take down equally large foes, echoing the Giant Bowser battles of the previous game.

As for the music... Well, it's Yoko Shimomura. That should really be all that needs to be said. Each piece of music really captures the essence of the area, and some hearken back to previous entries in the series. The theme for Driftwood Shore, for instance, is very reminiscent of a few tracks from the first Mario & Luigi. On the other hand, there's several songs in this game that are reminiscent of some themes from Kingdom Hearts, which is also nice. As with any RPG, a strong soundtrack is often as important as the gameplay and story, and as usual it's a complete package here. The writing is also expertly done, keeping the trend of fantastic humor intact. One of my favorite lines is one of the first you can see; after landing on Pi'illo Island, you'll see a large crowd gathered organized in such a way that they guide you where you need to go. Although not all of them have unique things to say, my favorite is one of the residents who says, "VISITING PERSON!" upon seeing Mario. Really, it's the only way to greet tourists, as far as I'm concerned. You'll also see quite a few Beanish folks along with Hoohooligans, both from the Beanbean Kingdom, along with some new races.

In my opinion, Dream Team is a worthy follow-up to Bowser's Inside Story. Though many may see that one as the "Thousand Year Door" of the Mario & Luigi series, in that it's very hard to top, I feel that it does a great job on its own. There are many things it borrows from that game, and it does it well. The music is fantastic as always, the humor is omnipresent, the gameplay is intuitive and catchy, the story is fun and lighthearted... All things that a Mario & Luigi game should have. It also has decent length; I didn't take that much time to try finding other things or complete sidequests, and it still took over 40 hours, without any real padding to artificially lengthen it. If you're in the mood for a fun RPG, or want to see more of Luigi, or just want a great new game for your 3DS, then pick this one up; it might just be the adventure you were dreaming of. Until next time, game on!

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  • 3 weeks later...

Going to move this conversation over to this thread instead:

Welp I did it, I took the hit and pre-ordered the Nintendo 3DS XL - Pokemon X&Y Blue Edition that comes out the day before my birthday. I say took the hit because shipping and sales tax was expensive. Ocre filled me in on why these Nintendo products aren't sold on Amazon, it sucks that we have to get screwed.

So naturally I'll be picking up Animal Xing New Leaf and Pokemon X. If anyone has any other recommendations, I'd appreciate it. I've never played a Kid Icarus or Fire Emblem game before so I dunno if it would be smart to start late in the story (unless they are remakes or independent stories without continuity from an earlier game).

I really don't know what's on 3DS at all. Ocarina of Time 3D? Yeah I could get that, never played the original.

Kid Icarus: Uprising is pretty much a reboot. There wasn't much story in the original NES game anyways. FE, most of the stories are unrelated to each other (Some link, some dont) but I wouldn't worry about it. If you like strat rpgs, its an excellent game.

Other Recommendations:

Obligatory Mario/Nintendo Stuff:

Super Mario 3D Land (Platformer)

Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon (Adventure)

Mario Kart 7 (Kart)

Star Fox 64 3D (Action)

RPG Goodies:

Mario & Luigi's Dream Team (RPG)

Shin Megami Tensei IV (RPG)

Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance (RPG)

Tales of the Abyss (RPG)

Etrian Odyssey IV (RPG)

If Shantae Fan ((Platform/Metroidvania-ish series))

Shantae (VC (GBC))

Shantae: Risky's Revenge (DSiWare)

Shantae and the Pirate's Curse (Coming soon to 3DS eShop)

If Cave Story Fan:

Cave Story (3D Enhanced)

Cave Story 3D (Remake)

eShop Goodies:

Pushmo (Puzzle)

Crashmo (Puzzle)

SteamWorld Dig (MetroidVaniaish / Mining )

Future Recommendations:

Zelda: A Link Between Worlds (ZELDA)

Bravely Default: Flying Fairy (RPG)

If PW Fan:

Phoenix Wright 5 (Graphic Adventure / Visual Novel-ish)

Phoenix Wright / Professor Layton Crossover (Graphic Adv/VN-ish / Puzzle )

And that's just the "top" stuff. As you can see, plenty of good stuff on the 3DS :)

Edited by Crowbar Man
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  • 3 weeks later...

With Pokemon X coming on October 12th and pre-ordered, I think I'm well set...



I don't have the 3DS yet. It's being shipped / comes out on the 27th. I'll post my number and whatever fruit or whatnot, I think there's a different thread for AC: New Leaf though.

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I don't wanna go overboard and squee but ermagherd I love the 3DS XL so much. I've only played 2 of my 6 games, mostly Animal Crossing: New Leaf, and I am completely happy with it. The 3D blows my mind, the interface is nice and quick and un-WiiU-like despite looking similar. Super Mario 3D Land is great too. To top it all off, the library of games available for it is incredible (IF you like RPGs)... I've got FF3, Dragon Quest IX, Golden Sun: Dark Dawn, and there's a ton more when I finish those. They even got the Chronic Triggah. So there's my endorsement, I like the thinger.

And I'm super excited for Pokemon X.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Thanks Gollgagh, ocre. Definitely can't afford the XL. Still can't decide if I could live with a 2DS. I need to try it hands-on I guess.

Super Mario 3D and Kid Icarus are must-buys for me, I don't play horror games though.

I must have Fire Emblem.

I must have Pocket Mans.

I must have Monster Hunter.

I must have Phoenix Wri- there are TOO many games for me to hold off any more!!

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Well too bad, I got a 2DEES!

+ Love the form of it. For some reason, it feels like the two screens were meant to be flush and immovable all along.

+ I have some money left!

+ If I had gotten a 3DS, I wouldn't have scoured town for an official pouch. Never got one, but I did run into and old friend and reconnected. Thanks 2DEES!

- The deign is.. we don't talk about the design. It's good enough to brush under the rug and be content.


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