Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga (GBA)

And now, by request, I'm playing Mario & Luigi - Superstar Saga. All I know about this game is it's not a platformer, and there's apparently a bit of a travelling theme as they've put a suitcase on the title screen.

These two were hiding in the suitcase the whole time! Their synchronised blinking is creeping me out.

Alas, before Bowser can kidnap the Princess this week, the ambassador from the Beanbean Kingdom gets to her first. But he doesn't want to kidnap her, instead he sprays her with a mysterious green cloud.

I think it's probably nerve gas or some kind of bio-weapon, but I don't know for sure yet.

One of the mushroom folk races to Mario's house to get his help. Wow is this the first game to feature Mario's house? I don't remember ever seeing it before.

The mushroom guy hears humming coming from the bathroom, and seeing that the door's open, rushes inside...

The poor guy sees more of his hero than he ever wanted to see, and races out of the bathroom... headfirst into a cupboard.

Mario sees the guy lying dazed on the floor and decides to jump on his head a few times just to be sure. Then he rushes out in his underwear to save the day once again.

Fortunately Luigi was hanging his laundry up to dry or else I'd be stuck playing as half naked Mario.

Well Bowser isn't the one to blame for once, but he's here so I might as well jump on him a few times.

Man, look at his dancing. His brother's panicking, his girlfriend's in tears and his greatest enemy is standing right there... and Mario's just dancing. He don't give a fuck any more.

It seems that the game is an rpg with a Final Fantasy style turn-based battle system, with the twist that I can inflict extra damage with a well timed button press.

Also the tutorial explains that if I time it right, I can leap over enemy attacks and escape entirely unharmed! Pretty much exactly how I just didn't.

Finally we reach a truce and find out what happened to the Princess. It seems that the green gas was used by the Beanbean ambassador to steal her voice. And it replaced her words with cute little bombs that fall from her speech bubbles and explode.

Bowser can't kidnap her in this state, she'd end up blowing up his castle, so he teams up with the Marios to get her voice back.

Well I could go and talk to every damn NPC... or I could run for the exit.

Looks like Princess Peach isn't the only one with a speech problem. Unlike everyone else, Luigi can only talk in pictures.

This isn't a Zelda game mate, put it down.

Weirdly it seems that Luigi only came by to wish me luck, he's not coming with me. Well, okay then I'm sure Mario will do fine on his own, he usually does.


Finally we're moving. And hey, look... Luigi's had a last minute change of heart and he's coming with us!

Okay now I've got my passport photos taken, can I start playing the game yet?

The suitcase from the title screen turns out to be the game menu, letting me change my equipment and view stats, and other things you'd expect from a menu.

I tried to swap their shirts, but nope. Green Mario is forbidden.

That's... weird. Each character uses a different button for their actions. The battles are turn based, but when Luigi's turn comes around I've got to remember to press B instead of A.

I guess that means I'm stuck with only two party members for the entire game.

Mario does the level up dance! Not only do all my stats get a small boost, but I get to select one to give a random number of bonus points to.

Man, these numbers can't be right. I can't believe Mario's "Stache" stat could be so low. Also what the hell is a "Stache" stat and what does it do? I'm going to guess it's luck, seeing as it's at the bottom where luck often sits.

Anyway I'm putting my points into 'pow'. You can never have too much 'pow' I reckon.

Okay, some guy in a rocket powered rocking chair has just flown up and is cackling at me. Bowser should be able to sort this clown out though, he's been a last boss for two decades.

Bowser's turning out to be pretty useless so far. Fortunately this enemy's thoughtfully decided to colour code his insults, so that I'll know which Mario brother he's aiming at. Which will give me a chance to press the right button to dodge when his turn comes around.


He couldn't beat me up so he decides to blow me up instead. He wrecks the whole airship in fact, leaving us falling helplessly from the sky.

Not sure why he didn't just do that from the start really. I suppose villains always have to save their best attack for last.

Great, we've landed in Toxic Dump World. Fortunately the Mario bros are immune to falling damage, so they survived the drop unharmed.

Apparently we're still in the Mushroom Kingdom, so I need to hike over to the Beanbean Kingdom and get back on the trail of the Princess's voice.

Okay this is just dumb. I have to play a border crossing minigame... where I have to jump over the border rope to get in. The A button makes Mario jump, the B button makes Luigi jump, and if I fail enough times as they're sweeping the rope across I have to try again.

I really don't like this minigame.


I really don't like this minigame. I mean really.

I looked for another way round, to see if I could jump the fence or something, but it seems like this is it. I just have to keep jumping this damn rope until they eventually let me past.


I did it! I'm over the border, and I've got a world map! I've made it... to the start of the main game.

I guess all that rope jumping practice paid off. To get over these spikes I have to jump with the lead character, then immediately jump with the second. It seems that the whole game is going to be based around getting the timing right with these two buttons.

Hmm, I can't get up there to jump up to those ? boxes just yet. But I can go over and jump on that fly. Hitting an enemy drags me into a battle, but if I trigger the fight by jumping on them then the enemy takes damage at the start.

Wow, poor Bowser. All this wasteland, and he lands in a cannon. What are the chances?

Anyway, it seems I'm not going this way until I get some coins.

The other way led me to two helpful mushroom folk who taught me how to super jump, or hover across small gaps depending on what character I have selected.

Now I can get to all those boxes I walked past on the way here. And I'll need to if I want to get enough coins to get out of this place. This area's way too purple for my liking, and the music's a bit lame, so I'll be glad to be finished with it.

I thought these guys had cool goatees and long necks when I saw them from the front, but sadly it turns out that they actually just have huge grins and big chins.

When one character falls in battle, they're not entirely out. The other plumber has to jump over to save them from enemy attacks, taking damage in their place if they fail to dodge. And I'm very good at failing to dodge.

Time for some mushrooms I reckon. I can't see any other way to get HP back. Fortunately I don't have to bring Mario back, he woke up on his own.

Well I got all the coins, but the guy just took my money and refuses to help Bowser out of the cannon. And now he's firing spiky metal balls at me!

Fortunately they bounce, so most of the time if I just hold still they bounce right over me. I wish I had a fire flower right now though. So I could fire a fireball right at this asshole's smug grin.


I love Bowser's expression in this shot. The poor guy is a really tragic character in this. He's been nothing but helpful, but he's constantly beaten up and shot out of cannons for his trouble.

This mushroom guy isn't even anything to do with anything. He just got sick of listening to Bowser whine, came out of the ground, and lit his fuse. Well, now Bowser's gone flying off somewhere I think this is as good a place as any to stop playing.

Next game.


  1. "Wow is this the first game to feature Mario's house?"
    No, I think Mario RPG was.

  2. Nyeck nyeck nyeck!

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.


Semi-Random Game Box