I don’t really have much to review this week, so I’m going to hit up an older game I’ve had laying around for a while. I’m not sure why I didn’t review this one before now, though come to think of it I probably avoided it because the name of the game made it exceptionally difficult for me to put a smart ass title on the post. But I’ll do it down here instead. Mario and Luigi: Bowsers Inside Story – OM NOM NOM NOM.
Okay, yeah enough of that. Bowsers Inside Story is the third installment of the ever popular Mario and Luigi games, bringing continuing the ongoing tradition of RPGs starring Mario being inexplicably good and an awesome idea to produce. Though, honestly, some sections drag on a little long.
Within the first three minutes of booting up a new game on Bowsers inside story, one of the Mario universe’s iconic mushroom toad men rolls through a wall, enormous and bloated, afflicted with a mysterious illness known as the BLORBS. This pretty much sets the stage for what you can expect in terms of story from the game.
Turns out the blorbs are a new pandemic sweeping the mushroom kingdom. Toads of all ages and head spot colors are getting afflicted and turning into giant road blocking and twitching sacks of flesh, most of whom will just complain at you about how much they do not like having the blorbs. This is quickly deemed a crisis, and an emergency meeting is held in Peach’s castle. I always thought it was weird that after all these years of having no parents, Peach is still stuck in princess status, but meh, what do I know about royalty?
So, into the castle go the Mario brothers, because Mario has a habit of finding problems and jumping on their heads. Also attending the meeting is a star spite named Starlow who eloquently tells the assembled scientists and royalty “HURP DERP (I’m paraphrasing here) BLORBS NO CUREABLE OH NO.”
The meeting is interrupted by Bowser, because he is a dick. Mario promptly thrashes him and sends him packing, but soon he comes across a mysterious merchant with an irritating grin who promises to sell the giant turtle man an item filled with enough power to take out Mario for good. This deal is too good to pass up and not shady at all, Bowser thinks to himself, so he buys a “lucky shroom.” and heads out on his way. This mushroom causes him to flip the eff out and inhale everything and anyone, eventually sucking down everyone at the planning meeting.
From there, Bowser heads off on a quest of revenge against the merchant, oblivious to what he just ate. His foe in this case is Fawful, the former lackey of the big baddie in the Mario and Luigi game for Gameboy Advanced, and the somewhat unhinged merchant in Partners in Time. Fawful is irritating. GOD I HATE HIM SO MUCH.
On the other side of things, you have the Mario Brothers, who are accompanied by Starlow, who are searching for the princess and a way to escape from Bowser’s guts. You can switch between Bowser and Mario and Luigi seamlessly (Bowser’s on the top screen and Mario and Luigi are on the bottom screen) and have to work together in order to bring peace back to the land.
Mario and Luigi get to occupy a 2D world, and use their sweet BRO POWERS to overcome obstacles. Bowser, on the other hand, is rampaging around in a 3D world, solving puzzles by setting them on fire, and occasionally being powered up by things Mario and Luigi do while running around.
But Mario and Luigi can’t really talk! I mean, they do in a string of pseudo Italian gibberish that really means nothing, but they can’t really say anything of note. So Starlow acts as the go-between for the plumbers and Bowser, who is not thrilled at the idea of having tiny people running around in his body.
Combat is the same as it was in the other Mario and Luigi games, with the A button being occupied for Mario and the B button for Luigi. Using these buttons, you can select attacks, jump over or smack incoming attacks with your hammer, and activate special abilities. Bowser gets the X and Y buttons, for a variety of shenanigans.
During battle, if he is fighting a smaller foe, Bowser can actually eat his enemy and send it down to fight with Mario and Luigi. Which is a pretty weird mechanic, now that I think about it.
There is a third kind of battle, however. During certain sections of the game, Bowser will be taken out of commission, and Mario and Luigi have to play a boat attack game to spark his adrenaline. This also causes Bowser to grow to massive proportions to throw down with his foe. During these sections, the game prompts you to “turn the DS sideways!” and to fight using the DS stylus and your face. Tapping on the screen will launch fireballs to defend against foes. Sliding the stylus from one side to the other will cause the dino man to punch things. Blowing into the mic will make Bowser blow a plume of fire, while simultaneously making you look like a psychopath if you’re playing in public. I usually lost each of these massive Bowser sections at least once. It takes a while to get the hang of them.
Aaaanyway, Bowsers Inside Story is a hilarious RPG that keeps in the long-standing tradition of ridiculously hilarious Mario RPG games. While some times you wish you could switch back to Mario and Luigi when you’re firmly stuck in Bowser mode, and vice versa, the game is still one you should be playing if you have a DS.
Man, who would have guessed Mario had enough depth to give him his own RPG? Anyone remember being shocked when they announced Super Mario RPG for super Nintendo? Remember being more shocked at the reports that the game was actually completely awesome? How did THAT happen?