I’ve always been a big fan of the Mario and Luigi RPG series. The latest introduction to the series is Mario and Luigi: Bower’s Inside Story does not disappoint. They have a quirky story, amazing visuals, fun dialog and great level design.
The story starts out in Mushroom Kingdom. There is a mysterious illness, called the blurbs, ravaging the poor little villagers. We find ourselves in Princess Peach’s chambers discussing the situation, when Bowser decides to stick his big ugly nose into the situation. After Peach banishes Bowser, he eats some bad mushrooms, as he does sometimes. Who is behind the “vacuum” mushroom? Fawful (from the Superstar Saga and Partners in Time) has reappeared in this series to cause mayhem at every turn. Bowser uses his new “vacuum” skill to suck up everything in the room, into his body, including Peach, Mario, Luigi and the mushroom villagers.
The mechanics of the game are pretty much the same as the other stories in the series. However, the game designers have gone a step further and use the top screen, being Bowser and the bottom screen, being Mario and Luigi, to their full advantage. I felt like there were two complete fighting venues and it didn’t feel like they forced it in. There are fights where you actually use Bowser and then swap to the inside the body to fight with Mario and Luigi. As the story progresses, the designers build upon the battle moves you have already learned and makes it possible for Mario and Luigi to team up with Bowser to fight the baddies. The addition of this mechanic adds a great dimension that was missing in Partners in Time.
Now I am a little squeamish sometimes, so being inside of Bowser is a little icky. Instead of lava, they have stomach acid and the “save” blocks are called “emoglobins”. Mario and Luigi is referred to as O’s, like we are blood. So yeah, um…gross! The little mushroom villagers even went as far as building stores inside of Bowser.
It’s a fun Mario game, with controls that if you have played the previous games you’ll know, with new fighting tactics using Bowser in the upper screen. The story and dialog are really fun and I am thoroughly enjoying playing it.
The inside of a body would not have been my first choice of venues.
Overall, I would recommend this game if you like Mario. It doesn’t disappoint and the story is fun. This is one of those games I just didn’t want to end.