This role-playing game with some action elements is an exclusive game for the Nintendo 3DS. It tells the story of Princess Peach accepting a free vacation invitation to visit Pi’illo Island. Peach asks her champion Mario and his brother Luigi to join her. This resort looks like a fun place to play and a great place to sleep. But players quickly discover that underneath the park are ruins where evil mischief has transformed the former inhabitants of this island into crystalized pillows. A power-hungry enemy named Antasma snatches Princess Peach and pulls her into a magical other-universe known as Dream World.
Luckily, Luigi falls asleep and his dreams synchronize with the wavelength of Dream World. He is able to open a portal to Dream World so that Mario can join him inside his dreams. In the Dream World, Dreamy Luigi possesses superpowers, and he is the brother who becomes heroic. But always loyal to Mario, Dreamy Luigi uses his superpowers to help his brother rescue Peach and the trapped Pi’illo inhabitants. Those inhabitants have been sleeping inside of blue nightmare crystals which Mario must find and break open.
Dual Worlds to Explore
In a long and somewhat convoluted story, players get to explore various locations around the island and their corresponding Dream versions. Longtime fans of the Mario & Luigi series won’t be surprised when main antagonist Bowser shows up and is outraged that someone other than he has snatched Princess Peach. Unfortunately for Mario & Luigi, Bowser teams up with the baddie Antasma, thus creating a traditional good versus evil conflict.
Mario & Luigi: Dream Team is a great game for owners of the Nintendo 3DS. It is filled with hilarious dialogue, eccentric characters, and novel gameplay elements. By allowing players to constantly jump between two realities, the gameplay is always fresh. You accomplish things in the side-scrolling Dream World to solve problems in the real world of Pi’illo Island. Both worlds have many environmental puzzles which require the player to figure out ways to navigate through a level. They both contain bad guys which have to be defeated in turn-based battles. And there are also collectables, secret nooks and crannies for exploring and lots of interactions with the residents.
Luigi's Dream World
Within the Dream World, Dreamy Luigi’s powers are novel and brilliant. The real Luigi appears on the bottom screen snoozing away while Mario and Dreamy Luigi run around on the top screen. At key places, the player can do something to the sleeping Luigi to trigger a Dreamy Luigi superpower in the Dream World. For example, if you pull on the snoozing Luigi’s mustache, it appears in the Dream World scene as a slingshot to send Mario up to hard-to-reach places. Likewise, if you tickle Luigi’s nose, he will sneeze in the Dream World, thereby moving platforms that were unreachable in the background to the foreground so that Mario can jump on them. Dreamy Luigi can also turn stars into Luiginoids (little Luigis) that can take on the shapes of other things to help Mario, including a giant ball on which Mario can walk.
Ease of Play
The developers of Mario & Luigi: Dream Team took care to make this game enjoyable for newbies and enthusiasts alike. It has an excellent, optional tutorial system that appears whenever a new play element is introduced. For battles, which are constantly escalating, the game provides you with arenas where you can practice new attacks. If you fail a battle, you can replay, using an Easy Mode where Mario and Luigi temporarily get stronger. And if you fail repeatedly, a special Hint Block appears which will provide you tips on how to defeat the opponent. There is also something called a slow attack mode that shows up if you mess up a complicated move (called Bros. Attacks and Luiginary Attacks). Magically, the pace slows so you can get your timing right. For game enthusiasts, the game has a Hard Mode that unlocks after you have beaten the game.
Unlike a lot of video games where players have to finish a level before they can save, Mario & Luigi: Dream Team allows players to save throughout. This family-friendly feature works well with parents who set daily time limits for playing games. It also takes the hassle out of telling your child it is time to quit playing and come to dinner.
Mario & Luigi: Dream Team earned an E10+ rating from the ESRB for mild cartoon violence. While the game starts out with just stomping on baddies, it evolves to hammers and other weapons as the bad guys getting harder to defeat.
For kids 10 and up, Mario & Luigi: Dream Team delivers a magical gaming experience filled with novelty and innovation. With over 30 hours of gaming, players will enjoy two imaginative worlds where Mario is his normal steadfast champion and Luigi finally becomes the dashing hero.
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