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Game Profile
Game Boy
November 17, 2003
Super Mario Maker

Super Mario Bros. 3DS

Super Mario All-Stars

Super Mario Galaxy 2

New Super Mario Bros. Wii

More in this Series
 Written by Jeff Milligan  on October 10, 2003

First Impressions: Not to be confused with Super Mario All-Stars or Legend of the Seven Stars. Don't pretend you weren't thinking that. Punks.

Round about May of 1996, the Super Nintendo received a title that took gaming's most well known ambassador and placed him inside an RPG style of gameplay. Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars took the Mario name to new dimensions, and succeeded in doing so. Later, the Nintendo 64 received a semi-sequel to Mario RPG, Paper Mario. Paper Mario took all of the great qualities in Mario RPG and added in it's own innovations, as well as improved on a few things. Now the Game Boy Advance is stepping in to continue to Mario RPG name with Mario and Luigi: Superstar Saga.

Like many of Superstar Saga's Mario predecessors, it has a humorous (to say the least) storyline behind it. Somehow, an evil witch has stolen Princess Peach's voice, and replaced it with explosives. Now if that doesn't attract you right there, I don't know what will. As Mario and Luigi travel to the Mushroom Kingdom Castle to help the Princess, they meet up with Bowser, who is also at the castle under a different agenda. The arch-enemies decide to put their differences behind them, and team up to seek out the witch who has retreated into a neighboring Kingdom. As they begin their journey, their airship is ambushed, and Bowser is sent flying into unknown territory. It's now up to the plumber brothers to track down the witch by themselves, in a totally new world.

As Superstar Saga begins, players will be able to control both Mario and Luigi as a team. Be this as it may, both Mario and Luigi will be able to jump seperately, being controlled by the A and B buttons respectively. Players will also be able to utilize special moves, including a helicopter jump. These moves will be able to boost Mario and Luigi's jump height, length, and/or speed.

Similar to Paper Mario borrowing some of the techniques found within The Legend of the Seven Stars, Superstar Saga is also taking a few notes from Paper Mario (confused yet?). Players will be able to meander around an all-new land as cartoonish representatives of the plumbers, a design which is very similar to Paper Mario. Solving puzzles and battling enemies will also be a main objective throughout the game.

Superstar Saga will also utilize a few tricks of its own. Encounters with enemies will not be random, but instead enemies can be seen on the map while moving. Walking up to an enemy will trigger the battle system. Battles in Superstar Saga will be turn-based, but powered-up attacks can be controlled with certain button combinations. The duo can also team up and use special Bros. attacks, which can deal some serious damage to enemies.

Although Superstar Saga will be viewed as an RPG, Nintendo has done a little mixing of gameplay elements. As discussed, the battle system that will be used is turn-based, which is common territory for RPGs. However, Superstar Saga will also feature numerous puzzles and challenges, including jumping games, which can usually be found within platformers - the formula behind the original Mario games. It's an interesting mix, and can definitely work if pulled off correctly.

Final Thoughts
From the limited screenshots released thus far, it appears that Superstar Saga will be played similar to Paper Mario, with background elements and environments similar to that in Super Mario World. If this is true, Superstar Saga should be one of the great RPGs released for the Game Boy Advance, joining a not-so-small list of games. At any rate, Superstar Saga is shaping up to be a good addition to the Mario RPG line-up. Look for it in mid next month.

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