• E3 2013: Mario and Luigi: Dream Team Hands-On Impressions

      The Mario and Luigi RPG series has become one of Nintendo's niche hits. Each game involves a quirky story with tons of humor involving the brothers entering some type of mischief, Dream Team is no exception. In relation to Nintendo's Year of Luigi celebration, Dream Team revolves more around Luigi than previous games in the series. In my time with the demo I was able to experience three different sections of the game.

      The first is Normal Mode which has Mario and Luigi exploring in the real world. This mode is the same as previous entries in the series where you walk around an overworld and solve puzzles or objectives to continue through the story. If you run into any enemies the screen changes to a 2D field where the encounter turns into an interactive turn based battle. Mario and Luigi have different options to damage enemies like Jump, Hammer, and a team attack called Bros. Attack. In order to deal out the most damage to an enemy, I had to press the A or B button at the correct moment during the brothers attacks. For example, if I selected Mario to use his Jump attack and I clicked A right when he lands on top of the enemy, he would jump off their head again and, if timed correctly again, would cause bonus damage.

      When the enemies began their attacks it was possible to dodge them by jumping or moving at the right time. I could dodge enemies that blew fire at me by jumping over the fire before it got too close to the brothers. Each enemy has a different way to attack so I had to quickly become familiar with each enemies attack speed and range.

      The second section is Dream World where the game takes place within Luigi's Dream World. Both brothers are still controllable in the overworld, but now it is from a 2D platformng perspective instead of the more 3D overhead type in the Normal section. When certain glowing parts of the environment are near, Luigi can possess them to help Mario. The stage I was in let Luigi possess a pillar that had some tree branches on it in the shape of a mustache. Once Luigi took over the pillar I could use the touch screen to stretch the branches so they could grab Mario and fling him up to a higher area of the stage.

      Battling in the Dream World is different since Luigi fuses with Mario at the start of the battle. Using Luigi's ability to alter his dreams gives Mario extra power in all of his moves. Mario's jump attack if timed correctly both times as I mentioned before, will instead cause a rain of Luigis from the sky to stomp all of the enemies. It was fun experimenting to see all of Mario's enhanced techniques. The Bros. Attack also changes to Luiginary Attack which usually involve a bunch of dream Luigis coming together and performing some type of hilarious super move. One attack involves Mario rolling up a bunch of Luigi's into a ball. He jumps on top of the ball and begins to roll towards the enemies gathering more Luigis along the way. In order to pick up more Luigis I had to use the move the 3DS in the direction of the Luigis and once they were all picked up, I had to aim for the enemies that I wanted to steam roll.

      The last section I got to play was the Giant Boss Battle. As a giant Luigi I faced off against a robotic enemy that could cause tornadoes and turn its hands into drills. I had to turn the 3DS so the screens were vertical because the layout for the Giant Boss changes. As Giant Luigi only 3 options were available to me: Jump, Hammer, or Heal. The enemy's current form dictated what move I should use. When the enemy had his drills out I had to use my Hammer to damage him, otherwise I'd use Jump. The boss began to throw tornadoes t me which required me to swipe up on the touch screen in order to jump over them.

      Unlike before every attack or evasive move is controlled by the touch screen so in order to strike with my Hammer I had to swipe left across the screen at the right time. Once I got the boss's health down he began to hide himself in tornadoes and depending on how he hid himself I had to choose the correct attack. When I finally got him down to his has sliver of health Luigi rocketed into the sky and put little Mario onto a star and threw him down to the boss. While Mario was riding on the star I had to guide him to the correct spot to make the finishing hit on the boss. After exploding the boss into a million pieces my time with the game was up and a game I previously had no interest in had me wanting to play more. If you haven't seen it yet, here is the Mario and Luigi Dream Team E3 trailer: