Mario & Luigi Dream Team Bros. is the next game from AlphaDream and follows up the DS game Bowser's Inside story with more role play antics from the plumber brothers. What's more it arrives on the 12th July, almost a month before the US date of 11th August.
Those that enjoyed Paper Mario Sticker Stars on 3DS will be happy to have some more adventuring action to follow up that game. The format is similar in Dream Team Bros. although here there is a greater emphasis on character progression and role play -- perhaps more like the old school Super Mario RPG.
Mario & Luigi Dream Team Bros. walks the tightrope between core and family gamers with finely tuned game-play and accessible controls. Although, as the family testing the game suggested, the amount of reading rules out pre-school gamers (even with its PEGI 3 rating), other family members will enjoy the story and progression.
Providing more fanatical gamers can see past the Mario aesthetic they will find a surprisingly deep experience involving its own leveling system, loot, magic items and stat boosting badge combos. There is a lot to discover from the off, and Dream Team Bros. sustains that innovation throughout.
Perhaps paling visually next to fully 3D Paper Mario Stick Stars and New Super Mario 3D Land, Dream Team Bros. uses hand drawn bitmaps like the games of yesteryear. Even here though the attention to detail counteracts any sense of this being a tired release.
It continues Bowsers Inside Story's idea of playing in two realms. This time we leave Bowser's small intestines behind and head for Luigi's dream world. This again adds some more opportunity for inventive "Luiginary" interactions that complement the now series-standard timing based battle encounters.
But Dream Team Bros' stand out feature is the sheer level of inventiveness at every turn. In this we find more of a hard core RPG heart than Paper Mario Sticker Stars was able to conjure.
The family who tested the game got a lot of value and entertainment from it and actually provided so much expert game-play feedback I was able to put together two tips videos: Dream Team Bros Battle Tips and Dream Team Bros Items and Shop Tips.
Mario & Luigi Dream Team Bros. may be a fine 3DS game amongst a glittering catalog of great 3DS games, but don't let this mean you miss out on its role play charms.