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Mario & Luigi: Bowsers Inside Story – Video Game Review

Mario & Luigi: Bowsers Inside StoryMario & Luigi: Bowsers Inside Story is a game I have been waiting to review for quite some time. The game was released in Japan back in February and since then, I have done everything I can to get as much information about this classic.

I own the imported version of this game but for some reason it kept locking up in my DSi. Its not an US DSi either, anyways. I waited until the american release of the game so I can write up a review on it. From the ground up, you look at this games art design you would think it would not have anything special to be played. However, this is the third game in the series and its the best game to date in the series.

The story centers around Fawful, Mario & Luigi, and Bowser. Once again Fawful, the villain, is up to no good and is out for complete and total control of the Mushroom Kingdom. There is an outbreak causing the Toadstools to swell up into what the locals are calling the “Blorbs”. These infected Toad’s roll all over destroying everything in there path. No further information as to what lead to this outbreak or if there is a cure is known by any of the wisest of Toads. The virus has called upon the Royal Toadstools and Princess Peach to work together to find a solution to this issue.


US Box Art:

Japanese Box Art:

WIthout any other resources in dealing with this problem, only one option remains. Calling upon our favorite Super Bro. Duo: Mario & Luigi! Once again it is on these Super Bros. to save all who are endangered in the Mushroom Kingdom. However, during the meeting of royals, mushrooms, and two plumbers…Bowsers comes storming into the Princess’ Castle and demands that Princess Peach to surrender or be kidnapped…you see where this is going don’t you? The story is stereotypical yes, but the twist here is awesome. For starters, this is not the traditional Mario game that your used to.

This is once again Mario & Luigi, its an RPG folks so be ready for some serious thinking if you wish to win your battles. The first battle with Bowser is more of a brushing up if you either haven’t played the previous games or are new to the series. You learn how to attack, how to counter, how to dodge, and so much more. The battle is not long at all and once its over, its lift off time for Bowser as he is sent flying out of the Princess’ Castle and then he lands flat on the ground in the woods far from the Castle. When he awakens via help from Kamek, AKA Magikoopa, Bowsers so enraged that he begins to trek back to the castle. This is where things take a hysterical turn. En route to the castle, Bowser walks past a wizards tent and is declared the “Winner”.

Our Heroes:

Our Other “Hero”:

Bowser approaches the tent and gets his prize, a special Mushroom that will finally, once and for all, help him defeat Mario! Or does it? Once Bowsers eats the prize, he quickly becomes sick and weak. But once that passes after a few second he quickly becomes like Kirby and begins to swallow up anything and everything in his path. Only difference here from Kirby and Bowser is that Bowsers power doesn’t change when he absorbs objects or enemies. He instead can shrink all of the objects and devour them whole. The Wizard turns out to be the elusive Fawful, the enemy from the first two games, and this is when the game takes a hilarious turn. Bowser storms back to the Castle and walks in once again ready for battle but his absorbing ability takes over and he swallows up everyone and everything…except for Luigi as he was trying to resist but fails miserably for Luigi.

Luigi in this game is more of a comic relief although you do play as him and he is very useful in battle and in gameplay as well. Both Bros. you use at the same time. Mario’s actions are tied to the A Button and Luigi is the B Button. These buttons remain that way in battle since all of the actions you wish to use require you to press the correct button to move that character in battle. You get the traditional RPG Controls as in Items, Attacks, Special Attacks, Equipment, as well as some special character specific and Bros. Specific actions that are done in and out of battle.

The battles are also Turn Based like the classic Final Fantasy games. Also it should be noted, these games are in no way tied to the Paper Mario and Super Mario RPG: Legend Of The Seven Stars games, this is an entirely new series of games for the Bros. You can also use classic Mario Bros. items such as Hammers, Fire Flowers, Mushrooms, Shells and so much more as you progress through the game.

Bowser’s Minions:

Absorbing Makes Battles For Mario & Luigi:

The game itself outside of being an RPG, this is one of those rare games that can be labeled a comedy since it is as its core about the humor. Yes it is childish at best but there are some good moments in the game and the way Luigi is implemented into the game is awesome. Its not often you get these two to work along side one another in the same game. However, your not just playing as Mario & Luigi. Your gameplay is on the Touch Screen while on the top screen, Bowser side of the story is being played out. Bowser is also fully playable and is also very useful. All three characters have there own items and equipment as well as special moves. Bowsers actions are controlled by the X and Y buttons.

Mario & Luigi are within Bowsers body and depending on the situation, Mario & Luigi may need to work Bowsers innards to give him strength and new abilities to overcome any obstacles that may be in his way. Also you are in Bowsers body…but do not tell him that. To Bowser, only Starlow (Chippy to Bowser) is the only living creature within his body. Mario & Luigi travel throughout Bowser’s nerves, stomach, and all other vital organs in which there is tension, pain, and infection. Your actions will have an outcome which can be viewed on the top screen. While playing as Mario & Luigi, you can view the outside world and Bowser at any time by looking at the top screen. You can also switch characters at any time except for in battle and when either party has either fainted or the situation requires your full attention as Mario & Luigi or Bowser. You can also later on in the game gain the ability to use Bowsers absorption technique freely and swallow up enemies, items, and so many other things. There is an awesome side effect to this.

Inside And Out Of Bowser:

Giant Bowser:

When in battle as Bowser, if there is an enemy that shows up with minions, you can swallow them up using the absorption technique and when they reach Bowsers stomach, you use Mario & Luigi to defeat those minions. After that battle is over, its just Bowser and who ever survives the absorption. And when the battle finally ends, all three characters gain EXP. This is huge since its like you have three party members with you at all times. Granted, the game play is based on the actions of all three characters separately since Bowser doesn’t know that his nemesis Mario is within his body. You also can keep Mario & Luigi in Bowsers nerves and travel freely throughout his body when ever you wish. This is also known as a Hub World. Bowsers body plays the Hub World for Mario & Luigi while the outside world is all Bowsers playground.

Throughout the game you collect puzzle pieces as either Mario & Luigi or Bowser. When the 10 pieces within each area are collected, they form a new special attack for the Bros. or for Bowser. You can learn many helpful attacks for battle and special moves for traveling the worlds. You can use Bowsers brute strength to crush rocks, breathe fire to burn down objects in the way, or you can just stand in front of objects to either eat or drink just to see what the reaction will be in Bowsers body.

If he drinks water, you can swim inside his body as Mario & Luigi. If he eats too much, he will get sick and there maybe be viral cells that attack you or spoiled fruit that contain bugs that become a major problem. There is certainly lots to do no matter who you play as. The gameplay is super easy to follow and straight forward. This is a game that doesn’t force you to master any particular strategy or anything like that. Its a game of humor, wits, and common sense. The Bros. get abilities like Fire Flower, Drill Bros, Turtle Shell Mario, Mini Mario, Blorb Luigi, Tornado Bros. and so many more as you progress. Pay close attention for lots of hidden items and lots of Nintendo inside jokes.

Using Luigi As A Weapon:

There is much to do in this game, its a 20 hour + game to finish. The story line is bland but because of the quick and easy methods to play and the refreshing humor, you won’t be bored. There is also a fantastic art style to this game, it does not look like any other Mario game that I know of to date. Also, since the emphasis is on humor and not challenge, there is really no reason why you should be annoyed at this game. There are also items that revive you when you faint all together, however, you have to start that battle over from the beginning. You do get fully revived though so there is a trade off.

Couple of things do bother me in this game. For starters, you find yourself wandering around a lot throughout the game, you do get lost from time to time but sometimes there are instances where the game doesn’t really tell you where you should go. Also, I’m not much for too much dialog in game, this one is packed with long stretches of reading, so be ready to either get all tired from the reading or be ready to hold down A lots. There is some minor voice over work in this game, but only when Mario & Luigi say each others names, everything else is either a roar or some form of Sim-lish from The Sims or Animal Crossing.

Sideways Gaming:

Outside of that, this is a MUST have for anyone who owns a DS and its a must have simply because it is a fun game to play and very refreshing since it is an all new experience and not like the second game which was just made with dual screen functions. This is a new game built on and for the DS. Mario & Luigi: Bowsers Inside Story is now available for an MSRP of $34.99. Rated E For Everyone. Only On Nintendo DS.


-Must Have Game For Any DS Owner

-Fantastic Art Style

-Fantastic Cast Of Characters

-Fun & Funny Game

-Easy To Pick Up And Play

-Refreshing Gameplay

-Lots To Do

-Great Controls

-Another Example Of An Original Game On A New System Done Correctly

-Lots Of Gameplay To Be Had

-Lots Of Collectibles

-Switch Characters Anytime With A Single Button

-Special Attacks Are Funny And Some Are Used In Your Travels

-Horizontal DS Holding Works Smoothly

-Perfect Translation From The Japanese Version

-20+ Hours Of Gameplay


-Weak Story

-Too Much Reading

-No Voices, Only Noises

-Easy To Get Confused From Time To Time
Official Score:

Mario & Luigi: Bowsers Inside Story Rating: 5 Stars Out Of 5

Editor’s Choice
Click here to purchase Mario & Luigi Bowser’s Inside Story on

Click Here To Rent Mario & Luigi: Bowsers Inside Story from

Official Site:

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