After so many months of writing editorials, I've forgotten one blog feature that I loved doing, and that was the Now Playings. It's time to bring them back, and the game that makes the return to Now Playing is none other than Dream Team!
If you're familiar with the franchise, you'll feel right at home with Mario and Luigi. It stays so close to its formula, it's practically playing it safe. You start out roaming the world with your green overalled brother in tow where you can jump and hammer enemies to get the drop on them. Combat still relies on timing and observing enemy attack behaviors, and the better you time your attacks, the more damage you do. But as with every Mario and Luigi game, there's a new theme introduced.
Luigi for some reason has the power to open a portal to the Dream World whenever he sleeps on ancient petrified pillows. When you jump in the portal as Mario, you'll arrive in the dream world with Luigi, and the game takes on a 2D platforming perspective. When you encounter enemies in the dream world, Luigi kinda blends himself into Mario, increasing his HP and BP (Bro points, like magic points). If Mario executes a solid attack, a multitude of Luigis storm and drop down on enemies' heads, or are met with a seismic wave from his hammer. I also got a special attack that can be used in the dream world called a Luiginary Move. This particular one calls up on a ball of Luigis, and I have to tilt the 3DS to roll it over other Luigis to increase the size. The only problem is, tilting doesn't work very well when I'm lying down.
There's always some kind of teamwork between the two mustachioed brothers when it comes to navigating the dungeons. I haven't seen much yet in the main world, but in the dream world, I've seen Luigi bond to trees and tornadoes. I know, it doesn't make sense, but nothing in Mario and Luigi games ever do. Anyway, when you have Luigi bond to an object in the dream world, you intereact with his sleeping self on the touch screen. So, you need to reach a higher platform. Stretch Luigi's mustache and it will extend the limb of a Luigi-possessed tree and shoot Mario up like a slingshot. If something is in the background out of reach, have Luigi possess a tornado and then tickle dreaming Luigi's nose to make him sneeze and blow the object in closer. I really do enjoy these dream states.
I also wanted to mention that dungeons now have their own sets of challenges. You might need to dodge 10 consecutive attacks, or make 10 perfect hits in a row, or just survive a battle without taking any damage. If you meet these challenges, you're awarded points and after accumulating enough, you'll be awarded gear. So far, I haven't really won anything amazing, but it's still nice to be rewarded for staying on top of your game.
I'm still not sure how I feel about the graphics, though. I mean, it is a visually appealing game with excellent art direction and charm oozing out of every orafice, but the characters seem to be nothing but sprites. It's like they took characters from the GBA game and crammed them into a 3DS game. I know it's a style decision, but for me it makes the game look a bit more dated than it should. That still doesn't keep from enjoying the game not one bit, especially when the Bros. break out into speaking their Italian gibberish.
If you enjoyed the previous Mario and Luigi games, you really should check this one out.