Dream Team has fun, exploration, and charm; but also tedium and some blandness.

User Rating: 7.5 | Mario & Luigi: Dream Team 3DS
There is a lot of love in the design of Dream Team -- it's a very solid entry in the Mario/Luigi RPG series. Everything looks great, there are tons of collectibles, gear to find, power-ups to play with, super attacks to master, coins to gather, humorous conversations to have, NPCs to meet, secrets to find, and battles to fight. The graphics are colorful and detailed, well animated, the 3D is well done, there's lots of visual variety. The music is classic and catchy. There's strategy to the combat, and lots of monsters to fight.

Yet, despite all of that, I tend to get bored playing. I don't really know why -- it's likely just a personal gameplay preference. I find the game to be pretty easy, which several other reviewers have also said. Some of the questing is necessary, and can get tedious -- you'll bounce between areas and the game forces you to talk to many/most of the townsfolk in the heavily populated game world. If you're a completist, and want to ensure your characters are buffed, the game will have you backtrack to old parts of the game a lot -- you'll learn a new exploration skill (e.g. how to jump higher, how to pound yourself a tiny mini-Mario, etc.) and then have to go back through everything you've already explored to hit the places you can now get to but couldn't before. Some players will love that aspect -- but as an obsessive-compulsive game completist, I find it to be a chore.

If you're new to this series, it's a very creative but ultimately pretty standard turn-based RPG with timing based attacks. You'll wander the game world, encounter monsters which then enters into turn-based mode. You can then execute different types of attacks which typically require some kind of timing-based action to maximize damage. Enemies strike similarly, and you have to learn their patterns and how to avoid taking damage by jumping/hammering/moving at the right time. In JRPG style most of your stats move up automatically, but there is some minor customization along the way. There's a also a lot of options for gear and buffs to make the gameplay more varied.

Overall, the game is extremely well done, but for me it can get a little tedious.