Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga

Everly, Jackson, Gibb, Chuckle, Schumacher... the world is full of entertaining brothers. But when it comes to saving princesses from danger, only the Mario siblings are up to the task.

In Superstar Saga, Mario and Luigi embark on a mammoth quest within BeanBean Kingdom to recapture Princess Daisy's voice. This has been stolen, leaving the heiress to the throne unable to communicate verbally. She is, as you might imagine, a little tense.

So this is a game that doesn't take things very seriously. But that doesn't mean it isn't seriously good fun. It's also distinctly different. For a start, you control two characters simultaneously because Mario and Luigi follow each other everywhere, obeying your every command. Initially your moves are limited to simple jumping, although your repertoire soon grows to include hammer use and various special actions.

In an inspired design decision, moves have both an effect on the environment (for example, smashing rocks with hammers) as well as on the characters themselves. For instance, depending on who's in front (Mario and Luigi can be swapped around on the fly), being smashed by a hammer can either result in being pummelled underground to get underneath obstacles or unearth secret items, or being miniaturised in order to squeeze through the smallest of gaps. Special moves work in similar fashion, with often even more delightfully creative results.

Ultimately the essence of the game revolves around standard role-playing principles, with item and action acquisition, thorough environment exploration, and turn-based battles that are central to progress. But the system governing the two central protagonists ensures the experience feels a lot more immediate, a lot more like a platform game. When combined with Superstar Saga's comedy-filled, brightly-coloured world, only someone with a heart of stone would deny Mario and Luigi their deserved glory as one of the planet's most entertaining sibling double-acts.

Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga

Serious role-playing credentials underpin a charmingly imaginative and comical interpretation of the genre.