"Here we go again" is rarely a phrase belted out with genuine excitement, but when it comes to the Mario & Luigi RPG series, most of us bellow it loud and proud from the rooftops. AlphaDream's quirky platformer/role-playing hybrids have long been the antidote to Nintendo's iterative flagship titles, poking fun at established conventions with merry abandon and utterly enthralling us over the course of several days' worth of solid play. Mario & Luigi: Dream Team Bros isn't the most anarchic and inventive game in the franchise, not by a long shot, but it's still a worthwhile use of fifty-plus hours.
Yes, you read that correctly. Sorry it took so long.
This time around, Mario and Luigi find themselves escorting Princess Peach's entourage to Pi'illo Island, a colourful and surreal new locale populated by anthropomorphic coin blocks and a malevolent evil force slumbering just under the surface. Once this new foe absconds with the Princess, surprising precisely no-one at all, the dynamic duo are thrown into an epic adventure to get her back, save the world and revel in the vibrant silliness of it all. Though the storyline is oddly conservative and takes less creative risks compared to Bowser's Inside Story, as evidenced by the contractually-obliged appearance of the spiky-shelled nemesis who simply goes through the motions with little verve and gusto, it works well as a vehicle for some witty and pithy dialogue that delivers plenty of sly smirks and laugh-out-loud moments.
However, Luigi just can't stay awake for the duration - perhaps exhausted from his exertions in New Super Luigi U - and his narcolepsy adds an interesting new twist to the formula.
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Mario and Luigi find themselves getting shrunk down to a minuscule size before being cast into Bowser's stomach, where you can take part in mini games as well as making your way through the main story. There are also sections of the game where you'll get to stomp around as Bowser, which can be pretty entertaining. This is a great one to add to your collection because it's got a lot going for it, including a humorous script, colourful environments, and some crafty puzzles to solve. Currys and PC World are parting with copies of the game for £19.99, which is almost £2 cheaper than the next best offer coming in from Game Gears.