Video Game Review – Mario and Luigi: Superstar Saga (Gameboy Advance SP)

Mario and Luigi: Superstar Saga

Gameboy Advance SP

Mario and his brother Luigi are at it again, this time on Gameboy Advance SP, the widely popular handheld from Nintendo. And this isn’t one of Mario’s themed side projects either; it’s a full-fledged turtle-shell dodging, enemy squashing, coin collecting action adventure. Only this time there’s a twist, this game is an RPG. Nintendo has dabbled with this idea before with the release of Paper Mario on the famed Nintendo 64 and apparently was confident enough to give it another go. This time Mario will need all the help he can get, and who better then his trusty sidekick brother Luigi? So once again they go off to brave the elements of another adventure.


Mario and Luigi head into the unfamiliar world of the Beanbean Kingdom to battle the evil sorceress Cackletta. The witch has stolen Princess Peach’s voice, which is said to be the only one pure enough to awaken the all-mighty Beanstar, a sacred object that will give her the power to rule to world. Yes, Bowser is involved, but just how he is will surprise you. To resume his own evil plot, Bowser enlists the help of Mario and Luigi to battle the evil Cackletta and restore Princess Peach’s voice.


As Mario and Luigi quest through the Beanbean Kingdom, they must work together to travel, defeat their enemies and overcome obstacles. The player controls both characters at once, with one button controlling each character. When the brothers encounter an enemy on the map a special turn-based combat system is initiated. The combat system is easy and fun: Mario’s attacks are controlled with the A-button and Luigi’s with the B-button. Attacks range from the simple but effective “jump on enemy’s noggin” technique, to using a hammer to bonk enemies you wouldn’t generally want to jump on, like a spiky turtle for example. When battling a more difficult enemy and your jump attack just isn’t cutting it, Mario and Luigi can team together and perform a “Bros. Attack,” which deals higher damage to the enemy and is more difficult to perform. Although the control scheme may be a bit simple, timing and strategy become essential aspects to successfully defeat an enemy.


While the Gameboy Advance SP system doesn’t boast the best graphics you’ll ever see, Mario and Luigi: Superstar Saga certainly makes the most of what the system’s abilities. The colors are bright and incredibly sharp, easily rivaling just about any other game on the system. The cartoony animations and graphics are a great compliment to Superstar Saga’s quirky sense of humor. The sound is equally well done, as perfect renditions of old Mario sound bites are heard throughout their journey.

Fun Factor:

It’s rare to find a video game equally fun and entertaining. Mario and Luigi: Superstar Saga does just that. Some of the game’s witty dialogue is laugh-out-loud funny. Playing this game is a joy. The controls are simple enough to learn quickly and complex enough to keep player on their toes, and the obstacles are challenging and make players dig deep into their bags of tricks

3 reasons Mario and Luigi: Superstar Saga will make you change your college major to plumbing:

-Leveling up. It’s a blast to level up the characters, and raise the attribute points to add more punch to the ground pound.

-Perfecting the timing. The battle system is really addictive, and players will not be satisfied until they avoid each enemy attack and perform “Bros. Attack” for max damage.

-The hilarious characters and dialogue. It’s hard to play this game while around other people, because the occasional laughter will disturb everyone.

3 reasons Mario and Luigi: Superstar Saga will have you shaving your mustache immediately:

Actually, you’ll be holding on to that mustache for as long as your facial hair doesn’t fall out; the Mario and Luigi duo are just so cool.

Contact Chase Kobrin at