After a long hiatus, there are suddenly a handful of memorable, worthwhile titles for the Nintendo DS:
Bowser's Inside Story adds additional strange wrinkles to an already trippy Mario universe: the game follows Mario's giant fire-breathing nemesis Bowser, who has inexplicably grown huge and sucked people into his gut, Mario and Luigi included. The upper screen follows Bowser while the lower screen focuses on the Mario brothers, who find themselves navigating Bowser's digestive tract in a series of side-scrolling levels. It sounds like a game best enjoyed on hallucinogens, but the formula adds up to a hybrid action/adventure with many hours of gameplay. It's also commendable because Inside Story uses nearly every button the DS has to offer, and does so cleverly. Like its predecessor, Partners in Time, character attacks and special moves are assigned to specific buttons on the Nintendo pad, split between A/B for Mario and Luigi and X/Y for Bowser.
The side scrolling levels are no
Nintendo seems to shy away from giving its biggest-ticket games sequels on the same platform. While some exceptions have been made, such as the upcoming
In short: Bowser's Inside Story is the type of Nintendo game we've been waiting for since 2007. Don't be put off by the title.
Bowser's Inside Story may just fill the Super Mario Bros. platforming void that has inflicted the Nintendo DS over the past year. Sure, it's not as polished as an in-house Mario game, but there are still plenty of familiar levels and gameplay elements that are likely to pacify fans of the classic side-scrolling genre.
We do need to note, however, that this title isn't strictly a platform action game. At its core, Bowser's Inside Story is a role-playing game, but it doesn't always necessarily play like one. You'll need to casually pay attention to some numbers and stats, but like a lot of friendlier role-playing games, most upgrades and level-ups are done for you.
Mario and Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story is another notable gem among a seemingly endless drought of quality titles for the Nintendo portable. It's definitely a must-have for fans of the previous Mario and Luigi RPG title, and Inside Story is even more accessible and satisfying than its predecessor.