Released back in 2009 Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story is regarded as one of the best games in the popular Mario & Luigi RPG franchise. After remaking Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga Nintendo decided to give the same treatment to Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story, adding new content, updated visuals, and an easier experience. Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story + Bowser Jr.’s Journey 3DS is a charming adventure full of memorable and whimsical moments that no 3DS owner should miss out on.

Work Together, Indirectly

This is a HD remaster of the original game, with slight changes to the gameplay. The story remains largely unchanged with a disease called “The Blorbs” infecting the populist, causing those infected to balloon up and roll uncontrollably. Bowser is tricked into eating a “Vacuum Shroom” while the calamity is happening, causing the Koopa King to suck everyone important into his belly and allowing outside powers to take control of everything. What follows is Bowser, Mario, and Luigi indirectly joining forces to take back control of their kingdoms.

The visual improvements are incredible. Those who played the original will see that the developers at AlphaDream have taken their time to update the sprites, animations, and fluidity of the game. Added, is a new simultaneous jump button for both Mario and Luigi that wasn’t present in the original game.

Return of Dynamic Combat

One of the most popular features within the Mario and Luigi RPG series is the dynamic combat. Players will have to engage in turn-based combat that relays heavily on timed and accurate inputs to maximize damage. In addition, players will have to use the same timed mechanics to defend themselves from attacks and counterattack. Since enemies can attack multiple times acting efficiently during defensive parts of battles becomes paramount to survival.

During specific battles, Bowser will need to grow large to fight larger opponents. This similar mechanic was found in Mario & Luigi: Dream Team and works much better here. In the original game, these battles are vexing since they required touch commands and weren’t always responsive. Thanks to the 3DS’ improved design inputs are much more accurate.

Platforming remains a tried and true mechanic here as well. While it doesn’t have the intricate challenges from Mario’s core series of games you’ll still need to performed timed jumps. Mario, Luigi, and Bowser also have unique abilities to bypass specific obstacles such as large gaps or burning down trees to expose new paths. Players who explore the world are rewarded with items that help increase their character’s statistics but optional content is lacking compared to other RPGs. Most of them being minigames that provide more items.

What brings exploration and combat together is the outstanding soundtrack. The combination of battle themes and overworld music still sounds as amazing as ever. This features shines during the musical minigames that use timed actions to produce beats that create a soundtrack to complement the actions being performed.

Bowser Jr. Returns

As the title states, Bowser Jr. is also a playable character here. Instead, of a turned-based combat system, Bowser Jr.’s campaign uses a tactical strategy system. Players actively dispense soldiers in a lineup to take down their opponents. It’s an interesting distraction that adds to the game’s story but doesn’t overshadow main adventure.

A True RPG Masterpiece

Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story + Bowser Jr.’s Journey 3DS maintains the same high-quality the original adventure had with updated visuals. Those who experienced the original game will have an easier time with this version since the challenge has been reduced but that’s a small complaint. The densely packed adventure is full of so many exciting and memorable moments that the issues become overshadowed. Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story + Bowser Jr.’s Journey 3DS rarely fumbles and showcases why this franchise is so beloved.

Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story + Bowser Jr.'s Journey 3DS Review
  • Great Active Combat
  • Excellent Musical Minigames
  • Fantastic Boss Battles
  • Not A lot of Optional Content
9Overall Score
Reader Rating: (2 Votes)

About The Author

Adam S
Sr.Staff Writer

Adam is a Senior Staff Writer for GAW with over 15 years of experience in writing and is completely obsessed with video games. He holds a BA from Brooklyn College and lives in NY.