Imagine it’s 2010. Also imagine that it’s Christmas Day. Also ALSO imagine you’re a 8 year old boy who only ever wanted a Nintendo DS. Now, imagine the joy he felt when he opened that colorful box of Christmas spirit and saw that iconic, clamshell system. That 5 year old boy was me, and the first game I played on that system was Mario and Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story.
The Mario and Luigi series of games is quite the peculiar one. The first entry in the series, Superstar Saga, released in 2003 for the Game Boy Advance. They were developed by Alpha Dream, who only made 2 games prior. This game also stems from the other Mario RPGs that were initially made by SquareSoft. One similar gameplay trait between all of the Mario RPGs, including Mario and Luigi, is that the gameplay revolves around pressing the right buttons at the right time. What makes Mario and Luigi unique is how it handles the buttons. Mario’s actions are all used with the A button, while Luigi uses the B button. The games also have a unique artstyle and sense of humor. A multitude of characters that stem from this series are fan favorites, especially the hilarious Lord Fawful.
This series of games was what shaped my childhood. I would play Bowser’s Inside Story constantly, and I would watch walkthroughs of the other games. Unfortunately, the developers of the series, Alpha Dream, went bankrupt recently, and the future of the series is uncertain, but I do hope these find a way to thrive for years to come.