Review: Mario & Luigi: Dream Team Bros.

It’s not really safe for Peach to stay in the Mushroom Kingdom anymore, or go on holiday, or make royal visits. In fact, it’s probably best she be locked up for all eternity or at least given some more basic fighting training so she can use some of her Super Smash Bros. moves to evade being abducted. Having Toadsworth as your escort simply isn’t deterring anyone anymore.

Mario and Luigi: Dream Team Bros. starts with Peach on a visit to Pi’illo Island when she is abducted and whisked away into the dream world by Antasma who, like every other antagonist in the series, has a severe fondness for the colour purple. In order to find out more about Antasma and how to advance in their routine of rescuing Peach, Mario must enter the dream world to awake the old folk of Pi’illo Island who have been imprisoned in stone pillows. Using Luigi’s talent for falling asleep instantly, Mario leaps into his dreams when he rests his head on the stone pillow. This is where the new gameplay elements of Dream Team Bros. come into play.

The dream world is shown using a 2D-sidescrolling angle, in contrast to the top down approach used in the real world, with lots of platforms to run and jump across. The action here is kept fresh by having Luigi, known in the dream world as Dreamy Luigi, interact with various elements in the dream world which can be further manipulated by abusing a sleeping Luigi shown on the touch screen. They are introduced incrementally, but are preceded by a rather slow tutorial. At times you may find yourself thankful that you only have to use an ability you’ve already learned.

Mario and Luigi Dream Team Bros

Originally, it felt as if the focus of Mario and Luigi: Dream Team Bros. would be in the dream world. However, ventures to save a member of the Pi’illo species rarely exceed five minutes. In battles, Dreamy Luigi adds his power to yours, leading to some tasty Mario attacks where one jump attack by Mario is followed by a squad of “Luiginoids” dropping down after. Luiginary attacks replace Bros. attacks, which has Mario assisted again by a horde of Luiginoids coming together to make a hard hitting attack force. Taking a leaf from Bowsers’ Inside Story, where Bowser got so stimulated he grew to immense size, Luigi’s love for his brother in times of crisis has Dreamy Luigi grow to large proportion, requiring you to rotate the 3DS on its side so that it feels more like a book.

Since most of the real world action involves mainly travelling between points of entry to the dream world, it is unclear where the focus is in Mario and Luigi: Dream Team Bros., but it strangely works. The simplicity of the dream world is too basic to stand alone and the real world travelling serves as filler with little enemies along the way. Put it all together with the storyline and it gels rather nicely. However, you’ll soon notice that each objective in an area is basically a dungeon in the open world, which makes a welcome change from having to visit a themed castle/temple.

Mario and Luigi: Dream Team Bros. features a perfectly written script that references previous titles in the series and features both new and returning characters.  The Massif Bros. are a hilarious addition to the series due to the fact that they use beef as a metaphor for strength, challenging the Mario Bros. to a "Beef Off" to prove they are not cutlets and utter lines such as “Beef, Beefier, BEEFIEST! ULTRABEEF ASCENT!!” to show their strength. Fans of the Mario and Luigi series will be pleased to hear that returnees include: the Beanish from the Beanbean Kingdom, Kylie Koopa from Partners in Time and Broque Monsieur (From Bowser’s Inside Story) and his race the Brocks. With the exception of the tutorials, it is hard to get tired of the writing within Dream Team Bros..

Battles in Dream Team Bros. follow the standard RPG 'Get EXP and level up' method, as well as having the option to equip gear to improve your stats. Badges can be bought that, when joined together, produce different effects. This element helps to set Dream Team Bros. apart from other RPG battle systems, providing a refreshing change from remembering many enemies’ weaknesses as well as resistance and attack combinations. Within battles you have a few choices to attack: jump on them, smack them with a hammer, team up with a Bros. attack or a Luiginary attack if you’re in the dream world.

Mario and Luigi Dream Team BrosTaking part in battles within Dream Team Bros. require constant attention, which is uncommon in most RPG games. Instead of just picking the right attack and button-pressing until it’s your turn again, you really have to be on the ball. Each enemy has a certain attack pattern and you have to keep your wits about you if you want to evade the attack aimed at the targeted Bro. Once you’ve learned to adapt, there is a heavy possibility of winning a battle without having taken a single hit, which is an immensely satisfying feeling.

I’m a big fan of the Mario and Luigi series as they keep things simple without becoming stagnant. Dream Team Bros. takes elements from its predecessors, but at times it can feel like they’re trying too hard to fit too much in. However, it doesn’t push itself to the point of being too overbearing. RPGs like this don’t come around often sadly, but it is rejuvenating that when one does and you know it’s going to be good.  Mario and Luigi: Dream Team Bros. is certainly one of those titles.

N-Europe Final Verdict

Dream Team Bros. features a strong script and two distinct gameplay styles. While neither may hold up too well in isolation, together they make a great game that rightfully sits alongside previous titles in the series.

  • Gameplay4
  • Playability4
  • Visuals4
  • Audio4
  • Lifespan4
Final Score



The touch screen gets used for more than just a map!
Lively soundtrack
Great writing
Simple controls


Too frequent lengthy tutorials
Can feel too easy
“More of the same” storyline

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