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Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga - Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga

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Re: Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga - Luigi's Adventure

Postby Rockythechao » 5 months ago

post wip, accidentally posted early
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Re: Mario & Luigi Superstar Saga

Postby Mandew » 5 months ago

CrappyBlueLuigi wrote:
KobaBeach wrote: Prefacing this with a big bold, this is merely my opinion and I do not mean to dismiss anyone else's opinion or attack anyone with this post disclaimer. I don't want to cause another incident.

Rockythechao wrote: I really wish more RPGs kept their stat curves low, not only is it more accessible but it gives things like status effects and buffs that much more strategic weight.
The low damage rates of Paper Mario (and from what I can tell, later Mario games) made me feel like my attacks didn't do much actually, seeing numbers go up is a big part of what makes JRPGs fun and cathartic to me.

Like equipping a new, powerful weapon or buffing up and all it does is make you do 5 damage instead of 3 to a boss (provided you do the timed hit nonsense in the former) feels pretty pathetic compared to doing 1000+ damage compared to ~650 as been going on with my FFIV playthrough.
(gonna try to make it clear i'm not contesting your opinion here, either, i just like this topic and disagree with you)

this is a really interesting subject to me as someone interested in game design, because for me, the low numbers game in the paper mario games makes any jump in numbers really impactful. most rpgs have a level of power escalation and damage variance that makes the end numbers feel kinda meaningless. over the course of a boss fight, the difference between doing 1486-1523 damage a turn with this move and doing 1668-1749 damage with this other move is basically nil. maybe you save three or four turns approaching it the latter way, but if that costs extra resources, is it worth it? i dunno. is it? it's a question that really varies from scenario to scenario, but what i'm getting at is that it feels kinda nebulous.

because the paper mario games use such low, static numbers, it's very easy to tell when a strategy will be worthwhile in the long run, because the difference between doing 3 damage each turn and doing 5 damage each turn is massive and observably so. it puts into perspective what the numbers actually mean, because 8 damage vs. 9 damage is always going to be proportionally bigger than 3100 damage vs. 3900 damage.

(the math, for anyone curious)

that's just what it means for me, anyway. what's also interesting here--and, amazingly, relevant to this topic--is how mario & luigi fares in this subject.

[light spoilers for how superstar saga does player progression]
superstar saga tries to be a middle-ground, starting with effectively the same 10 hp and 1-2 damage per attack that the paper mario games start with but eventually moving to [LINK TO A VIDEO OF THE FINAL BOSS, DO NOT CLICK IF YOU WANT TO AVOID BIGGER SPOILERS] a game where you can reasonably have 100 hp at endgame and do 60+ damage with basic attacks. i don't really have any qualitative statements to make on how superstar saga handles numbers, it's just interesting to contrast.there aren't many rpgs like it in this regard.
I find this is a very interesting topic that translates directly from core game design principles, and thusly I shall pitch in my opinion as well.

Both high numbers and low numbers have their purpose. As you have stated, low numbers have a much more pronounced strategic language to them -- 5 is a lot more than 3, and you can see it at a glance, forever and always. By comparison, say, 4000 vs 2400 doesn't have quite the same optimal clarity and ease for calculations. Higher numbers have a different purpose, and it is to allow for power to increment in the background. It is more fit for slow burns in stat growths, for RPGs that emphasize the journey and growth of "your" characters.
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Re: Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga - Luigi's Adventure

Postby xfix » 5 months ago

xnamkcor wrote:
Blivsey wrote:
xnamkcor wrote: Any word about that "GameBoy Player" title card? Is that an emulation thing?
This game had functions exclusive to the GameCube's GameBoy Player. The title card is there to tell the player "hey buy our thing it has special features with this game!"

Like most games with GBP features, most of the "support" is controller rumble.

Aside from simple rumble during battle, rumble also goes off when you walk over a buried object.

Any GBA emulator support? Or would a certain someone need to emulate a GameCube to get those features?
mGBA supports rumble when in Game Boy Player mode.

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Re: Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga - Super Mario Infinity: Mystery of the Magic Wand

Postby KobaBeach » 5 months ago

dear @raocow please play stargazers it's the only good jrpg ever made

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Re: Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga - Super Mario Infinity: Mystery of the Magic Wand

Postby Ashan » 5 months ago

I always assumed the super weeb RPGs used giant numbers like 4389 for damage because it's like "look how powerful you become in this game! You see those other games where they're dealing 100 damage per hit? Peanuts! In our game the characters are doing thousands of damage!"

i.e. cranking it up to 11
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Re: Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga - Super Mario Infinity: Mystery of the Magic Wand

Postby KobaBeach » 5 months ago

holy shit raocow namedropped invader zim 🎉🎉🎉🎉

Ashan wrote: I always assumed the super weeb RPGs used giant numbers like 4389 for damage because it's like "look how powerful you become in this game! You see those other games where they're dealing 100 damage per hit? Peanuts! In our game the characters are doing thousands of damage!"
why do all of your posts sound so cynical and jaded now
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Re: Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga - Super Mario Infinity: Mystery of the Magic Wand

Postby FPzero » 5 months ago

I suppose if you're having trouble with button expectations you could always change things around in the emulator. Like, swap the positions of A and B and swap Start and Select. See if that helps you any?

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Re: Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga - Super Mario Infinity: Mystery of the Magic Wand

Postby Zach808 » 5 months ago

Welp, we don't have to worry about him only levelling HP, at least. That just destroyed me as a kid. :D

Liking this LP so far. This game seems to be giving raocow plenty to work with in terms of commentary, which I kinda figured it would.

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Re: Mario & Luigi Superstar Saga

Postby 10204307 » 5 months ago

CrappyBlueLuigi wrote: this is a really interesting subject to me as someone interested in game design, because for me, the low numbers game in the paper mario games makes any jump in numbers really impactful. most rpgs have a level of power escalation and damage variance that makes the end numbers feel kinda meaningless. over the course of a boss fight, the difference between doing 1486-1523 damage a turn with this move and doing 1668-1749 damage with this other move is basically nil. maybe you save three or four turns approaching it the latter way, but if that costs extra resources, is it worth it? i dunno. is it? it's a question that really varies from scenario to scenario, but what i'm getting at is that it feels kinda nebulous.

because the paper mario games use such low, static numbers, it's very easy to tell when a strategy will be worthwhile in the long run, because the difference between doing 3 damage each turn and doing 5 damage each turn is massive and observably so. it puts into perspective what the numbers actually mean, because 8 damage vs. 9 damage is always going to be proportionally bigger than 3100 damage vs. 3900 damage.
I totally agree with all of this. Personally, I find games with large numbers really hard to wrap my mind around, and after a certain point it becomes hard to really get into the strategic element of the game due to that extra level of obfuscation.

It applies to non-RPGs as well. I think Hyper Light Drifter is a really good example of this. You've got five HP, and all attacks either do one or two damage. That's it. It's a really simple system, and that level of cohesion and straightforwardness is vital for a game that demands a lot of skill on the player's part, as well as making it feel very satisfying to play as well. Getting hit by a 2-damage attack in Hyper Light Drifter always feels like a big hit, because if you take three of those, you die- and it's entirely possible that you've already gotten hit at least once by a 1-damage attack before! The math is so simple that at any time you can look at your health and instantly assess how many hits you can take before dying. Furthermore,

it makes something like the clothes that give you one extra HP very valuable, and easy to understand the value of. You get one extra small hit, and if you do take that hit, you can still take two big hits after that without dying, unlike before where you'd only be able to take one. And the game also keeps things simple by making that the clothes' only function. It doesn't ask you to choose between the Clothes of +1270 Health and the clothes of +1025 Health But Also +25% Heat Resistance.


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Re: Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga - Luigi's Adventure

Postby Blivsey » 5 months ago

It's really easy to try and jump into an enemy only to walk the back guy into it instead. Almost as easy as it is to just have them both jump and avoid the trouble.

Also, it's been echoed, but the A button is up and to the right of the B button. Hence Mario being up and to the right of Luigi in battle! If you wanna remap for the future, that's the way to go.
xfix wrote:
xnamkcor wrote: Any GBA emulator support? Or would a certain someone need to emulate a GameCube to get those features?
mGBA supports rumble when in Game Boy Player mode.
I mean, yeah, but... is it really worth it for such nothing
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Re: Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga - Super Mario Infinity: Mystery of the Magic Wand

Postby Rockythechao » 5 months ago

Blargh, why is there a keyboard shortcut to submit posts. Could a mod please just delete my earlier "wip post" post?

Also I'm not gonna address other posts made since KobaBeach's and CrappyBlueLuigi's because I've spent enough time typing this up already to rewrite at this point, so apologies if I'm retreading any ground here! I am interested in hearing other folks' thoughts on the subject though so I'll be sure to read those posts after I submit this one.

That's completely fair Koba, there certainly is a sense of tangible scale and growth that you're sacrificing when designing around lower stat thresholds. With that said, the appeal of higher thresholds does wear off for some players and when it no longer has that thrill they're usually left with the "meaningless numbers" problem Crep mentioned. Really, they did a great job of clarifying what I was getting at initially.

As for the

weakness system

stuff,
while Mario series' "slapstick" attacks are mainly cosmetic changes to the same basic concepts, they have better affordances than more abstract elemental theming (aside from electricity > water, water > fire, etc). I also like the inherent variety due to that physicality -- Mario, Luigi, Bowser, the partner characters, etc. moving around, jumping, swinging a hammer, throwing an object, etc. whereas elemental magic lends itself to flashier effects but more static characters, making battles feel more passive, detached, etc. As for the whimsical nature of it, like with bigger numbers I've personally grown a bit numb to that, probably because so many RPGs do it and they're usually unimaginitive about it; like, your usual earth magic is just rocks, bigger rocks, and earthquake.

Now, there are a lot of good examples of more traditional RPGs playing around with that stuff -- Golden Sun's multi-element class psynergy, djinni, and summons; Final Fantasy's blue magic; and from what I remember of DQ7 and 9 they mixed the usual elemental magic with unique weapon-based attacks and other actions (haven't gotten far enough in any other DQs to know whether that's a series staple). And then there's Pokemon, which has lot of variety in its attacks as well but partly by virtue of having dozens of types, some of which overlap conceptually and could really just be combined into a single element in another game (rock/ground/steel, water/ice, ghost/dark).

To be clear, the above is mainly about the presentation. Aside from the stuff about intuitive weaknesses, which is coming from a more design-oriented mindset, it's all a matter of preferences and your preference for the classic fantasy stuff is just as valid as my desire to see more unorthodox elements and lots of movement.

But yeah, no matter how you dress them up, an element system needs to matter mechanically. I haven't played either RnH or FFX myself, but I do like it when equipment comes with interesting tradeoffs so I'll have to check the former out. And from your descripton of the latter and a quick wiki check it sounds like it flirted with the idea of physical RPS but didn't really commit to it. Honestly, from my experience with the FF series (I, III, VI, VII, and XII) it has a habit of using secondary weaknesses as one-off gimmicks for a handful of enemies at most, with the exception of healing magic harming undead (when the game has enough different undead baddies, anyway).

When I said I want more RPGs to build their battle systems around "intuitive physical interactions" like the Mario & Luigi and Paper Mario games, more so than the cosmetic aspect I meant that I'd like to see more RPGs use their element systems in similar ways mechanically:
- no one-size-fits-all non-elemental standard attack, but rather a handful of elemental standard attacks whose mechanical implications are primarily something besides damage output
- the magic equivalent being more modified versions of the standard attacks balanced around more interesting tradeoffs and effects than "more power for more MP", different execution, and interesting effects, sometimes even interplay with the environment

Even that's just a preference, though. A minimalist approach exploring limited verbs may be more approachable to newcomers of the genre than the bigger movesets and in-depth resource management of more traditional RPG gameplay, but if I've had one takeaway from this last week it's that not every game necessarily needs to be approachably simple/easy as long as the target audience is crystal clear and there's no ambiguity that the complexity/difficulty is deliberate appeal to a niche rather than a failure to accommodate a broader player base.

I am still a proponent of accessibility options and disability-conscious design, but I do think there's a point where arguing about challenge and complexity stops being a matter of arrogant gatekeeping and starts getting into "why aren't you putting over-the-top violence and gore in this cute happy feelgood game" territory and I hope someday everyone can agree on where to draw that line, or at the very least be mindful of that dichotomy
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Re: Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga - Super Mario Infinity: Mystery of the Magic Wand

Postby Arctangent » 5 months ago

honestly @ elemental systems, my favorite way to add meat to them ( in game concepts i never get finished ) is to have one or two elements just be mostly basic, resource-efficient damage spells while the rest have additional quirks to add more depth to picking them, while subsequently making certain tactics better or worse against certain enemies

i.e. from my latest attempt at an rpg:
  • fire and earth are the basic damage ones, with earth spells having the extra gimmick of dealing physical damage that still scales with magic for allowing magic builds to not get hard countered by magic-resistant monsters
  • water is associated with healing, with water spells that heal the user based on the damage dealt and ice spells that inflict a status that amplifies further water damage and stops healing
  • storm is high-variance, with wind spells that hit multiple times at low accuracy ( though subsequently this reduces variance against magic evasive foes since they can't just dodge a single damage instance ) and single-target-only lightning spells that have a chance to just flat-out remove a turn or two from the target
  • light is based around controlling enemies, with purifying spells that dispel buffs and deal increased damage if the enemy is buffed and binding spells that reduce enemy speed and luck ( which actually has a significant impact on how they can avoid and inflict status )
  • dark is based around % hp, with spells that deal damage based on current, missing, or maximum hp, or just flat-out do absurd damage if an enemy is below an hp threshold
granted this is an rpg concept where your character can acquire a lot of battle skills and is mostly just limited by which they take into battle, which can be customized on the fly out of battle, so balancing and experimenting with the strategical and tactical applications of the skills is a core part of the gameplay. if you were to do something like pokemon where hitting elemental weaknesses and avoiding resistances is a core part of the gameplay and actually shifting a battler's capabilities isn't as simple as navigating the pause menu, then every element kinda needs to have endgame-viable skills that are mostly just for dealing damage

elsewise you end up with, uh, gen 1 pokemon's battle system. plus you need to make sure battlers can actually obtain those skills, or else you end up with ... gen 2 and 3 pokemon's battle system

it's kinda incredible, thinking back to it, how much of pokemon's power creep was just composed of giving more pokemon the ability to take advantage of a fundamental part of its battle mechanics, huh

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Re: Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga - Super Mario Infinity: Mystery of the Magic Wand

Postby Grounder » 5 months ago

mario and luigi should have died before impact

immersion RUINED
Why don't you eat me?

I am perfectly tasty...

AND I'LL STEAL YOUR SOUL! :twisted:

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Re: Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga - Super Mario Infinity: Mystery of the Magic Wand

Postby Piesonscreations » 5 months ago

At least no RPGs follow Tennis' scoring rules.
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Re: Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga - Super Mario Infinity: Mystery of the Magic Wand

Postby Ashan » 5 months ago

I can't believe you actually followed the instructions and didn't mess around in the passport photo. Just reset this whole LP, you've ruined it!

I really feel like the art style in this game is another thing that was lost later in the series. It's most noticeable with Bowser who had a pretty fun and unique design in this game, and then later they just made him look like how Bowser looks in every other series. Even in the remake of this on 3DS, he just looks like modern Bowser, which is disappointing cause I thought the silly fatso Bowser design fits better for how he's kind of a joke in this game. Superstar Saga just has so much character that's really unique to it, and I wish Nintendo would do something like this again. Who knows, they took some risks with Odyssey so maybe we'll see them take another attempt at something more out there when this series makes its way onto Switch.
KobaBeach wrote:
Ashan wrote: I always assumed the super weeb RPGs used giant numbers like 4389 for damage because it's like "look how powerful you become in this game! You see those other games where they're dealing 100 damage per hit? Peanuts! In our game the characters are doing thousands of damage!"
why do all of your posts sound so cynical and jaded now
Because you're reading them as cynical and jaded
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Re: Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga - Super Mario Infinity: Mystery of the Magic Wand

Postby ano0maly » 5 months ago

Zach808 wrote: Welp, we don't have to worry about him only levelling HP, at least. That just destroyed me as a kid. :D
I'm glad we got past that little issue. However, there's another thing with leveling up that I found to be not balanced well when I played the game:
When you level up, you gain increases in your stats and you also get a roulette that gives bonus increases to one stat you select. Now, as far as I know, if you don't keep your stats distributed evenly, the cap of your roulette bonus decreases. So if you want maximum potential benefit from leveling up, you would want to keep your stats balanced.

Related to this, a bit later there's the Starbeans Cafe that sells drinks to boost your stats; you purchase these drinks with beans. The problem is that the different types of beans will not be collected at the same rate. Green Woo Beans are given in abundance through battles and yellow Hee Beans can be stockpiled as needed from minigames, but the other two are found in strictly limited quantities until quite late into the game. This puts a limit on how much you can buy of some of the drink types, and therefore how much you can raise certain stats through drinks. So if you spend all the available beans you have, you would end up with quite a bit more of some drink types than others, and therefore cause uneven stats if you drink them right away.
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Re: Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga - Super Mario Infinity: Mystery of the Magic Wand

Postby AweStriker » 5 months ago

ano0maly wrote:
Zach808 wrote: Welp, we don't have to worry about him only levelling HP, at least. That just destroyed me as a kid. :D
I'm glad we got past that little issue. However, there's another thing with leveling up that I found to be not balanced well when I played the game:
When you level up, you gain increases in your stats and you also get a roulette that gives bonus increases to one stat you select. Now, as far as I know, if you don't keep your stats distributed evenly, the cap of your roulette bonus decreases. So if you want maximum potential benefit from leveling up, you would want to keep your stats balanced.

Related to this, a bit later there's the Starbeans Cafe that sells drinks to boost your stats; you purchase these drinks with beans. The problem is that the different types of beans will not be collected at the same rate. Green Woo Beans are given in abundance through battles and yellow Hee Beans can be stockpiled as needed from minigames, but the other two are found in strictly limited quantities until quite late into the game. This puts a limit on how much you can buy of some of the drink types, and therefore how much you can raise certain stats through drinks. So if you spend all the available beans you have, you would end up with quite a bit more of some drink types than others, and therefore cause uneven stats if you drink them right away.
There's another consideration to stat ups, though...
Depending on how good your reflexes, pattern recognition, intuition, and/or willingness to reload are, Defense and HP are useless. After all, if you dodge every attack, you don't get hit so there's no damage taken for Defense to reduce or HP lost.

(And at that there's a point where you have no choice but to dodge or die.)

In that sense, just pouring everything into Attack and/or BP is the optimal strategy.

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Re: Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga - Super Mario Infinity: Mystery of the Magic Wand

Postby Sebby19 » 5 months ago

KobaBeach wrote: why do all of your posts sound so cynical and jaded now
It's okay, Ashan is from Saskatchewan. It's pretty boring there :P

I wanna give kudos to those talking about the advantages of the low damage numbers in Paper Mario. If only to throw in my two cents, it's definitely easier to wrap my head around it when you have to consider enemy defences. Paper Mario is definitely a 'baby's first RPG', but I played that for the first time when I was a grown adult, and loved it. I can only imagine how good the sequel will be if I obtain it.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________
As a response to how raocow feels about the Start and Select functions feel backwards, I agree on paper. Traditionally, Start=pause button, and Select=weird option button.

But on the GBA, the Start button is closer to the A and B buttons, hence why they made that desicion.
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Re: Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga - Super Mario Infinity: Mystery of the Magic Wand

Postby Sebby19 » 5 months ago

(accidently posted this in the Sonic thread)
I just want add that everyone who's surprised to see this game, you obviously have not looked at the COMING UP NEXT topic.

-Future games do not allow you to put Luigi in front, so savor this freedom while you can.
-As for an enemy hitting the Bro in the back, this often happened to me early on my1st time, since the stomp hitbox I feel is smaller than the enemy itself. I eventually learned to counteract this by just jumping with both Bros at once.

Stardust Fields reminds me of Star Hill, both in Super Mario RPG and Paper Mario.
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Re: Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga - Super Mario Infinity: Mystery of the Magic Wand

Postby Kleetus » 5 months ago

Ashan wrote: I really feel like the art style in this game is another thing that was lost later in the series. It's most noticeable with Bowser who had a pretty fun and unique design in this game, and then later they just made him look like how Bowser looks in every other series.
Looking back, Bowser in game really only started strongly resemble his artwork beginning with Sunshine, and Superstar Sage was only released a year later.
Bowser's artwork for this game always struck me as a bit wonky.
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I know I sound like an old man when I say this but I prefer the flat, thick outline look of the older M&L games compared to the newer ones.

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Re: Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga - Super Mario Infinity: Mystery of the Magic Wand

Postby Kleetus » 5 months ago

One of the changes the remake makes to the game through the Bowser's Minions story is... retcons!
The first goomba you fight is revealed to be Captain Goomba, the protagonist of the side mode.
Private Goomp, a reoccurring character in the later M&L games is also shown to be part of the airship's crew.
Bowser's minions consist of other races in the remake other than just koopas and goombas.

The remake shows that the koopalings were present on the airship


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Re: Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga - Super Mario Infinity: Mystery of the Magic Wand

Postby Implo » 5 months ago

Grounder wrote: mario and luigi should have died before impact

immersion RUINED
Um... They had 1up Mushrooms, remember?

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Re: Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga - Super Mario Infinity: Mystery of the Magic Wand

Postby Zummorr » 5 months ago

Ashan wrote: I always assumed the super weeb RPGs used giant numbers like 4389 for damage because it's like "look how powerful you become in this game! You see those other games where they're dealing 100 damage per hit? Peanuts! In our game the characters are doing thousands of damage!"
Meanwhile Blizzard, Western Company, has one of the few cases in modern gaming where boss hp became so high that it approached the 32-bit limit. Bosses like Immerseus and Garrosh in the Mist of Pandaria expansion get around this limit by restoring their hp over the course of the fight.

The game has had numerous "stat squishes" where the game truncates all the numbers by a factor of 100-1000 or even more, in an effort to combat feelings of numbers feeling meaninglessly high.

Diablo 3 and Path of Exile are similarly absurd with the big numbers.

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Re: Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga - Super Mario Infinity: Mystery of the Magic Wand

Postby Sebby19 » 5 months ago

I think a friend in school showed me this. Are they the ones who made a boss where every square in it's Life Meter represented 1 million HP?
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Re: Mario & Mario: Superstar Saga - Super Mario Infinity: Mystery of the Magic Mario

Postby Awoo » 5 months ago

All this talk about ridiculous numbers makes me want to play Disgaea again

I can't even imagine raocow playing something like that, though. Maybe just for the storyline? Even then Etna's basically like Luste Teuber but for like 90% of the game and not just like one level.


I suppose if he ever does a "let's watch cartoons together" a-la Megaman 8/X4, we could watch the awful anime adaptation


:ehh:

Probably best to just stick with this for now ever
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