(sorry haven't blogged in a while finals but oh snap Destructoid has a new writing tool-base definitely a lot easier to write...although I didn't use it for this one lol)
We all know I love Mario & Luigi Superstar Saga as it is probably the best game for the GBA and Mario's best RPG game (sorry Paper Mario 64). The game is funny, charming, fun, lengthy, has great tunes, addicting, and has some hidden fun features. The Mario & Luigi series has spanned two sequels, Partners in Time and Bowser's Inside Story, and a third [Dream Team] coming, this July-August depending on where you live (for me August, which is turning into RPG month with Tales of Xillia launching the week before).
Now, just because Superstar Saga was great, doesn't mean the DS successors were, especially that of Partners in Time. What was lost in the DS sequels was mainly the appeal and charm that made me fall in love with the game. Gone were the Bros Attacks, in which if you excited them enough and you had a quick eye, you can actually do secret chain/infinite combo attacks. In replacement were Bros Items, while a good idea, didn't have the same special feeling of using your BP (bros points) to execute an attack; buying 99 of a special attack makes it feel a normal attack or just an item.
Partners in Time and Bowser's Inside Story got rid of the exploration and platform areas. While Bowser's Inside Story was a bit truer to SS, it still felt quite shallow compared to Superstar Saga. Take for example playing as Mario and Luigi, yes you still fight and do some Bro Combinations in the main world, but you were basically a pit-stop leeway for Bowser, as he explored new areas and would have a "inside job/problem" the plumber's would fix.
What am I hoping for in this new 3DS continuation of the series? Not much, but from what I've seen in the trailer it looks fantastic. From the exploration aspect of having an over-world and a dream world that both Mario and Luigi can explore, with the option of using Luigi in different ways in the Dream World (like manipulating objects or the Mass-Luigi Ball from the trailer) shows that the game is going back to its unique way of adventuring. In addition, while combat wasn't heavily shown in the trailer, one has to wonder if they brought back Bros Points, as it appears that Bros Items are back in a new back-shot camera angle.
I wonder if Bowser will be making an appearance (he has in all the M&L games) and how will he be used? I would like to see him back in a villain role with some-what of a good guy for a bit cameo during the game. Bowser is an important part to the Mario and Luigi series, being the role of a bad-guy but at the same time someone of a comedic-relief like Luigi in some scenarios. Thinking about Bowser, also made me wonder if they will add RPG-like ideas of sidequests or if there will be mini-games like the arcade of that in SuperStar Saga. Last but not least, I would love if the fire-thunder element of Mario and Luigi makes a return, only because that idea of the game giving Mario and Luigi elemental powers was actually very cool (and I loved to make Luigi say Thunder all the time).
Other than that I just want the game to be fun like the original. The original brought a bit of challenge if you didn't know where to go and made RPG's a fun interactive game, like a better Super Mario RPG.