User Score
8.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 272 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 18 out of 272
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  1. SnoozerBear
    Dec 13, 2009
    9
    Review: Mario & Luigi: Bowser
  2. Jan 19, 2011
    9
    I saw the reviews of this game and I saw they were excellent. Then I bought the game myself. It says on the back of the case "Most Hilarious Mario RPG" and I was a little nervous. But AlphaDream have handled the humour brilliantly. Although Fawful's gags may take a while to get used to, you'll soon get the gag and tune in. The gameplay is really good and it's so damn addictive. TheI saw the reviews of this game and I saw they were excellent. Then I bought the game myself. It says on the back of the case "Most Hilarious Mario RPG" and I was a little nervous. But AlphaDream have handled the humour brilliantly. Although Fawful's gags may take a while to get used to, you'll soon get the gag and tune in. The gameplay is really good and it's so damn addictive. The graphics may make your eyes vomit a little, but it's still very cartoony and nice. The whole RPG experience feels great and it almost never gets boring. Well, except for the levels where you're Mario and Luigi where you have to scatter about the place looking for something and it does take ages. Not only that, the combat should've been better and it does get hard in a bad way. Aside from those flaws, it's still a very great game. Have a DS? Don't have the game? I mean, come on. What are you doing? Expand
  3. May 26, 2011
    10
    Easily the best RPG I ever played (go cry, Final Fantasy! Not saying that it isn't good) I ever played, and the only game with a talking bean for an antagonist (alright, Superstar Saga had Fawful, too). This RPG has laugh-out-loud moments, a great story, excellent controls, and one of the best and most beautiful final boss themes ever.
  4. totlmstr
    Oct 6, 2009
    9
    I just finished this game a few days ago, and this is such a hilarious game. The first two hours and the final three hours (with some odd stuff in between) are by far the best moments in the game. Luigi just makes incredible amounts of nonsense (for example, he slaps himself to get out of a dizzy state), and his actions alone just ramps it up to ten. However, almost everything in between I just finished this game a few days ago, and this is such a hilarious game. The first two hours and the final three hours (with some odd stuff in between) are by far the best moments in the game. Luigi just makes incredible amounts of nonsense (for example, he slaps himself to get out of a dizzy state), and his actions alone just ramps it up to ten. However, almost everything in between the intro and end is usually in this order: go someplace, solve puzzles (sometimes a bit literally), fight a boss who normally gets a funny intro, and press forward. In a nutshell, that's pretty much it to the game. Be prepared to get a bit bored. On the other hand, there's the minigames that are spot on on using both screens or normally using just one. Each minigame has simple controls and very fun gameplay. For example, in order to get Bowser alive for a giant boss fight, you need to shoot energy balls that come in two colors. It may seem a bit overused, but it's perfect for the situation. Expand
  5. DanialC
    Oct 7, 2009
    10
    A great, funny, and entertaining game. The specials feel awesome to pull off and each boss battle is a real treat.
  6. FrankR
    Oct 11, 2009
    10
    An almost perfect game in my opinion. The only bad thing is the pollen minigame.
  7. JamieJ.
    Oct 20, 2009
    10
    Wow. I'm a first-timer to RPG's like this, but... wow. Best DS game of the year? I think so. It's a real shame then that not many people are taking much notice of it and passing it on as shovelware. =(
  8. WillC
    Oct 22, 2009
    9
    Easily the most intentive Mario RPG since Paper Mario 2. The writing is witty and sharp. The graphics are charming. The combat is fun. The music is memorable and while its not reinventing the Mario & Luigi formula its still great fun.
  9. Ssseth
    Oct 22, 2009
    8
    Rock solid Mario RPG'ing. The game had a little bit of a been here, done that feeling but that didn't make it any less fun. Hopefully they introduce some new game play elements in the next Mario RPG.
  10. VincentD
    Oct 31, 2009
    8
    Overall, an amazing triumph in the Mario and Luigi series. The game has done an astounding job of keeping the series as fresh as possible without sacrificing quality. However, there are some things I have to harp on. The story is great at times, however I did not find it to be laugh out loud hilarious. It's very Sunday Morning Cartoon humor rather than funny, and often times, Overall, an amazing triumph in the Mario and Luigi series. The game has done an astounding job of keeping the series as fresh as possible without sacrificing quality. However, there are some things I have to harp on. The story is great at times, however I did not find it to be laugh out loud hilarious. It's very Sunday Morning Cartoon humor rather than funny, and often times, you're mood while playing effects how much you enjoy the actually story. Also I did find that the game was being pretty ridiculous at times for the purpose of adding length to the game. *Spoiler Alert Waiting an hour to let Bower's back heal was pointless and awkwardly placed towards the later end of the game. As for gameplay, the game achieves perfection. The special attacks in this game are ridiculously awesome to both execute and perform. I personally love the art and graphics in this game and appreciated all the little touches in the character and enemy animation. It's definitely a keeper and one of the best DS games of this year and one of the best RPGs. Expand
  11. AnthonyS
    Dec 15, 2009
    10
    This is a great RPG. I highly recommend it to fans of the series, newcomers alike and people who just like fun. Complete whit Mario & Luigi's fake Italian, a living French stereotype block, Navi who's in disguise as some star thing(lulz), only not as annoying, and many funny moments as well as being a blast to play, and I loved the touch screen controls. Best of all, YOU GET TO This is a great RPG. I highly recommend it to fans of the series, newcomers alike and people who just like fun. Complete whit Mario & Luigi's fake Italian, a living French stereotype block, Navi who's in disguise as some star thing(lulz), only not as annoying, and many funny moments as well as being a blast to play, and I loved the touch screen controls. Best of all, YOU GET TO PLAY AS EFFING BOWSER!!! Expand
  12. Jan 7, 2011
    10
    Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story is a great game for the DS. The fact that it is an RPG that allows to create Mario, Luigi, and Bowser the way you feel like it makes it amazing.
  13. Dec 28, 2012
    10
    I am delighted with this installment of Mario and Luigi as it is an adventure game with different modes, has variety in terms of actions that you can perform. You depend on several characters in order to continue the game and solve the various puzzles that proposes, with a story that does not get bored anyone regardless of age, making the main enemy of the great series of Mario cooperateI am delighted with this installment of Mario and Luigi as it is an adventure game with different modes, has variety in terms of actions that you can perform. You depend on several characters in order to continue the game and solve the various puzzles that proposes, with a story that does not get bored anyone regardless of age, making the main enemy of the great series of Mario cooperate with their greatest enemies without this knowledge. The fact that you can enter and leave the body of Bowser's something that I really liked to go out and explore with Mario and Luigi the outside world, you can access inaccecibles places to Bowser. One of the best games of all time Expand
  14. Feb 21, 2013
    10
    This game is what I would regard as "the ultimate Mario RPG". I'd recommend this to any gamer whether he/she played the Mario rpgs before, didn't play them or doesn't even know what a RPG is. It's that good. The villain in this game is Fawful, who may be the most memorable Mario villain ever with his engrish lines such as "A WINNER IS YOU" or "I HAVE CHORTLES!". Definitely do give this aThis game is what I would regard as "the ultimate Mario RPG". I'd recommend this to any gamer whether he/she played the Mario rpgs before, didn't play them or doesn't even know what a RPG is. It's that good. The villain in this game is Fawful, who may be the most memorable Mario villain ever with his engrish lines such as "A WINNER IS YOU" or "I HAVE CHORTLES!". Definitely do give this a try HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! Expand
  15. Mar 15, 2014
    9
    Mario and Luigi Bowser's Inside story is another Nintendo game done right. The combat system is accessible and fun. The gameplay is varied and the boss fights are great. This is also Nintendo's most humorous game.
  16. Jun 23, 2015
    10
    I played this game on my Nintendo DS, and I loved it: I love the story, the bosses, the attacks, the musics.
    I think that it is the best RPG game that I've ever played.
  17. Dec 27, 2015
    9
    Another Mario & Luigi game. Only difference? Bowser's playable so it'll change the entire gameplay. Mario and Luigi are back once more on their newest adventure. Stay off, Mario! Bowser's taking over this game for now!
  18. Aug 30, 2016
    10
    I am currently replaying this game for the second or third time, and this game is still AMAZING (I mean Partners in Time and Superstar Saga will always a place in our hearts). The plot is really strong, great idea of what might be inside Bowser and the changes to his body when he does something, and I like the idea of Bowser finally having the chance the take the spotlight as a playableI am currently replaying this game for the second or third time, and this game is still AMAZING (I mean Partners in Time and Superstar Saga will always a place in our hearts). The plot is really strong, great idea of what might be inside Bowser and the changes to his body when he does something, and I like the idea of Bowser finally having the chance the take the spotlight as a playable character. Just buy this game, what are you doing seating on your chair?1 Go buy the game!!! Expand
  19. Jul 17, 2017
    10
    When i first heard about Bowser Inside Story coming out...i believed that surely the villain would be Elder Princess Shroob or something related to Shroobs cause in the finale of Mario and Luigi 2 Elder Princess Shroob afraid of her death made a time hole and put in it Shroob Ufos...but no...in Mario and Luigi 3 Fawful makes his final come back thirsty for revenge and ruling and hungry forWhen i first heard about Bowser Inside Story coming out...i believed that surely the villain would be Elder Princess Shroob or something related to Shroobs cause in the finale of Mario and Luigi 2 Elder Princess Shroob afraid of her death made a time hole and put in it Shroob Ufos...but no...in Mario and Luigi 3 Fawful makes his final come back thirsty for revenge and ruling and hungry for the mustard of Bowser's doom!Its really amazing...probably the BEST one of the Five parts! Expand
  20. Jul 17, 2017
    8
    Bowser's Inside Story is the third game in the Mario&Luigi series of RPG games. This time around, you can play as Bowser. He comes with his own set of moves, and adds a new type of gameplay experience. The cartoonish art style matches the goofy humor of the game, and allows for a lot of varying colors to decorate the different levels. Learning new moves is entertaining, and using specialBowser's Inside Story is the third game in the Mario&Luigi series of RPG games. This time around, you can play as Bowser. He comes with his own set of moves, and adds a new type of gameplay experience. The cartoonish art style matches the goofy humor of the game, and allows for a lot of varying colors to decorate the different levels. Learning new moves is entertaining, and using special moves, even more so. The ability to alternate between Mario&Luigi and Bowser allows for the gameplay to vary, such as Mario&Luigi being able to jump, but limited to movement on a 2D plane, and Bowser not being able to jump, but can move in all axis. This keeps the game feeling fresh and allows it to be creative, as some sections will mean that you will have to figure out who you will need to play as to move through. It's a great game, that solidifies the Mario&Luigi RPG series as one of the best and most creative RPG series out there. Expand
  21. Jul 30, 2017
    9
    Usually you'd approach an RPG expecting a dramatic storylines and a complex combat system. But the Mario & Luigi games come to the genre like a breath of fresh air, offering the same quality gameplay you woud expect from a great RPG (although in a more simplistic fashion), but taking itself less seriously and offering straightforward fun and a lot of silliness and charm. Bowser's InsideUsually you'd approach an RPG expecting a dramatic storylines and a complex combat system. But the Mario & Luigi games come to the genre like a breath of fresh air, offering the same quality gameplay you woud expect from a great RPG (although in a more simplistic fashion), but taking itself less seriously and offering straightforward fun and a lot of silliness and charm. Bowser's Inside Story is a simple but well done JRPG, perfect for a handheld console, and ideally suited for short sessions after playing more serious and complex RPGs.

    The gameplay follows the same formula than the previous Mario & Luig titles, but overall, it feels like a more straightforward experience compared to Superstar Saga. It is a bit shorter, and a bit more linear. However, the game doesn't feel shallow at all because of this. Around halfway through the story is when the game truly starts to open up all of its possibilities: The world starts to feel more like a world, and less like a collection of isolated levels, there is more optional stuff to do, and you already have a good amount of options when it comes to combat. Overall, the second half of the game gives you more of the freedom that I felt while playing Superstar Saga, and thus it becomes more enjoyable.

    The story is silly as always, and the characters are all hilarious. Bowser being a lovable *sshole, Luigi with his usual clumsiness, Fawful and his ridiculous way of speaking... This is a genuinely humorous game. I find it surprising how reluctant videogames are to embrace humor as a main theme. But Mario & Luigi does it, and it excels at doing it. It is clearly one of the most funny and lighthearted experiences you can have with games.

    The combat system is, like the game itself, simple and straightforward. But fun, addictive and charming at the same time. The Mario & Luigi series stands out among turn-based RPGS for being fast-paced and requiring a lot of player input. Basically, every attack or defense you perform is a minigame in itself. This prevents the combats from feeling dull and monotonous, as it constantly demands your attention. On top of that, add some special attacks that are very fun and satisfying to perform, and the overall charm of the visuals and music, and you have very enjoyable battles ahead of you.

    The game's big twist is being able to play as Bowser. On the overworld, Bowser has its advantages and its limitations compared to the Bros, and the same is true for the combat. Overall, I felt like playing as Bowser was a little less fun that playing with Mario & Luigi, but it's nothing really serious. The giant Bowser battles are ok, but the mic sometimes failed to me when trying to do a flame attack. The game is overall a bit annoying when it tries to use the touch screen, but once again, it's nothing too serious. I'd say that Bowser's Inside Story's biggest flaw is being a bit too annoying when it comes to tutorials.

    The game is well packed with content. Playing on a casual way, with a good bunch of side stuff done, It took me around 25 hours to beat the final boss. The presentation is colorful and silly, and the game is very fluid at all times. Music is great, with some really memorable tracks like the regular boss theme. That one always manages to get me pumped up for combat. On another note, Mario's and Luigi's "voice acting" is just so good.

    Bowser's Inside Story is a great choice if you're looking for a fun, fast-paced JRPG for your DS. For the type of game it tries to be, I'd say that it strikes the right balance between simplicity and depth, offering some real challenge at times, but overall being a fluid and straightforward experience. There are times where it feels a bit too simplistic, but like I said previously, the pacing gets better in the second half. Humor is top-notch, and the presentation is colorful and charming. All in all, one of the greatest titles for the Nintendo DS.

    Score: 8.6
    Expand
  22. Jun 1, 2011
    10
    Bowser's Inside Story, to put it quite simply, is an AMAZING game. The plot is great, the concept is great, and the battles are great. And don't forget about Fawful. Fawful and his "I HAVE FURY!" quote are just hilarious. But what I feel is best about Bowser's Inside Story is the ability to play as Bowser! Half of the game is dedicated to his side of the story, and Mario and Luigi canBowser's Inside Story, to put it quite simply, is an AMAZING game. The plot is great, the concept is great, and the battles are great. And don't forget about Fawful. Fawful and his "I HAVE FURY!" quote are just hilarious. But what I feel is best about Bowser's Inside Story is the ability to play as Bowser! Half of the game is dedicated to his side of the story, and Mario and Luigi can help Bowser accomplish his goals from inside his own body! Then...he grows HUGE. That is EPIC. Controls are better than ever too. I love this game, and recommend it to anyone and everyone. Expand
  23. Jan 8, 2011
    8
    Although the game's battle system, story, music and engine in general is amazing, this game still fails in my opinion to capture the truly epic feel of its prequel Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga for GBA. You can play as Mario and Luigi like the other two Mario & Luigi games in the series and as an added twist, Bowser as well which hasn't been done since Super Mario RPG: Legend of the SevenAlthough the game's battle system, story, music and engine in general is amazing, this game still fails in my opinion to capture the truly epic feel of its prequel Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga for GBA. You can play as Mario and Luigi like the other two Mario & Luigi games in the series and as an added twist, Bowser as well which hasn't been done since Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars back on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. An interesting mechanic is while playing RPG battles as Bowser, you can sometimes use a special skill and then switch to battling the same enemies as the Mario & Luigi which can cause an interesting change in tactics. There are also special Godzilla-like special boss battles as Bowser also which make unique and interesting use of the microphone and touch screen. There are also boss challenges and minigames as well which are pretty fun as well. Expand
  24. RJV
    Aug 4, 2011
    10
    This is not like any Mario game you have ever played. There is a bit of platforming, but that is turned into a puzzle. It is almost like a Pokemon game, but you only have three characters: Mario, Luigi, and Bowser! The plot is actually semi developed in this game, and Bowser doesn't kidnap Peach this time. Instead he is tricked into inhaling her, as well as Mario + Luigi and the rest ofThis is not like any Mario game you have ever played. There is a bit of platforming, but that is turned into a puzzle. It is almost like a Pokemon game, but you only have three characters: Mario, Luigi, and Bowser! The plot is actually semi developed in this game, and Bowser doesn't kidnap Peach this time. Instead he is tricked into inhaling her, as well as Mario + Luigi and the rest of the mushroom kingdom, by Fawlful, the new bad guy, not really worth remembering him though. Inside Bowser's body the two Legendary plumbers try to find and rescue the princess, somewhere in Bowser's 2D innards. Meanwhile Bowser, wandering the Mushroom Kingdom, tries to take back his castle, which has been taken over by Fawful. You enter battle scenes as the plumbers or the Koopa King, and this is where it is similar to Pokemon. You will see the similarities almost immediately. A great game, but a little bit easy. Still,you won't beat every boss on your first time, and if you want to collect all the bonuses there will be plenty of replay after you beat the main story. Fantastic. Expand
  25. ShawnP
    Sep 20, 2009
    10
    This game is easily the best Mario RPG ever. Luigi is really funny, and so are Mario and Bowser surprisingly. Special moves are more like minigames and actually force you to do something so they are more powerful. Fighting as all 3 is really fun. The story is different from the usual save Peach story. Normal battles are never to easy or to hard. You never nail avoiding enemy moves all the This game is easily the best Mario RPG ever. Luigi is really funny, and so are Mario and Bowser surprisingly. Special moves are more like minigames and actually force you to do something so they are more powerful. Fighting as all 3 is really fun. The story is different from the usual save Peach story. Normal battles are never to easy or to hard. You never nail avoiding enemy moves all the time, which adds more challenge. Badges can actually help you in tough situations. If it wasnt for the unbalanced boss battles this game would be near perfect. Expand
  26. TimO
    Sep 27, 2009
    10
    The first Mario and Luigi RPG absolutely amazed me. After playing the 2nd, I was a bit disappointed, even though it was very good. After hearing about the release of a 3rd Mario and Luigi RPG I expected it to not live up to its predecessors, but I was wrong. Bowser's Inside Story may be the best game ever made for the Nintendo DS. A suberb and at times hilarious plot, exciting and The first Mario and Luigi RPG absolutely amazed me. After playing the 2nd, I was a bit disappointed, even though it was very good. After hearing about the release of a 3rd Mario and Luigi RPG I expected it to not live up to its predecessors, but I was wrong. Bowser's Inside Story may be the best game ever made for the Nintendo DS. A suberb and at times hilarious plot, exciting and intuitive battles, and fun puzzles that require you to utilize the abilities of all three charactors make Bowser's Inside Story soar over the first two Mario and Luigi RPGs and any other Nintendo game I have ever played. Expand
  27. Jan 18, 2011
    10
    I got it with mixed expectations but soon then, I got hooked, I've had it for 3 weeks and I can't stop playing it. The game is just awesome, my favorite DS game....ever..
  28. Oct 21, 2012
    8
    STORY: Slightly complex, but is easy to follow. It involves multiple Nintendo clichés such as a "Three Key Item" fetch quest. CHARACTERS: Fawful is a villain who's more lovable than anything. His "Engrish"(Impaired English) is cause for multiple hilarious moments. Bowser is still a childish brute and gets stuck in many awkward moments. Starlow a.k.a Chippy is a smart aleck who helpsSTORY: Slightly complex, but is easy to follow. It involves multiple Nintendo clichés such as a "Three Key Item" fetch quest. CHARACTERS: Fawful is a villain who's more lovable than anything. His "Engrish"(Impaired English) is cause for multiple hilarious moments. Bowser is still a childish brute and gets stuck in many awkward moments. Starlow a.k.a Chippy is a smart aleck who helps the bros. GAMEPLAY: This is the game's highlight. While playing as Bowser, you use the X and Y buttons to breath fire on all enemies or punch a single one with precise timing. He also has special attacks you can unlock by freeing his captured minions that use the touch screen. While playing as Mario & Luigi, it's all about the A and B buttons. You can either initiate a two part jump attack or a risky hammer strike(each hit a single enemy). Most of their special attacks are unlocked with the game's progression but there are two that are optional. There are also mini games for the bros that involve multiple gaming genres, such as Rhythm and 2D Shooter. MUSIC: There are more upbeat tracks in this game, like the main boss theme, but other great pieces like Dark Star Core. Not much of it is memorable, but it does fit the locations well.
    VISUALS: Aside from a few effects, EVERYTHING is done with pixels. For sprite animations, these are pretty damn well made and fun to look at.
    EXTRA CONTENT: Not much extra content to be found in the world itself. It's mainly focussed in the Globin Challenge Room for Mario & Luigi to either fight tougher versions of the bosses or test their skills with their special moves.
    FINAL ANALYSIS: I recommend this game to anyone. The story is admittedly weak, but the characters make up for it with great humor. Also, the gameplay is simple but addicting and the enemies all fight differently. This game makes use of the action commands in previous Mario RPGs, but better than ever. A 9.1 for an overall great game.
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  29. Feb 18, 2012
    9
    This game is like Super Mario RPG for the SNES on steroids. The quirky, humorous story is still there with plenty of funny dialogue, but the battles have taken a major turn from "hit A at the right time to hit harder" to "JUMP oh God now smack it with your hammer okay draw 7's on the screen aaghghgh!" If it sounds hectic, it's because it is. And it is SO MUCH FUN! You play as either MarioThis game is like Super Mario RPG for the SNES on steroids. The quirky, humorous story is still there with plenty of funny dialogue, but the battles have taken a major turn from "hit A at the right time to hit harder" to "JUMP oh God now smack it with your hammer okay draw 7's on the screen aaghghgh!" If it sounds hectic, it's because it is. And it is SO MUCH FUN! You play as either Mario and Luigi or as Bowser (which is the best part, everyone agrees) exploring the different areas and leveling up in your standard RPG way: buying new equipment, upping stats, etc. But as you do that, you'll also be digging up magic beans, trying to catch blitties (block kitties), and fighting your way through battle after battle where mastery of timing becomes the difference between finishing a battle with taking no damage and losing everything. And yet despite all this, the game has plenty of ways to make it friendly for beginners: you'll occasionally find "retry clocks" that let you start a battle from the beginning, it always makes sure to explain thoroughly any new special attack you learn with the opportunity to practice it, and the game is very generous with coins and exp won from battles so you're not forced to grind. Even my wife who primarily plays casual games had a lot of fun playing it all the way from start to finish. Definitely worth buying! Expand
  30. Aug 13, 2012
    10
    By far the most creative Mario & Luigi game in the series. With an immersive story, fun and addictive gameplay, and engaging battles of epic proportions, this game is a must play for any fan of Mario RPG's, or not. It's just a must play in general. Seriously this is amazing. And while you're at it, reading this, go ahead and get Superstar Saga, and maybe even Partners in Time. They are allBy far the most creative Mario & Luigi game in the series. With an immersive story, fun and addictive gameplay, and engaging battles of epic proportions, this game is a must play for any fan of Mario RPG's, or not. It's just a must play in general. Seriously this is amazing. And while you're at it, reading this, go ahead and get Superstar Saga, and maybe even Partners in Time. They are all bloody amazing. Expand

Awards & Rankings

3
2
#2 Most Discussed DS Game of 2009
1
#1 Most Shared DS Game of 2009
Metascore
90

Universal acclaim - based on 58 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 58 out of 58
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 58
  3. Negative: 0 out of 58
  1. Fans who loved the first two games shouldn't hesitate in picking up Bowser's Inside Story. It features everything that makes the series enjoyable and adds onto it everything but the kitchen sink. Despite a few minor flaws, it's a game that features an ingenious game design synonymous with Nintendo games and is easily one of the best DS games of the year.
  2. The bottom line on Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story is that it's one of those games that every DS owner should buy, period. Regardless of your feelings about RPGs, the title is just so entertaining and well-executed that you're nearly guaranteed to love it.
  3. The freshest, most vital RPG on the DS for ages. You'd be daft to pass it up. [Nov 2009, p.76]