Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story Image
Metascore
90

Universal acclaim - based on 58 Critic Reviews What's this?

User Score
8.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 364 Ratings

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  • Summary: In his evil plot to take over the Mushroom Kingdom, Fawful tricks Bowser into eating a magic mushroom. The mushroom causes Bowser to begin inhaling everything around him, including Mario, Luigi and Princess Peach! Do the Mario Bros. have the guts to rescue Peach and escape? Players are inIn his evil plot to take over the Mushroom Kingdom, Fawful tricks Bowser into eating a magic mushroom. The mushroom causes Bowser to begin inhaling everything around him, including Mario, Luigi and Princess Peach! Do the Mario Bros. have the guts to rescue Peach and escape? Players are in control of two separate storylines. One features Bowser and his efforts to stop an arch-villain from taking over his castle. Meanwhile, inside Bowser, the microbe-sized Mario & Luigi must muscle their way through challenges and keep their nerve if they want to find a way out. They take action to control Bowser from the inside - but without his knowledge. Players can switch between storylines at will. What happens inside Bowser affects what he’s doing on the outside. Sometimes Mario & Luigi must solve puzzles and challenges behind the scenes to help Bowser overcome various obstacles and advance the plot. Players must make well-timed button presses to enhance their performance during battles and challenges. In some battles, Bowser grows so large that players must turn their Nintendo DS or Nintendo DSi system sideways, blow into the microphone or tap on the touch screen with the stylus to keep up with the action. The game features the same hilarious dialogue that has been the hallmark of the Mario & Luigi series. [Nintendo] Expand
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  • Developer: Alphadream Corporation
  • Genre(s): Role-Playing, Action RPG, Console-style RPG, Console-style RPG, Japanese-Style
  • # of players: No Online Multiplayer
  • Cheats: On GameFAQs
  • Rating: E
  • More Details and Credits »
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 58 out of 58
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 58
  3. Negative: 0 out of 58
  1. The adventure is lengthy, the characters are entertaining, and this is truly a game that you’ll want to keep in your pocket for any free minute you find yourself with. DS owners should not miss out on what could certainly be the best handheld RPG of 2009.
  2. Mario and Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story is a truly remarkable experience, and should not be passed up by anyone who's interested in Mario, RPGs, or the Nintendo DS in general.
  3. 92
    Once again, Mario and Luigi star in one of the most ingenious and well-polished titles on the DS. Their Fawfulized adventure through the bowels of the Mushroom Kingdom and its number one bad guy is one no one is likely to forget, especially Bowser.
  4. Inside Story is also incredibly beautiful, possibly among the best looking DS games ever made.
  5. Edge Magazine
    90
    A game that's more than the sum of its parts. [Dec 2009, p.98]
  6. Games Master UK
    90
    Bowser proves a brilliant distraction from traditional Mario play in 2009's silliest RPG. [Winter 2009, p.81]
  7. Its greatest achievement is its pacing: it never loses focus over the course of its 20 hours.

See all 58 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 80 out of 86
  2. Negative: 2 out of 86
  1. 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. AndBowser'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
  2. FrankR
    Oct 11, 2009
    10
    An almost perfect game in my opinion. The only bad thing is the pollen minigame.
  3. Jun 22, 2014
    10
    Definitely the best Mario RPG out there, with awesome, challenging gameplay, a good storyline, and one of the best soundtracks I've ever heardDefinitely the best Mario RPG out there, with awesome, challenging gameplay, a good storyline, and one of the best soundtracks I've ever heard in a Mario game. Great humor too.
    Personally, Fawful is one of my favorite video game antagonists~ along with Dimentio from SPM
    Expand
  4. 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 aThis 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
  5. 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 likeUsually 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
  6. 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 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. Expand
  7. Mar 31, 2014
    2
    I love the Paper Mario series thus my reasoning to buy this. I first found it to be fun and new. But as the "mini games" started to pile upI love the Paper Mario series thus my reasoning to buy this. I first found it to be fun and new. But as the "mini games" started to pile up and I started to get into the ridiculously boring "monster" battles. So to take a break from the hundreds of boss battles, I went off exploring. But that was boring too. I found myself moaning and groaning as I moved on. By the time I got to the giant robot fight I was done. Too mentally burnt out to play. I was just that sick of the Mario Bros doing mini games in Bowser and Bowser taking part in horribly boring battles. I just didn't care to beat the boss and move on to even more redundant battles and bloody mini games. Just not my cup of tea. Expand

See all 86 User Reviews

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Awards & Rankings

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