Yep, it's time for another review of an older game. As I've not played this entry in the Mario and Luigi series, I was looking forward to seeing how Bowser's Inside Story would turn out. Having enjoyed the previous titles (as well as the original Mario RPG), I went in with higher expectations than I would have otherwise. And to be completely honest..... I was not disappointed.
The game starts off simply enough. A strange disease known as the "Blorbs" is spreading throughout Mushroom Kingdom, causing those infected to swell to several times larger than normal and roll around uncontrollably. Due to the crisis, Peach has called a council to try and determine what can be done about it, and Starlow, one of the Star Sprites that watch over the kingdom participates as well. During the council, it is discovered that those infected by the disease had eaten a specific mushroom that had been given to them by a wandering salesman. Bowser soon crashes the party, but is once again defeated by Mario.
Upon waking in the forest, Bowser is given a strange mushroom. He attacks the castle once again and inhales everybody in the vicinity. Upon doing so, he collapses, unconscious, and later wakes with no memory. It is discovered that Fawful had caused both the "Blorbs" outbreak, as well as giving Bowser the "Vacuushroom," which had forced him to inhale everything in sight. Can Bowser puch out Fawful? Will Mario and the gang be stuck inside Bowser forever?
The game is split pretty evenly between the characters. While controlling Mario and Luigi inside Bowser's body, you explore 2D environments, which can be affected depending on what Bowser is doing at the time. While controlling Bowser, you wander throughout Mushroom Kingdom in a 3/4 overhead/world view. Bowser has higher stats than the brothers, but also fights alone. While exploring the world, Bowser can find and rescue his minions, which allow him to use them in combat (controlled by the stylus).
The brothers also gain special attacks, however in a different way. Before they can unlock and utilize an attack, Mario and Luigi must locate 10 Attack Pieces, which are typically scattered throughout the environments in Attack Blocks. The brothers also get the standard hammer to use in combat later in the game. All three characters also receive different non-combat abilities as the game progresses, allowing them to access areas that were previously blocked out.
Overall, the game was quite fun. If you enjoyed any of the Mario RPGs prior to this, I see no reason that you would dislike this game, and would encourage you to try it out. The only real issue I had was the mic occasionally not registering my entire breath during some flame attacks, but that could very well have been my DS, and not the game.