Princess Peach has been invited by Dr. Snoozemore to check out his recently renovated Pi'illo (pillow) island. Everything on this island has a sleep inspired name. For example, the Island's volcano is dubbed Mount Pajamaja. While some of the guest amenities are in place, most of the island is temporarily blocked off for excavating. The previous inhabitants have mysteriously disappeared and Mario and Luigi figure out why when Bowser arrives and teams up with the Pi'illo folks' arch nemesis Antasma. In typical fashion Princess Peach gets kidnapped and Mario and Luigi must work together to rescue both the imprisoned Pi'illo folk and Princess Peach.
The Pi'illo people have been imprisoned in nightmare chunks by Antasma who has taken the island's sacred Dream Stone and claimed it's powers for his evil purposes. Once Bowser and Antasma have been defeated and the Dream Stone reclaimed, the island and it's inhabitants can be at peace at last.
Many monsters roam the island and the Mario brothers can jump on them, attack them with their hammers, or team up and perform a brother's attacks at the cost of Brother Points (BP). You don't start the game with a full arsenal of attacks; many of the attacks and movements have to be taught or are learned by collecting attack pieces around the island and in dreams.
Half of this game is spent in Luigi's dreams and it is in these dreams that Mario gets to free over fifty Pi'illo villagers. Mario isn't alone as Luigi's dream form empowers him and he multiplies himself which creates some pretty awesome “Luiginary Attacks”. My favorite attack is the Luiginary Ball which starts off as a small ball of Luigis and as you tilt the 3DS to run over more, the ball gets bigger and bigger and when all of them have been accumulated, you get to kick the ball into your foes and damage all of the ground based enemies.
There are two different kinds of boss battles and my least favorite were the giant battles. As the name implies, it has a big enemy and Luigi rises to the occasion by growing so big that Mario sits in his hat and helps heal or perform team attacks with him. In these giant battles, you must turn your 3DS to the side and the battle is shown on both screens. The visuals are great and these battles are fun to watch but to succeed your timing has to be perfect or you'll be in a lot of pain in a hurry. The basic jump maneuver is available and there are two different hammer attacks at your disposal as well. Some battles implemented a broken motion sensor routine that was very frustrating when not calibrated correctly. Despite the game being patched for save file corruption and other battle issues, some of the boss battles remain broken.
After losing some battles you are offered hints and an option to try again in easy mode. I will confess here and now that I defeated the final Bowser battle in easy mode. This was after spending over an hour in regular mode and losing. I just wanted to be done and the brother's attacks and defense are crazy high in this mode. Instead of doing 39 damage to Bowser's arm, I was doing 194 points of damage per jump. The easy battle only lasted ten minutes and I'm not ashamed, I beat the game after spending 57.5 hours playing it. I like how the stats are shown at the end of the game. It tells you how long you played, how many times you ran, died, ate mushrooms and how many enemies you defeated.
After completing the game, a jukebox and hard mode become available. The jukebox is a nice feature that lets you listen to the game's sound track. I enjoyed the music and it definitely gave life to the town and set an eerie tone in the enemy fortress. I'll pass on the hard mode option since I struggled with the normal difficulty.
I got my money's worth and now my kids are playing with the cartridge so it will bring more joy and frustration in this household. There are plenty of extras and objects to collect and had I completed all of those, I would have spent over sixty hours on this title. Besides rescuing all of the Pi'illo folk you can collect all of the beans and complete puzzles of scenic pictures. These addons were carried over from previous Mario and Luigi games. If you enjoyed the earlier Mario and Luigi games, this one is a worthy addition to the franchise despite its flaws. I just hope they patch and fix the motion glitches someday.