Superstar Saga is filled with in-jokes and references that will probably go way over the heads of younger gamers, but there is nothing here to stop anyone from enjoying the game's charming humor and quirky characters, and certainly nothing that parents should hold any concern over. Likewise, older gamers will not feel alienated by an overly childish tone.

And the mix of slapstick and playful scripting is not only entertaining for all ages, it is also eminently suitable for Deaf and Hard of Hearing gamers. The music is jaunty and there are some amusing sound bytes from the two, otherwise silent, Mario brothers, but the wealth of visual cues allow for a smooth playing experience at any volume.

It is worth pointing out that Superstar Saga does have a distinct RPG flavor. As such, concepts like HP meters and leveling-up are implemented without explanation, and, when considered alongside the convoluted control scheme, it would seem that Mario's latest adventure is not nearly as accessible as his classic, side-scrolling escapades.

So between its RPG influences and some clever little tests of platforming dexterity, Superstar Saga is likely to be appreciated most by gamers with a broad pallet of genre tastes. And anyone who still feels spurned by Nintendo's shameless GBA repackaging of its mighty Mario back-catalogue can be assured that this is the perfect opportunity to kiss and make up. Enjoy!

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