Mario and Luigi flying through the sky in Mario & Luigi: Brothership
Screenshot by Gameskinny

Mario & Luigi: Brothership Introduces a Long Overdue Mechanic

Mario and Luigi have always been a duo but their latest game lets their bond shine in a new way.

Nintendo’s Mario universe has seen its main character take on many challenges, from sports to kart racing and, of course, saving people in distress. However, in all those years, he’s been mostly a solo act up until the announcement of Mario & Luigi: Brothership, which also introduces a new and much-needed gameplay mechanic.

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Mario & Luigi: Brothership Changes What Fans Know About Mario

Mario and Luigi were brothers who never saw themselves as better than one another. While fans often debate which brother truly is the best, there’s no denying they both have their own merits. Whether it’s Mario’s ability to be a master at so many sports or Luigi’s talents as a ghostbuster, they have a lot to offer. But one thing that’s never been truly celebrated is how these heroes are blood brothers who act more as a unit than as individuals.

Though Mario is the face of the brand, we can’t forget that the franchise is called Super Mario Bros. Sure, games have allowed us to play as both brothers and collaborate together, but we were always relegated to a set gameplay scheme that was shared. What makes Brothership so special, however, is that now, their bond is used both defensively and offensively, and their connection is celebrated in a huge way that we never knew we needed.

Brothership’s Teamwork Mechanic Redefines the Franchise

Mario and Luigi traversing in Mario & Luigi: Brothership
Screenshot by Gameskinny

It’s no secret that Mario & Luigi: Brothership looks different. The aesthetic leans heavily into animation territory, and even Mario and Luigi’s colors have more variance with multiple hues on their clothes. But the real draw is how we can now work as a team to nail some particularly impressive moves that include hitting Mario with a hammer so that he, also holding a hammer, can deliver a devastating blow to an enemy. The two can also bounce off of one another to get more altitude and deliver a powerful ground-pound attack.

These connections also work well in solving puzzles, as the trailer showed Mario and Luigi balancing on a see-saw to better reach a higher level. But the real unique feature was in traversal as now the brothers could unite to form an admittedly strange-looking flying saucer to navigate the terrain. Clearly, Brothership is pushing even more boundaries than Super Mario Wonder, and that’s a good thing.

More than ever, new Mario games are challenging everyone, from development to consumers, to see Mario and Luigi in a different light. Yes, they are platformers, but, more importantly, they are a vehicle for innovation. Brothership is a new example of this and not only offers new gameplay but also camera angles that serve to highlight the brotherly bond the two heroes share. As a result, while each game exists in the same universe, they all feel more distinct than ever. What’s more, it sets a precedent that new entries going forward will deliver new concepts, mechanics, and stories that we can’t even compare to past iterations.

Brothership’s Real Power Lies in its Main Characters

Mario and Luigi glowing hands in Mario & Luigi: Brothership
Screenshot by Gameskinny

Mario & Luigi: Brothership may not be the first game where both characters are highlighted, but it is the first time we have seen their brotherly love and bond highlighted. For a long time, the world saw these two as competitors, with one side preferring Mario and the other Luigi for various reasons. But this has never been the case in the grand scheme. Instead, the two have always been about helping one another and gaining courage from their actions. Brothership highlights this and shows that while Mario is the face of Nintendo, it doesn’t mean that he’s in it alone.

Instead, Mario & Luigi: Brohtership establishes that the future isn’t solely in the hands of Mario. Instead, it’s about the larger collection of characters from the franchise. With Peach’s own solo title included, the wealth is clearly shared, and now we can finally celebrate what makes them all so great. Most importantly, we can finally see how strong the bond is between Mario and Luigi and how it’s not always about one saving the other but rather about how one inspires the other. Mario & Luigi: Brothership is by no means conventional to the franchise, but it’s the perfect chance for us to see why these two work so well as a team, thanks to its innovative gameplay.

For more theories and guides, you can check out our Super Mario guide hub.

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Nicholas Brooks
Nick is a Freelance Writer at Gameskinny and brings with him over a decade of writing and editing experience from sites like CBR and Gameskinny. He also runs a small podcast called Popsubclub, where he interviews individuals in the entertainment industry as well as talks with peers. Nick's love of video games is only a small part of his passions as he's also an avid fan of movies, comics, music and theme parks. Make sure to follow his Instagram (@Comicsubclub) for more.