Mario & Luigi: Dream Team Is So Big It Entered Alpha, Beta And Gamma

Most video games, during development, enter QA/fine-tuning phases called “alpha” and “beta”. Not Mario & Luigi: Dream Team! Mario and Luigi’s next RPG outing is so big it gets its own buzzword: gamma.

“This time, we divided the entire development phase into the one to create an alpha version, one for a beta version and even a gamma version, and looked back as we developed it,” said producer Akira Otani during a recent chat with Nintendo boss Satoru Iwata.

“A gamma version?” asked Iwata. “Video games usually only have alpha and beta versions for the developments.”

Otani responded: “Usually, yes. (laughs) This time, we actually made the backgrounds in 3D, but all the characters are 2D pixel art. It was hard making that stereoscopic for the Nintendo 3DS. That was one reason it took so long after the previous game.”

This is a big one. The team at Nintendo subsidiary AlphaDream started working on Mario & Luigi: Dream Team — which comes out for 3DS on August 11 in North America — right after Bowser’s Inside Story, which they released in 2009. Interestingly, the team says that the second Mario & Luigi game, Partners In Time, was something of a flop — “Sales for the Mario & Luigi series had slowed with the second game, so we thought about how we could make a comeback with the third one.” — but that the excellent Bowser’s Inside Story performed much better for them.

The entire Iwata Asks interview is worth reading. Check it out right here.


  • I really enjoyed Partners In Time. But then, I never played Superstar Saga. And of course, Bowsers Inside Story is all kinds of awesome. Very much looking forward to this.

  • I’m sounding fanboy here, but Ninty have a great line up over the next 6-12 months. Pokemon, two Zelda, two Mario and DK. I think the doom and gloom shit is now in the past.

  • What? People were disappointed with Partners In Time? Is the first turn-based RPG I was ever able to get into, and I got WELL into it.
    There’s a lot of reasons to get a 3DS these days. The software line-up really is impressive.

    • Partners in Time was shorter than the first game, had less depth in its environments, had far fewer side quests and was just generally more linear (using a hub world rather than a full adventure field). The game wasn’t bad, it was just less impressive than the original. The original also told a far more fascinating and original story, breaking the usual Status Quo.

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