WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Mario & Luigi: Dream Team
It’s such a shame to hear about AlphaDream going bankrupt. They were the studio that brought us the imaginative, funny, and just enjoyable Mario & Luigi series of RPGs. And while we can argue about whether or not the quality of the games diminished over time, there’s no denying that all of them were at the very least decent and fun games to play. I had high hopes for the potential of the series when the Switch was released but, sadly, it is not to be.
There is quite a bit I love about this series; one primary aspect being its music. The legendary Yoko Shimomura lent her talents to all of the games and created such varied soundtracks, filled with pieces that fit right at home in Mario’s world, as well as ones that felt like they belonged in more “serious” RPGs. That’s not me complaining, by the way. I think that’s amazing, hearing these Final Fantasy-like dramatic scores in a game starring a short Italian plumber who jumps on turtles. One example being this track.
Antasma may have been somewhat lacking as a villain and wound up being overshadowed by Bowser at the end, but the battle against him was certainly challenging and had some killer music accompanying it, taking Antasma’s own theme, speeding it up and adding a slight techno vibe to it. I especially love the violins, as if adding a level of class to the vampiric-looking villain. But it’s completely drowned out by the rest of the track, which only highlights the danger of the fight as Antasma throws everything he has at Mario and Luigi. It’s almost desperate, in a way. He’s just been upstaged and his plans are crumbling around him, but he’s not going down without a fight and will use all of his energy to destroy the two brothers that oppose him.
The Mario & Luigi series may have ended, meaning we won’t get to experience more awesome music tracks like this, but it’s better to have experienced it at all than to never have done so in the first place, and I hope AlphaDream’s former employees will find new work elsewhere and keep getting to work on great games.