There's a good amount of videos, similar to how Spyro is set up, that talk a lot. If you can deal with the talking the game is amazing. pretty accurate to the time period too. Me and my 8 year old brother can't get enough of the game. Highly recommend you know how to read to play though, theres a lot of read.
I just got the game and I am digging it. It offers more fun than the regular Mario title that stops being fun before you are even into the meat of the game. The boss characters are OK, though I am growing tired of bosses that can only be taken down through sequence action. What is the point of having an arsenal of spells if they can only be used on thugs.
It is an enjoyable change of pace. Considering I am not the target audience, it's a nice little romp worth the rental.