Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time Review by: juuldudeMario! Green 'Stache! And you brats! No mercy for you!
In 2003, Nintendo launched a game called Mario & Luigi Superstar Saga for the Gameboy Advance. The game was a hit, getting a lot of praise and bringing many new fans. Even nowadays, it's considered to be one of the best Gameboy Advance games, and one of the best Mario games for the Gameboy Advance. So in 2005, Nintendo made a sequel for the Nintendo DS: Mario & Luigi Partners in Time. The game was pretty good, but nowhere near as popular as its successor. In fact, a lot of people (including me) find it to be the weakest part in the series.
I got this game around the time Mario & Luigi Bowser's Inside Story, the sequel of this game, came out. I actually wanted to get this game, but since it was expensive I took a look on the internet to see if I could get it somewhere cheap. I couldn't find anything, but I found out that this game also existed and I could get this one as well, so I bought it and played it. Last vacation I finished this game for the second time, just because I wanted to play this game. Since I'm a big fan of the Mario & Luigi series, I found it a good game, but was also a bit disappointed. Why I was disappointed? I will now explain in my review.
The story starts with a creepy dark planet. We get to hear that the aliens on this planet are creepy beings and that their planet is withering and that the aliens are looking for a new place to go to. We see them looking through binoculars at a flag with a mushroom on it, placed on some kind of pink tower...
Then the story continues at the time Mario and Luigi are Baby Mario and Baby Luigi. Well, babies... they are actually toddlers. Anyways, a young Toadsworth asks them if they could play with the princess since she is upset. When the brothers look for her, Baby Bowser comes in and a small battle starts. Baby Mario wins, but suddenly the castle shakes and then we see that there are thousands of flying saucers in the sky ready to attack the castle!
Back to the present time...
Big news! Professor Elvin Gadd has invented a time machine! Peach is amazed and immediately decides to travel to her castle of the past with two toad companions called Toadiko and Toadbert. In the present time, Toadsworth faints as he worries about the princess so Mario helps him. Just when he heals Toadsworth, the time machine returns! However, it is severely damaged.
Then a creepy monster crawls out and Mario takes it on! He is able to defeat it but it turns out that the monster is the only thing that returned from the past, Peach and her companions are gone! Then, out of nothing, a strange hole appears in the Castle Garden. The brothers, Elvin Gadd and a toad take a look. Elvin Gadd suggests it might be a time hole, leading to a place in the past. But when Toadsworth comes in he accidentally makes Luigi fall in the hole! Desperate to save his brother, Mario jumps in as well, even though they are not sure what they will find.
In the past a lot will happen, the brothers find out that the aliens who we saw earlier in the game have invaded the Mushroom Kingdom and to take on the aliens, the brothers team up with their younger selves, which explains the title 'partners in time'.
While this may not be the best story ever, there still happens a lot in the game. We learn more about the vile plans of the Shroobs, the evil aliens who invaded the Mushroom Kingdom, and the brothers have to look for parts of the Cobalt Star, a star with a lot of power that also was the power source of the time machine. With it, they can storm Peach's Castle, which is heavily guarded and has a strong barrier.
The Shroobs are ruled by a princess called Princess Shroob. I know, not very original. But still, there are a lot of dark Shroob characters, creepy plans, a lot of unexpected things and some decent characters. I think that the only thing this story misses, is a lot of different characters, since there aren't that many characters in this game.
The most annoying thing in the story is that there is made a lot of fun of Luigi. In other games this has happened as well, but you would expect it to get less since Luigi is getting more popular as well. Luigi is less brave and more clumsy than Mario, but it goes really far in this game. A magic door calls him childish and even Baby Luigi is less clumsier and braver than Luigi.
Let me tell you, the overworld graphics aren't that impressive. The worlds look nice and colourful, and there are a lot of nice backgrounds, but it's just... a bit normal, not something amazing. And the brothers? Well, they look actually almost the same compared to their Gameboy Advance sprites but since those were limited you would expect something better. For example, the GBA sprites of Mario and Luigi had big eyes for the brothers, overalls with the same colour (while Luigi actually has a darker overall than Mario) and most importantly, no eyebrows! This was still the same in Partners in Time, and that's a shame, since I would expect them to look better.
The battle graphics however, are another story. There are a lot of nice backgrounds, there are tons of different and special looking enemies and bosses, and the battle moves have cool effects. When a boss is defeated, it shakes and explodes into all kinds of stars, and so far I think that the other Mario & Luigi games made boss defeats look less impressive than this game. The brothers also have funny animations, as Mario moves his nose when thinking what to do, and Luigi is observing the enemy very closely when he's waiting to attack.
The game has some good soundtracks but just like the graphics, I found nothing really outstanding or special. That doesn't mean that the game has no good tracks, there are a lot of good tracks actually. A desert sounds like a desert, a forest sounds like a forest, a tropical island sounds like a tropical island, so the musics fit their places well. There are remixes of tracks from other games, but they don't sound that good, there are remixes of the overworld and underground theme of Mario Bros and also a remix of the title screen from Yoshi's Island. The battle musics are decent, but not great, and I found them to be pretty similar. Still, they represented what those battles were about, so they're pretty good.
As for the sounds, we have some good sounds like the original jump and coins sounds. But when you use a hammer in a battle, you get a weird sound. And, since there are babies in this, we will hear a lot of crying. The baby brothers are already irritating to hear when they cry, but when Baby Peach (she survived thanks to the younger Toadsworth!) cries you will go deaf, since it's awful to hear. She can laugh as well, but you'll mostly hear her crying.
I think that the game can be a bit addicting. But there aren't many things that really make me want to replay this game, the most important reason I replayed this game was because of the nostalgia and the funny battles. What makes the other games in the series more addictive are many sidequests, minigames and lots of special equipment to collect. But in this game, there aren't many minigames, I think there are about 5-6 maybe, while the other games in the series have at least 10. There aren't any sidequests, since the toads in the present don't want anything, and in the past we will find that almost every toad is abducted by the Shroobs. And equipment? Well, in other games you could get some by doing sidequests, minigames or stealing them from bosses, but since the first two are rare or miss in this game, we would have to steal them from enemies. However, only 3-4 enemies have rare gear, and it's not even so impressive, mostly just a bunch of extra defense. The best clothes are found in the last world of the game, so you don't have to look in the stores if you want to be strong, just look for them in the last world and that's it.
First of all, since a lot of the gameplay is largely the same as in Mario & Luigi Superstar Saga I'm only going to tell here about real differences, so if you want to know more about it look at this review of mine from Superstar Saga: [url]http://www.vizzed.com/boards/thread.php?id=80806[/url]
Just like in the previous games, the brothers will learn moves to move on in the game. But what is pretty cool, is that the adults also can use their moves on the babies, resulting in moves such as the 'Baby Cakes'! That's pretty original and it's something I really like.
The babies will piggyback on the adults (Baby Mario sits on Mario, Baby Luigi on Luigi), and the brothers can always throw them off their backs. If they walk near the babies, or the babies walk near the adults, they will climb on automatically.
Maybe you will think that doing things in the past affects things in the present, but since you can't go out of Peach's Castle in the present all your exploring happens in the past, so that means that you almost get the feeling you're not traveling through time but just going somewhere else. The only thing that reminds you that you are in the past are younger versions of people in the present.
The battle is good and bad in two ways.
What's good is that the adults and the babies can fight on their own, but together they can combine their jump and hammer moves, making them a lot stronger. The babies are also the only with hammers, so if you battle with the adults, prepare to jump a lot. If an adult dies, the baby jumps of its back and continues to fight. What's useful is that if an adult dies, the babies can revive them, but a baby has to be revived before an adult, so if Mario and Baby Mario have fainted, Luigi or Baby Luigi first has to revive Baby Mario before Mario can be revived.
As for the stats, there are clear differences. The adults have better staches and more attack power, while the babies are really good with defense and speed, which is interesting to discover in the battles.
There is however one thing that's really bad: Bros Items. In other games, you have 'bros points' which are used to use bros attacks, stronger attacks. A stronger attack costs more points of course. If you run out of points, you take syrup and you get some points back.
In this game they did something different. In blocks and in stores you can buy bros items. They cost no points, so that means that you literally buy as much of them as you want in the stores. When you progress in the story you can find better items. But you find way too many items in blocks, at the end of the game I had at least 20 pieces too much per bros item.
AND, the bros items are almost the same. We have a Red Shell and a Green Shell for example (the green can only target one enemy, while the red can attack more enemies after the first one is defeated). We also have a Trampoline, Cannonballer and a Copy Flower. All require you to constantly jump on enemies. And we have Fire Flowers, Ice Flowers and Mix Flowers. With all of them you have to mash the buttons to damage enemies. The only unique one is the Smash Egg, an item that the bros have to kick, and if they are lucky they can get a good item out of it! But the others are just too similar.
Like I mentioned in the addictiveness section, there are almost no sidequests and minigames, making this game very short and straightforward. While other Mario & Luigi games have a lot of depth, this is just a game where there's only one thing to do besides the storyline, and that's collecting beans by playing two minigames over and over, and those beans can be used to get badges from Fawful, who set up a shop in the sewers of Peach's Castle in the present. It doesn't take a lot of time to beat, I think that you need at most about 12 hours to complete it, while the other games in the series take at most maybe 18-19 hours.
With no difficult sidequests or minigames you just battle a lot, so you will easily get very strong, making bosses easy as well. There are small puzzles or obstacles throughout the game, but nothing of it is very hard. The bosses can be pretty strong if you are not prepared, but there wasn't any boss which really challenged me.
Compared to my rating of 9.8 in my Superstar Saga review, this number seems a bit low. Still, it's a game I really liked and even though there are a lot of flaws in this game it really isn't that bad. When people say a Mario game is bad, it's most of the time still pretty good compared to other non-Mario games. If you like the Mario & Luigi games, I would recommend it, but if you're looking for a good (Mario) RPG, I would rather recommend its sequel, Bowser's Inside Story, instead. Still, if you like the series then I think you'll have much fun with this game, there's enough to make this game interesting.
Well, that's it for my review! It's quite long, but not as long as my previous one from Superstar Saga.
And now the summons!greenluigi
: You reacted very happy about my previous review, so I decided to summon you. If you don't want to be summoned for my reviews, please tell me then as I tend to summon a lot :Pgamerforlifeforever2
: Well, you're a real review fanatic and you like my reviews.Boxia
As for other people who like my reviews and rated the previous one:A user of this
: Sword legion
I hope you liked my review and be sure to tell your opinion if you played this game as well, it's nice to hear opinions from other people as well :)
As for my next review, I have the sequels (Bowser's Inside Story and Dream Team Bros) in mind but also another game, and I'm not sure yet which one I'm going to do first.
Also, I know that I am not so active anymore lately, so my apologies, I still try to write a review at least once a month since I like writing them and I would like to be a staff game reviewer.
That's it for this review, until next review! *Flies away*