Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time review
A Travel Through Time

The good:

Being able to play as four characters.
Nice Storyline
Easy-to-use controls
Many enemies/bosses
Many badges and items
Wasn't too hard, wasn't too easy

The bad:

Average Graphics
Repetitive areas


The sequel to Mario & Luigi : Superstar Saga features the Mario brothers (And the arrival of their baby counterparts from the past) as they travel back into the past Mushroom Kingdom and try to defeat an evil species called the 'Shroobs'. Mario & Luigi : Partners In Time has a wide arrangement of characters, a nice storyline, a turn-based battle system, as well as a couple of new character arrivals and systems.

In Mario & Luigi : Partners in Time, the storyline is pretty similar to the average Mario game, with several twists to it. This time, Peach doesn't get kidnapped by Bowser; the Princess gets captured by the awful Shroobs in the past of the Mushroom Kingdom as she makes a trip in a new time machine made by Professor E. Gadd, powered by the Cobalt Star. Mario and Luigi have to save Peach as they travel through time and try to get the Cobalt Star shards that shattered as Peach tried to protect herself using the Time Machine's power source. The storyline isn't the best or most original as past Mario games have involved collected 7 (Or in M&L:PiT, 5) stars to get to the boss's lair, but it's still a fine storyline nevertheless. The time traveling (Time Holes) let's the player get a taste of what the Mushroom Kingdom in the past was like. Toad Town (Past) also makes a return appearance in Mario & Luigi : Partners in Time, as one of the later chapters in the game, though the city's layout looks remarkably different, which is not surprising.

Mario & Luigi : Partners in Time let's the player play as four characters, Mario, Luigi, Baby Mario, and Baby Luigi. The babies were found in Hollijolli village as the two past and future selves found each other on their quest to rid the Mushroom Kingdom of the Shroobs. Each character is assigned to a button, and each one has their own stats, such as levels, power, defense, hit points, etc. The babies will ride on their older version's shoulders and will be the only ones that use a hammer to whack the enemies. The older brothers will always be the first to go, and the babies will always attack or come in second. The player can use the new Bros. Items to attack enemies with fearsome power as the Bros. Items can utilize two or all four of the brothers, such as Copy Flowers, Trampolines, and Cannons. With all of the button-mashing that you may have to do using a Bros. Item, things can get pretty hectic in a battle with more than 3 enemies.

The controls are very easy to use and don't require much skill in order for the player to progress through the game. Each brother will be assigned to an attack button, and the L and R buttons will be the 'Change Options/Menu' button. The start button is obviously the menu button, and the select button will be for Stuffwell. The menus are self-explanatory and don't require that much time to get acquainted with. The learning curve of the game is fairly short, rounding about 10 minutes after you've learned the basics and went through the in-game tutorial.

There are many enemies and bosses as you play through each world and each one of them may have to be defeated using a specific method. There are many returns of the enemies in Mario & Luigi : Superstar Saga, such as the Scuba Cheeps, Piranha Plant, and a few others. The bosses weren't that difficult, but most, if not all, required the player to attack something first so that they could damage the boss itself. Bowser and Young Bowser (Bowser Jr., if you want to call him that.) also appear as bosses, along with many mutations of the typical Mario world enemies.

Each part of the Mushroom Kingdom has a very different look and atmosphere, and ranges from the snowy Hollijolli Village (Which is where the brothers encountered each other) to the dark Peach's Castle that was invaded by the Shroobs in the past. Many different enemies all belonging to a different element are in each area, and it motivates the player to plow on through the game as they progress from one colorful world to the next.

The badges and items in this game are as many as there are in Mario & Luigi : Superstar Saga. However, this time Fawful is the one selling the badges (Yes, he does make a reappearance, though Cackletta is not seen or mentioned) by trading beans. The beans are simply found by drilling under the ground as babies and popping back up into the bean spot, similar to the way it was done before. There is only one species of bean however, because there is no coffee shop this time (Major disappointment for me.). The items are plentiful as it was before, and range from Mushrooms to Syrups again.

The graphics certainly weren't the best, but they aren't horrible either. Nintendo could have done a better job though, but the game is already excellent enough already. Some of the areas might get a little repetitive; in the volcano area, the player has to fight the same enemies for about 7 ~ 8 maps. It'll get a bit boring fighting the same chameleon that runs away right after the battle starts in each battle, but all games have their faults.

The difficulty of the game is just right. Some of the bosses were challenging enough that you had to get a couple of tries to beat them, but not so frustrating that it took you 20 tries to beat a single boss. The puzzle solving was excellent and fun, involving the cooperation of the babies and the older brothers, and weren't too challenging. The game can please the casual gamer and the more hardcore gamer, as both types can jump right into the game.

Overall, I think that Mario & Luigi : Partners in Time is a solid game. It could have some improvements, but it's still very enjoyable nevertheless. If you're a fan of turn-based games, then the Mario & Luigi series are right for you. If not, it's still nice enough for a rent.

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