your arms from side to side, come on everyone...do
the Mario! If that doesn't send you back in time,
nothing will. by Cole
2, 2005 - Learning
to play Mario and Luigi: Partners in Time, may feel
like you're trying to learn how to fly a helicopter.
But once you've flattened the learning curve you'll
be rewarded with an excellent RPG that exploits and
integrates the Dual Screen's capabilities like few
you're familiar with last year's Superstar Saga then
you'll have a little bit more of lead over other gamers
when it comes to learning all of the moves and button
commands. These moves and configurations should have
been spread out over the first hour or so of gameplay
so that players could get used to them and slowly
assimilate them into play. As it is you'll have to
do a lot of cross-referencing to keep this information
handy. You can always try the trial-by-fire approach
but in the long run you might neglect to incorporate
some powerful moves that can really help you out later
in the game.
to an invasion of a race of aliens called the Shroobs,
the Princess has been captured and the Mushroom Kingdom
is once again in danger. With the help of Professor
E. Gadd, Mario and Luigi have to travel back in time
to save Peaches and ultimately the kingdom. During
their travels they encounter baby versions of themselves.
These babies pair up with each of their older versions,
which means that you've got to baby-sit two characters.
Each of them are playable and possess different abilities
that you will need to use continue on your quest.
most RPGs you will travel around the map fighting
monsters and leveling-up. There is a lot more focus
on action and interaction in this version. Exploring,
collecting, puzzles and combat are the major elements
in the game and are exceptionally well balanced. The
top screen displays the map in good detail while you
perform the action with the characters on the bottom
screen such as looking for items to collect.
times you will encounter various obstacles that require
some puzzle-solving skills to pass. The adult character
has different abilities than the baby. The adult has
a spin move that allows him to float from ledge to
ledge. Both adult versions of Mario and Luigi can
grab each other's ankles and roll over objects and
enemies like a tank. The babies can tunnel underground
and throw hammers. There will be times when you have
to send the babies to the top of the screen to access
some hard-to-reach areas so they can throw a switch,
defeat an enemy, or otherwise open a path. Controlling
these different characters with their different moves
keeps the gameplay fresh and interesting.
the combat system is turn-based, Nintendo knows that
this can be boring so they've added some extra hands-on
control to keep the players involved with more interaction
during battles. Once you assign your moves you have
the ability to add more damage. You can also block
attacks but all of these extra moves are based on
timing. You have to hit the button at the right time
in order to access these extra combat moves. The timing
is based upon your character's interaction with the
enemy. You will have to press a button a split second
before you jump on your enemy's head to add more power
to the attack. Or you might have to hit the jump button
just prior to taking a hit from the enemy to get out
of the way. The babies can also be launched at the
enemy for more damage or all four characters can combine
their energies into one huge assault attack. This
extra interaction is a great way to maintain the flow
of the gameplay.
dual screen really comes in handy as it's used for
a variety of useful purposes such as splitting and
isolating regions, keeping track of the other two
characters, viewing the map and accessing the interface
while performing other duties on the other screen.
You don't need the stylus. All actions can be accessed
by the touch screen and the face buttons, or combinations
are some laugh-out-loud moments that are just downright
silly. It's not that the comedy wanders into adult
subject matter, it's just that various crazy scenes
also seem ridiculous to the characters in the game.
As though they are sentient of the fact that they
are in a wacky videogame.
graphics are good but not of excellent quality. Due
to the relatively huge nature of RPGs, this is excusable,
and Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time is no exception.
There is an overall lack of detail to the backgrounds
which are relegated to close proximity since the top
screen shows the overall map and the bottom screen
focuses in on a relatively small area. There are no
large, expansive vistas. What we get are very colorful
graphics depicting bite-sized portions of this strange
dimension. Mario and Luigi can be just barely identifiable
in some scenes where the perspective is quite distant.
is no stranger to RPGs but there are probably no stranger
RPGs than this one. Highly recommended.