#658 Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time

Posted: 19th March 2018 by Jeroen in Games
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679th played so far

Genre: Role-Playing
Platform: DS
Year of Release: 2005
Developer: AlphaDream
Publisher: Nintendo

Out of the various Mario RPGs, it feels like this is the one I played most – it was released early in the DS’s life and it gave me a good early game to play. For that reason, I start this write up knowing what to expect already. Following Mario & Luigi Superstar Saga, let’s double the series’ main cast for Partners in Time!

Our Thoughts

A lot of series rely on making sequels that are somewhat similar to each other – expanding and polishing a concept. Paper Mario and Thousand Year Door feature the same basic gameplay, with the latter layering some systems on top. Outisde of Nintendo this is even clearer – Doom 2 is more of the same, Pokemon relies on putting the same or similar mechanics in a different world and let’s not start on sports franchises.

The Mario & Luigi series, although to some extend building on the first game, introduce something quite different for each sequel. We’ll have a game where half of it takes place in Bowser’s body soon (somewhere in the next three years or so), one that’s partially based in Luigi’s dreams and a ‘simple’ Paper Mario crossover. Today’s game has you play with four instead of two main characters – thanks to the DS’s added buttons – as it introduces Mario and Luigi’s baby selfs thanks to a time travel plot. So far, thankfully, the time travel shenanigans have been kept simple and it’s mostly been an excuse to dole out some different powers and see some different versions of some of the levels.

The controls do become more complicated at this point – both because there are more timings to remember, and because you have to keep track of two groups at different times. Getting the timing on battles right, for example, gets that bit more frustrating here than it was before and I believe muscle memory helped me through battles this time – they didn’t always do that.

Final Thoughts

I’ve had a good time with this game. The timing catches me out sometimes, but the different puzzles that the splitting of characters gives you is a lot of fun, while the characterization still works well. It’s got the usual charm, with a twist that works well.