Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time Reader Review
Completed, this game has left me with a feeling of anger. It's a shame, as until the final boss battle (well, not the FINAL final boss battle, but those that play it will know what I mean) this was one of the best games I've played on my DS.
However, even that's not quite true - as I feel like I've played this game before on the GBA, in the form of Mario and Luigi's Superstars Saga (SS). SS was a stand out title for the GBA, and is certainly still worth hunting out now if you haven't played it. Partners In Time (PiT) is more of the same x2. The 'x2' comes in the form baby Mario and Luigi - who provide some split screen fun, and justify this as a DS as opposed to a GBA release (the one touch screen section doesn't count, as it's far too brief).
Ummm - so far this has all been a bit too negative, which isn't right. Let me provide some balance. PiT is a good game, in fact just shy of a great game - I bothered to complete it after all, and I don't usually do that nowadays.It has the Nintendo Magic that you want from such titles. It has humour, it has colour, it has thought placed into it. Puzzles aren't particularly taxing, but this help keeps a pleasant pace which adds to the enjoyment as you travel back in forth through time (although you only really explore the past). The story, as it is, isn't too offensive - and you do want to know the predictable ending. Plus there are enough side quests and discoverable secrets to really pad out the game in a meaningful way.
The meat of the game comes in the form of combat - which hasn't evolved too much from SS. The babies have split the attacks slightly, and the power increases when all four brothers are together in the form of Bros.attacks. However, these attacks due become rather repetitive and rather bland - with the Bros.attacks relying on rhythm based interaction. You'll discover the ones that suit you quite quickly, and use them over and over.
And over and over and over during the boss battle I moaned about above. For such a delightfully paced game, to face an overly long 90 minute boss battle is rather jarring. Suddenly the game becomes a chore, as the enjoyment is sucked out via wave after wave of easily avoidable attacks are dished out. No saves, no let up. It seriously got to the point where I thought - well if I die I really cannot be bothered to play this section again. I would have rather left the game uncompleted.
Despite this I would recommend this game. There is a lot to love, 90%+ in fact. But the fact that it offers little over it's predecessor, and the horrible, horrible boss battle knocks my mark somewhat. For me it ended on a low.
7 / 10