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RPG Perfection? Nope, But Close Enough
Mario and Luigi: Partners in Time (DS)
Member Name: King-Jokesound
Mario and Luigi: Partners in Time (DS)
Advantages: Hilarious, Clever, Fun.
Disadvantages: Not As Good As Superstar Saga
Written 31st August 2006:
Mario And Luigi: Partners In Time Review:
If you have never played Mario and Luigi- Superstar Saga, then you really missed out on a gaming Gem. It was arguably one of the best Gameboy Advance games around. And this is its sequel, also one of the arguably best games for DS, but has it lost its spark in translation?
The graphics on the original were colourful and pretty, and here, they are mostly the same, save for a few differences. However, most of the game is a different tone from the original, so while at times it seems inappropiate, it gets the job done, and looks damn good while its at it. My only gripe is the retarded way Mario and Luigi walk when they aren't carrying the babies. Fortunatley, you won't have to suffer this too much in the game, and so it can be largely ignored.
The original boasted mostly memorable tunes that matched the situation and kept you upbeat and happy to keep playing the game. In this version, the tunes again match the situations and can keep you playing, but they suffer the curse of being one of the worst parts of the game. The tunes aren't anyway near as memorable as the original, and more often than not, you'll be listening to something else on your iPod. The tunes are good though, just not good enough.
The gameplay is basically the same as in the last game, but with a few minor changes. But when the original had such brilliant gameplay, its not hard to see why. The main new change is the ability to control Mario and Luigi's baby counterparts as well, which opens up to some clever (and some annoying) puzzles, which often need the babies to split from the adults in order to activate a switch, or to be at a relay point. Plus, there are new out of battle moves that Mario and co can do, from the old spin jump to the rather stupidly named 'Baby Cakes'. But some of the best puzzles come from combining these moves. However, after a while, some of the puzzles get tedious, but by the point this occurs, theres normally a new move or element added to make you forget.
Battles are satisying as well, as with the babies added, you can try more moves and do more damage, so a normal jump can (with the right button presses) have extra damaged dished out by adding the Hero's baby counterpart add in to the attack (or vice versa). However, my main issue with the gameplay is the removal of the game-making Bros Moves, and the addition of Bros Items. I found nothing more satisying than unlocking the Advance Bros Moves, and finding the secret ones, but here, the items are given to you, and there are no Advanced items or secret items, which removes a lot of satisfaction from the game. However, at the end of the game, you'll be used to it, and won't mind too much, apart from the missing satisfaction I mentioned.
Apart from that, the gameplay is pretty much the same as it was, and when it was brilliant in the first place, not much else can fault it.
While the last game definatley gave full value available, this game's value is debatable. For one, the game seems much longer, and therefore seems to have more stuff to find, but unlike the first game, there doesn't seem to be as much variety in the tasks, there are no minigames (and if there are, they aren't good enough to remember), and the only main break in gameplay comes from the Saucer sections, which come a bit too late in the game. Also, unlocking the secret Bros Moves and items in the original gave incentive to replay, after you complete this game, you may replay it, but only to play the game through again, theres no real need to, unlike the original.
In conclusion, while this review seems either too positive or negative at points, the message is clear: Apart from a few changes, this is the same brilliant gameplay as the original, but (in my opinion) isn't as good as the original due to lack of variety, unmemorable music, and a few undesirable gameplay changes.
However, the game is undoubtedly one of the best RPGs I've played in a while, and is the definitive RPG for the DS, and one of the best games available.
Overall Score: 94%.
Summary: Worth Every Penny.
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