Mario And Luigi: Partners In Time, a Creative Masterpiece?

Professor E. Gadd is at it again. The Professor has created a Time Machine, using the power of the Cobalt Star. Princess Peach and company are the first to test it out, as they travel into the past to find out that the Mushroom Kingdom is being taken over by Shroobs! Upon re-entry of the Time Machine, the Princess is gone, the Cobalt Star is gone, and only one thing remains: a Shroob fighter. It is up to Masters Mario and Luigi to find a way back in time, rescue the Princess, and destroy the Shroob threat.

The way this game plays is just brilliant. It starts off fairly simple: Mario and Luigi jump with the A and B buttons (which you get to test as soon as the Shroob steps out of the time capsule), and that’s about all you worry about. Then Baby Mario and Baby Luigi are introduced (who use the X and Y buttons), and when all 4 get together, it opens a world of techniques. The techniques of the Pokemon go accounts should be known to the players for advance playing in the games. The creative games will save the time in catching of the pokemon.

One of the more enjoyable things about this game, and its playability, are the puzzles and obstacles you will encounter. These range from simply the babies jumping off of Mario and Luigi’s shoulders onto higher blocks, or turning into a ball and squishing the babies for them to fit in tight a spot – which is one of the moves you learn from the older and younger caretakers of Princess Peach. The gameplay really shines, however, when you are actually in battle.

During battle, there are many ways in which you can outwit your opponent. The most common, is just standard jumping on their heads. With Mario and Luigi alone, a well time jump will do critical damage to your opponent. With the babies on your back, you can do even more damage by allowing them to jump as well. Shortly into the game, you will also acquire a hammer for each of the babies from the “L33t Hamm3r Broz”. These hammers are primarily used to kill enemies originally thought unable to be hit by jumping, due to spikes on their back or something else. A nicely timed strike will deal in extra damage.

There are, of course, more boisterous methods to taking out your opponent. Whether purchased in the store, or won from slaying baddies, the Battle Items are some of the more damage dealing weapons in the game. These range from status attacks (Ice Balls), to high damage attacks (Trampoline), and everywhere in between. The Battle Items cannot pose as your standard method for attack, for they eventually expire and you can no longer use them until you buy or find more. To win, you would also want to protect yourself. The game offers a very limited selection of upgradeable items in the game. There are trousers, pants, and badges. The trousers and pants upgrade the normal things, Strength, Stache, Speed, etc. The badges, on the other hand, can upgrade just about anything (some even limit one trait to upgrade another). These badges and trousers are not really needed, for it is difficult to actually lose all 4 of the party members. Mario and Luigi might eventually faint, but Baby Mario and Luigi will always be there to give them a mushroom.

The stylus (touch screen) was not used at all, except to clean mud off of a picture a Toadette drew.

The visuals on this game were very artistically directed, which made it very playable and easy to adapt to. Every time Mario and company enter a new area, there are always new, vibrant colors and mosaics there to greet him, and to reflect the environment. In the more peaceful areas it was green and bright and colorful; in enemy territory it was dark and brown and gloomy. The colors really brought out the characters, and helped assume bad from good. Most of the sound, music, and other things were done very well. The music changed depending on the situation and whether you fought a boss or a lowly enemy. The music fit the game very well, it felt like a part of the game.

The sound effects are another story. The babies’ crying is just irritating – Especially Princess Peach. The better part, were the voices of Luigi and Mario. Mario and Luigi eventually would talk in this game. Their voice talents went from saying “Babies!” to gibbering to someone about a situation. Listening to ANY character in this game talk out loud was just so hilarious and well done. It added so much to make up for the annoyance of baby cries.

The “L33t Hamm3r Broz.” introduction, Mario and Luigi talking, Bowser and Baby Bowser always getting trounced, and 1000 other things just made the game so ridiculously creative and funny. Despite the lack of replay value…the game only needs to be completed once before you talk about it for days end.

Overall, Mario and Luigi have done it again. From the games awe-inspiring and easy to use gameplay mechanics to the beautiful display of colors and hilarious audio and creativity; Mario and Luigi: Partners in Time is another mess full of Nintendo fun.