Mario and Luigi: Partners in Time Review

Today is a sad day folks. It is my last ever Julian Kay Review (at least until Jules lends me more games ;)). Today’s review is Mario And Luigi: Partners in Time, from the same series as the great Superstar Saga.

Mario and Luigi Partners in Time Cover

Console: DS
Compared to Superstar Saga? On par, really good game
As a DS Game? Decent use of the dual screen, not much stylus use

If you remember my last review of a Mario & Luigi game…

  • Really good intro to the RPG genre
  • Really fun to play
  • Good graphics
  • Good soundtrack
  • I think that Partners in Time really stood up to the first game in the series and was delighted to play another.

    Mario and Luigi Partners in Time puzzle solving

    Two screens this time

    One of my thoughts for “how to improve Mario & Luigi” was “add more party members”. And Partners in Time does just that… well. Sort of.

    Baby Mario Baby Luigi


    Your two new party members are… younger versions of the Mario siblings! And they are adorable.

    Mario and Luigi Partners in time crying babies

    Oh, crying happens a lot

    I’ll mention one thing – for some reason, Luigi cries more as an adult than he does as a child. Poor Weegie. Just going to put this song here becasuse of the title and I like it and it’s by a friend of mine:

    Getting on with the review…

    The Plot

    For some reason, a time machine was created and instead of you know, testing it, the very first person they send through is Princess Peach. And of course she doesn’t come back.

    So, the Mario Brothers are sent through time… and how do we go through time? Via Tripping Balls (in a similar manner to how Wario travel through dimensions).

    Mario and Luigi Partners in Time Time Hole

    Tripping Balls

    And back in time we meet up with our younger selves and oh, Mushroom Kingdom is under attack by… Shroobs.

    Shroobs Princess Shroob Mario and Luigi Partners in Time

    Alien versions of the Mushroom kingdom residents

    Shroobs are aliens from outer space the for whatever reason want to take over Mushroom Kingdom. Simple enough. They do so by turning all the residents into Mushrooms. It’s actually fairly horrible for an “all ages” game but whatever!

    The plot is markedly better than the one from Superstar Saga.

    The Gameplay

    Partners in Time plays quite similarly to Superstar saga. The main difference is that you now have to learn moves for twice the amount of characters and this can be quite difficult at the start, but you get used to it by the end.

    One of my favourite differences is the difference from team attacks from one game to the next. In Partners in Time you use different items which allow you to get different amounts of hits on your enemy depending how good your reaction time is.

    Mario and Luigi Partners in Time Green Shell

    Baby Mario, Riding on a Shell, Baby Mario

    If you do not master using items you will have a hard time with some of the later enemies and bosses.

    Something I found considerably different from Superstar Saga was the difficulty level. For the majority of the game I found it more difficult to defeat regular enemies – in Superstar Saga, regular enemies only became difficult in the last level or so, but I found from half way the enemies to be quite hard.

    Mario and Luigi Partners in Time Enemy

    Some enemies have multiple forms

    The main issue is that most enemies have more than one attack and more than one form of each attack. You need to learn the relevant visual and sound cues to avoid attacks. If you don’t avoid attacks, I found I was usually pretty defenceless. But that’s my own fault for not growing the defence stat very well…

    However, of all things, the final boss was far FAR easier than that of the first game:

    Mario and Luigi Partners in Time Final Boss Princess Shroob

    What even is this

    I’m not sure if it was actually easier or if I’d just learned from the first game to understand cues better. It’s still a good 3 stages with multiple attacks and limited periods of vulnerability. It was still hard enough to be called a final boss, but nowhere near as bad as the bastard final boss from the first game.


    I really loved this game. It really lived up to the first one and I’ll probably hunt down the next ones in the series to play at a later date.

    Big thank you to Jules for lending me all these games to play!

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