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Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time Review (DS)

Alphadream and Nintendo have once again given us a Mario RPG for us to enjoy. This time, it's Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time - the sequel to the first Mario & Luigi game.

Saving Princess Peach - the gold standard. Take that, add a new super villain, and the result is a good, twisting storyline. There's some new bad guys this time: Shroobs, a mysterious alien race that look like Mushrooms. Well, they've taken over the Mushroom Kingdom...except, that was years ago. No problem though, Professor E. Gadd has created a time machine that Mario & Luigi can use to go to the past. Well, the fuel source known as the Cobalt Star has shattered. Without it, the brothers can't go into the past. However, random time holes have appeared, each having a source of the Colbalt Star. Mario & Luigi must now repair the star and save the Mushroom Kingdom! It's a different storyline, but up to the standard of all the Mario RPG's.

4 buttons, 4 main characters (Mario/Luigi and their baby counterparts). One button for each character - simple...right? Unfortunately, it's not. The controls lead to a diverse gameplay, but they can be hard to learn at first. However, it leads to some awesome additions from the first game. There's more moves for the Bros on the map and the battlefields. It also leads to more innovative styles of play. Once the controls are learned, they become fun and easy!

Mario & Luigi DS just looks good. Flat out good. Smooth and crisp, the graphics live up to expectations. The game uses the power of the DS to make great visuals. The levels and characters are incredibly smooth and detailed. The only disappointment is the maps on the second screen. They could have been more detailed - they're just very plain

The music in this game has it's ups and downs - like a rollercoaster. Some music is great. Take the multiple alterations of classic Mario themes - they are great, very enjoyable. But when you get to the original tracks...that's when you start noticing the downs of the audio. Not all the new music bad - there are some standouts. I just thought that Yoko Shimomura, the composer of the music in the first game and Super Mario RPG, didn't live up to expectations.

Great games have the ability to be replayed...and this is why Mario & Luigi DS is not a great game. There's very limited areas, and no free time travel. There's also very few minigames. Oh yeah, then there's the boss battles. A player can take up to 3 hours to beat certain bosses. They aren't even hard! It's just a bunch of repetitive-ness in the battles. No challenge whatsoever.

Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time is a good game at best. It has its ups, it has its downs.

Overall Score: 8.5/10