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YMMV / Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time

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  • Anticlimax Boss: The Post-Final Boss against Shrowser is more of a fairly easy dodging minigame than an actual fight, a letdown coming off the heels of two incredibly tough final bosses and a poor conclusion to the threat of the Shroob invasion.
  • Awesome Music: See here.
  • Base-Breaking Character: Stuffwell. Some love him for his adorable design, funny dialogue, and for acting as the Bros.' suitcase. Others dislike his constant interjections into cutscenes and for being responsible for the massive amount of tutorials in the first part of the game.
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  • Breather Level: In contrast to the boss fight, Thwomp Volcano is a rather short level and has brief minigames that you can repeat to get beans. The mini-boss isn't even evil and simply attacks you for putting a funk in her rocky husband.
  • Contested Sequel: While generally agreed to be at least enjoyable, many fans consider this game the weakest in the series, mostly because of its high linearity (which isn't helped by the lack of an interconnected overworld like the other games, instead having a Hub Level), often excessively long boss battles, turning the Bros. Attacks into consumable Bros. Items and removing Bros. Points, that there's absolutely nothing to do after clearing the game, etc. However, many fans say instead that it's the best of the series, mainly for its Darker and Edgier storyline, or its relatively fast-paced nature compared to the other games. All of this said, the consensus seems to be that it's an okay game on its own, if not excellent.
  • Demonic Spiders:
    • Elite Boom Guys. They are very fast at the time of attacking, hit fairly hard, and can even fake-out so you jump at the wrong time, making their attack unavoidable.
    • Fly Guys. They carry bombs with a timer on them. When they attack, they fly to the top of the screen and drop the bomb on the Bros, which must be hammered back. The problem is, there's very little room for error, so if you fail, the bomb will hit you, either doing fairly large damage and possibly making you dizzy, or exploding and doing very large damage and almost ensuring you'll be confused, making you easy target for other enemies. At least their other attack is fairly easy to dodge.
    • Piranha Planets. Great amounts of HP, large attack stat and unpredictability (one attack is almost a carbon-copy of the Fly Guys mentioned above, while the other requires alternating button mashing) make them very hard enemies.
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    • Shroob Rexes. These guys hit hard, and if you don't reduce their stature with jumping attacks in time, they'll have an unavoidable attack that will deplete a large chunk of your HP. They also appear along other Shroob Rexes and Yellow Bubbles (see Goddamned Bats below for more information).
  • Ending Fatigue: No fewer than three final bosses, and two of them have too many hit points. And there's still a Post-Final Boss after this.
  • Game-Breaker:
    • The Ulti-Free Badge, available at Fawful's Bean 'n' Badge for 90 Beans, gives you unlimited Bros. Items on whoever's wearing it with no restrictions whatsoever, allowing the player to never have to use normal attacks again.
    • Copy Flowers and Trampolines. The general idea of both is the same: with proper action command timing, you can keep going indefinitely, making it possible to deal stupidly large amounts of damage to enemies with one use.
    • Mix Flowers. One of the final Bros. Items obtainable in the game (can be bought in shops once the player reaches Toad Town, and can be found in item blocks throughout Toad Town, Star Hill/Shrine, and Shroob Castle), it has the four bros tossing fireballs in the air to create a giant fireball, which, when it gets too low and the attack ends, explodes on the group of enemies and heavily damages them all. It's capable of decimating entire groups of enemies in one hit, and is easier to execute than Copy Flowers and Trampolines. The only reason why it's weaker than Copy Flowers and Trampolines against bosses is because it caps at 999 damage, whereas they don't have a damage cap, meaning a skilled player can deal thousands of damage to a boss with them.
    • EXP Badge A, available at Fawful's Bean 'N' Badge for 70 beans. The bro that it's equipped to gains 40% more EXP from enemies killed by Bros. Items. Farming beans in Thwomp Caverns to obtain 280 beans and buying 4 of these to equip to all 4 bros means the entire party will receive the 40% EXP boost from enemies killed by Bros. Items. If you stock up on beans in Thwomp Caverns before completing the level, go back to Fawful's Bean 'N' Badge and purchase 4 of these, then proceed to Toad Town and stock up on loads of Mix Flowers, every battle becomes an extremely easy EXP grind that will make all the bros overleveled for the remaining boss fights.
  • Goddamned Bats:
    • Shroids. They have one attack that is very annoying. It takes two flags, and the bros must jump/do nothing depending on color raised, performs this multiple times (up to six), and one failure results in an unavoidable attack. Also, it may summon a UFO that drops a spikeball, countering this causes the Shroid to malfunction. This means the "flag" attack from earlier is reversed- the other brother needs to jump for each flag raise.
    • Ghoul Guys. Not very hard to kill, but they can sacrifice themselves to make a Fusion Dance with another enemy in the field, making it much more stronger, faster and resistant.
    • The Skellokeys are just like normal Pokeys... except they are spiny enemies, meaning you must destroy their lower sections first, one by one, unless you don't wanna waste one of your Bros. Items. Their attacks are also very unpredictable and generally appear only for the babies, which aren't the best fighters in solo mode.
    • Thwacks and Wonder Thwacks. They appear in fairly large groups (up to eight) and can call even more of them, making them fairly large annoyances.
    • Love Bubbles and their upgraded versions, Soul Bubbles. Very unpredictable attack patterns and the ability to heal other enemies make fighting against them a tough task.
  • Good Bad Bugs: In the underground area under Gritzy Desert, there's a floating platform in one room. If you have just Luigi jump onto it, and then stop moving, the bros begin spazzing out and teleporting around, potentially ending up in a hill and getting stuck or separating the bros across the room. If you do get stuck, there was a Save Block in the last room, so there shouldn't be too much progress lost.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • The entire plot of this game centers around the Marios and Bowser fighting off aliens. Fifteen years prior, an episode of The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3 had the entire Mushroom Kingdom, including the Koopas, panicked about an alien invasion. Turns out those "aliens" were just a human family from the real world.
    • The Super Mario Bros Super Show! episode "Two Plumbers and a Baby" involves Peach getting transformed into a baby after falling in the Fountain of Youth. Sixteen years later, Baby Peach makes her first canon appearance in this game; coincidentally, Toadsworth at one point even believes his past self has transformed Peach into a baby to kidnap her.
  • It's the Same, Now It Sucks!: Some critics felt the gameplay didn't innovate enough, being essentially Superstar Saga with a more linear overworld and babies tagging along. Adding fuel to the fire was the only segment utilizing the DS's touch screen, which felt tacked on.
  • Memetic Mutation: After the release of Splatoon before the release of the Virtual Console version, many people joke on Miiverse that Nintendo had been planning about making Splatoon for over ten years through Young E. Gadd's comment.
    Young E. Gadd: I have an inkling I'll be seeing you again soon... Bye!
  • Narm: The destruction of Hollijolli Village can come across this. Evidently, the developers decided the Shroobs should literally destroy Christmas to convince us they're evil.
    • Narm Charm: With that being said, the atmosphere of the desolate, ruined village is a perfect introduction to just how brutal the Shroobs are, and more than makes up for how on the nose it is.
  • Nightmare Fuel: Enough for its own page.
  • One-Scene Wonder: The sequence with the mind-controlled Hammer Bros. who speak exclusively in 1337 is easily one of the most memorable moments in the English script.
  • Padding: Bosses having far too much HP. This was notably only done in the American version, with the European and Japanese versions (which actually came out after the American version) being more reasonable. For example, Princess Shroob has 1700 HP in the Japanese version, because they knew a boss constantly protecting herself with a barrier didn't need 3000 HP.
  • Porting Disaster: The Wii U Virtual Console release. Like all DS games on the Wii U Virtual Console, the default screen setting is an incredibly tiny virtual representation of a DS that you can barely see unless you're staring at the GamePad, and even then you can barely see it. And the only ways to increase the screen sizes involve separating the screens in some way, either by enlarging one screen and putting the other screen next to it on the side, or by having the top screen of the DS on the TV screen and the bottom screen on the Gamepad. On most DS releases on the Wii U Virtual Console, this isn't really a problem, but in this game, 80% of battles have attacks that go across both screens (from both the Bros. and the enemies and bosses), so if you set it up any other way than the default it becomes impossible to counter or use attacks properly, and if you use the default settings you can barely see any of it anyway. This makes the game almost completely unplayable on the Wii U Virtual Console release. This can be mitigated by zooming in on the TV screen with the default Virtual Console settings however.
  • The Scrappy: The Star Gate gets a lot of hate for being an unreasonable Jerkass to Luigi. Even though he later admits that he was only doing it to see if Mario would defend him, his cruelty to Luigi only (i.e. honest-to-goodness gaslighting the poor guy by giving him three options to answer a question, calling them all wrong, declaring the answer an unavailable fourth option, and accusing Luigi of lying when he points out that said fourth option did not exist for him to pick) rubbed fans the wrong way. It doesn’t really help that the game had already poked fun at Luigi more than enough by the time this happens.
  • So Okay, It's Average: The general reaction towards the game. While having excellent writing and characterization as well as an interesting Darker and Edgier spin on the formula, the game is let down by extremely linear progression and area design as well as overly long boss battles, along with the Bros. Attacks becoming one-use items and nothing to do after the game's completion. However, most fans feel that the game isn't bad by any means, and can be enjoyable at least for a single playthrough.
  • Sophomore Slump: While still thought of as a good game, many fans consider this one weaker than Superstar Saga, due to the fully explorable world being replaced with a more linear set-up and due to the controls getting a little convoluted what with all the switching back and forth between A/B and X/Y. Probably the reason Bowser's Inside Story returned to the explorable world and kept the A/B and X/Y portions completely separate.
  • Squick:
    • There's an organic structure leaking water like a fountain inside Yoob's lower gastrointestinal system that you need to make Baby Mario drink from. This doesn't go unnoticed in the official strategy guide, which refers to it as "delicious Yoob water".
    • Again regarding Yoob, you are able to have the baby Bros. drill into his flesh while inside of him. To make this even more gross, Yoob winces in pain on the map screen every time you do this. Because there are a lot of Beans inside of Yoob, you'll be doing this a lot.
  • That One Boss:
    • The battle against Bowser and his younger self is surprisingly difficult compared to the previous bosses, since their attacks are somewhat difficult to dodge, they utilize combination attacks with several fake outs, and they hit hard. Add the fact that they heal each other almost every time, and you have a true climatic boss of a volcano.
    • Also, Petey Piranha, while not as hard as the battle in Thwomp Volcano, switches between being flying and spiked and takes some time to learn the tell for his flying attacks. Also, he's one of only three bosses in the game who is only one target to attack multiple times a turn. It should be noted that the Bowsers and Petey are the two Climax Bosses.
    • Transformed Elder Princess Shroob has extremely high HP, an extremely high rate of attack with attacks that are difficult to dodge, and requires several other points of her body to be attacked before you can even target her actual source of HP. Even for the standards of a Final Boss, she is practically unstoppable if you aren’t high-leveled enough, and has without doubt caused many a player to Rage Quit the game entirely if they aren’t leveled up to a point that she is remotely possible to beat.
  • That One Level:
    • Toad Town Ruins. Remember Joke's End sequences from the previous entry where the Bros had to explore alone for a good chunk of the dungeon? Well, Toad Town Ruins might be arguably worse, since almost the entire level involves the Bros and their younger selves being separated the whole time, with special mention going to the Babies' parts, as they are considerably weaker than the adults which makes battles longer and tougher. And for extra fun? Every enemy here enters the Goddamned Bats category (see above), featuring Shroids, Skellokeys and Love Bubbles. Prepare for a lot of pain when crossing this place. At least there isn't a Boss Battle to worry about though.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: The Star Gate again. Apparently, his poor treatment of Luigi was just a Secret Test of Character on Mario to see how he'd defend his brother. However, this reveal can make The Star Gate come off as even less likable, as his bullying towards Luigi comes off as completely unnecessary and too harsh. Luigi had already been abused throught the game which The Star Gate should know since he was looking into his soul, but goes on to "test" him anyway.
  • What an Idiot!: Toadbert and Kylie Koopa, for freaking out and not just explaining to Mario and Luigi the truth about the Cobalt Star until they happened to be at a very vulnerable spot during the Star Shrine.
  • The Woobie:
    • Peach. It's one thing to have Bowser kidnap her knowing Mario will routinely rescue her, but here a hostile alien race doesn't have the same concern for her as Bowser to keep her unharmed, at one point feeding her to Petey Piranha for a quick laugh. Also, while Bowser would only storm into her castle and kidnap her, the Shroobs are the first antagonists to attack her entire kingdom, and she's powerless to stop them.
    • Luigi spends the entire game accumulating physical and emotional abuse from the enemies, the characters, the setting, his main allies, and especially the Star Gate.
    • Heck, the Shroobs themselves could be woobies, though of the Destroyer of Worlds kind. The Shroobs may be doing loads of atrocities throughout the game that would warrant the entire species crossing the Moral Event Horizon, but then you remember that they're doing this because their own civilization was implied to be on the brink of extinction at the prologue of the game and they needed the Mushroom Kingdom's life energy to save theirs. Not helping is that they're ruled by not one, but two Dictators of Princesses Whom want to either kill off all life in the Mushroom World or enslave them to do their bidding as well as occasionally mistreating their own brethren, although this is more apparent with Elder Princess Shroob in her Boss fight.
  • Woolseyism: Let's face it, would this game really have the Hammer Bros. talking in 1337 in the Japanese version, saying things like "ROFL" or "PWN"? note 


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