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ChaosArgate
Oct 10, 2012

Why does everyone think I'm going to get in trouble?



LATEST EPISODE: 27 - Finale






Mario is one of the most well-known and beloved characters in all of gaming, having stared in dozens upon dozens of games. He's Nintendo's mascot and may very well be considered the face of gaming, having been the star of many games that pioneered various trends in games, such as Super Mario 64, which is widely considered to be the first truly 3D game that was any good. He's famous for being the star of absolutely wonderful and amazing platformers, but he's a versatile character, having starred in other genres of games, such as sports, racing and even RPGs.

The first Mario RPG was a collaboration between Squaresoft (of Final Fantasy fame) and Nintendo and was titled Super Mario RPG for the SNES. It was well beloved for quirky and charming dialog (written by Ted Woolsey!) and introducing involved battle mechanics that required the player to time button presses just right to increase the damage they dealt and reduce the damage they took. Sadly, Squaresoft abandoned Nintendo after the N64 was released, so a proper sequel would never be developed. From there, Nintendo's second-party developers took the reins on Mario RPGs and two vastly different sub-series; Paper Mario, developed by Intelligent Systems, and the Mario and Luigi series, developed by AlphaDream.

Mario and Luigi, which also thrusts Mario's brother Luigi into the spotlight, keeps the charming writing of Super Mario RPG and constructs the battle system entirely around the player-timing mechanics from the SNES game, requiring the player to master the system to stay on par with the challenges the games place on them. It's very involved, but as a result, feels like a true marriage of platforming mechanics and RPG battling; for example, in a platformer, you can avoid enemies by jumping over attacks, so Mario and Luigi allows you to avoid certain attacks by jumping over them.

The original Mario and Luigi, Superstar Saga, was released in 2003 for the GBA and was a story about the Mario Bros' adventures in the Beanbean kingdom, which neighbors their home, the Mushroom Kingdom, and their quest to restore Princess Peach's voice. The game placed equal importance on both members of the party, forcing the player to control both of them with both buttons on the GBA. This game, Partners in Time, was released in 2005 for the Nintendo DS, adds Baby Mario and Luigi to the principal cast, brings the setting back to the Mushroom Kingdom and features a convoluted time travel plot that I don't think makes very much sense, and the addition of the babies makes the controls considerably more complex, as they're also controlled by their own face buttons so you're effectively managing four characters now. For the most part, it's still a two-character party, but there are times when the party gets separated.

These games are incredibly solid and are some of the best RPGs you can find, especially the first and third ones. I remember this one being pretty bad by this series' standards and not worth playing to the point where I felt like I was ripping my friend off when he offered to buy it for $10 and wouldn't budge til I let it go (it's debatable whether the fourth one is like that as well, but that's neither here nor there). I definitely think this is one of the weaker games in the series, but I've been playing the rest of the series recently and I wanted to reconfirm whether or not this game just wasn't up to par with the rest of the series. [Edit: NOPE. gently caress THIS GAME]. This is also the only non-3DS title in the sub-series to not have an LP on the archive, so I thought I could make a replay a little fun by filling the gap there.




Joining me on this adventure is my buddy Jobbo Fett, who hasn't played much of the series except for the first few minutes of the first game, so he's going in blind. I'll try to shoot for one episode a week, but that'll depend on whether or not I have time to record, so we'll see about how frequently I can update. We're doing this as a voiced VLP because the series has so many great animations that it'd be a major pain to make dozens of GIFs for every update and it'd be a lot easier to demonstrate the battle system if it's in motion.

SPOILER POLICY: None specifically about this game's story or any upcoming gameplay mechanics! It's fair game to talk about any of the other games in the series if it's similar to something already introduced in an episode (i.e., sidekicks are fair game to talk about after the first episode when our sidekick, Stuffwell, is introduced).

I also have a Twitter if you wanna follow me for potential updates there for this or anything else I may or may not be involved in.

Other Mario and Luigi LPs!
Mario or Luigi: Superstar Saga by MyNameIsKaz and Medibot
Mario and Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story by YamiNoSenshi




Playlist





























BONUS STUFF

ChaosArgate fucked around with this message at 05:46 on Jan 6, 2016

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ChaosArgate
Oct 10, 2012

Why does everyone think I'm going to get in trouble?



Here's a little side LP meant to fill gaps between episodes if need be.



I don't think this game is big enough to warrant a thread of its own, but I thought it'd be a good fit for filler in a Mario thread. The concept seems dumb, but hey, you've got a bunch of awesome Eurobeat Mario songs and some amazing model animation, so I thought it'd be a fun ride. The basic plot is Waluigi's broken into a castle and stolen the four Music Keys that keep the people of the Mushroom Kingdom musically stable, I guess. It's a weak plot, but let's be real, no one was expecting an amazing plot from DDR Mario of all things. I'm doing this as subtitled commentary because I don't wanna talk over the game's amazing soundtrack. Apologies about the first video's quick subtitles, I'll make them last a little longer for the next one.

Anyway enough rambling, let's dance!



Playlist




ChaosArgate fucked around with this message at 03:06 on Jun 26, 2015

Genocyber
Jun 4, 2012



Happy to see this. The worst Mario RPG by far, but still quite good nonetheless.

Rigged Death Trap
Feb 13, 2012

BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP



Genocyber posted:

Happy to see this. The worst Mario RPG by far, but still quite good nonetheless.

Oh definitely agreed.
But it still filled with charm, even though it's a slog at times.

Pureauthor
Jul 8, 2010

ASK ME ABOUT KISSING A GHOST

This was my first MnL game and I still loved it.

Well, most of it.

Glad to see an LP of this.

JordanKai
Aug 19, 2011

Get high and think of me.




How could you possibly hate on Toadsworth?

Rigged Death Trap
Feb 13, 2012

BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP



Oh and one more thing.

gently caress MARIO AND LUIGI RPG TUTORIALS AND SIDEKICKS.
Jesus Christ They just get more terrible as the series went on.

Well except for Prince Dreambert, he's fine.

Judge Tesla
Oct 29, 2011



JordanKai posted:

How could you possibly hate on Toadsworth?

Anyone who's played Mario Sunshine will know why Toadsworth must be mocked and shunned forever.

Genocyber
Jun 4, 2012



Rigged Death Trap posted:

Oh and one more thing.

gently caress MARIO AND LUIGI RPG TUTORIALS AND SIDEKICKS.
Jesus Christ They just get more terrible as the series went on.

Well except for Prince Dreambert, he's fine.

That seems to be true of Nintendo games in general in recent years (see: Skyward Sword).

Oblivion4568238
Oct 10, 2012

The Inquisition.
What a show.
The Inquisition.
Here. We. Go.

College Slice

Glad to see an LP of this game, if only because I only remember around three key things about it, despite being able to remember pretty much every dungeon and major story beat from the first game.

Also, if it works like the rest of the series, the bonus roulette's range of stats is based on how many levels it's been since you rolled for that stat. The numbers seem pretty low overall here, but in Dream Team at least, there'll be multiple threes and a couple of fours on the roulette after... four or five level ups without rolling a bonus on that stat, I think? Basically, the balancing that was mentioned in the update still applies, just in a different way than was mentioned. Then again, this is Partners in Time. Who knows what they could have changed about key mechanics from the first game. I've got a specific grumble about that coming up later...

Jobbo_Fett
Mar 7, 2014

It would be a sad error in judgement to mistake me for a corpse.


Clapping Larry

Moustache is the only real stat in a mario game.

Fionordequester
Dec 27, 2012

Actually, I respectfully disagree with you there. For as obviously flawed as this game is, there ARE a lot of really good things about it. The presentation and atmosphere, for example, are the most immediate things. No other Yu-Gi-Oh game goes out of the way to really make


Funnily enough, I actually liked this game better than the 1st one, or at least, I used to. It was actually fairly challenging on my first playthrough, and, being the blood knight that I am, I found that more entertaining than the first, where you can destroy practically everything with the Mush Badges. Because if you keep pumping Power over and over again, the enemies actually start hitting you pretty hard...

Of course, then I mastered it, and then...it just kind of lost it's appeal. I mean, it may have had the better difficulty curve, and had a pretty good mix of both funny and dark moments (unlike the 1st where it was just kind of silly all the time)...but the last game kind of had everything else. But oh well, at least the writing's good, and the graphics are gorgeous!

Fionordequester fucked around with this message at 03:02 on Sep 29, 2014

SonicRulez
Aug 6, 2013

GOTTA GO FIST


The Mario and Luigi series are such great RPGs. It's weird that Sega could never master the same thing for Sonic. Can't wait to see how this unfolds, I actually know nothing of the details of the series after the original M&L.

Yagyumi
Aug 26, 2013

Right! It's bonkin' time! I loves a bit of bonkin'!


This is one of those games you find yourself playing all the way through with this expression

You KNOW it's not that great a game (especially if you've played the original), but for all the things to dislike, there's something silently urging you on to finish the drat thing. Saying that, I actually don't remember much about this game, even though I managed to complete it; these videos will most likely cause Vietnam flashbacks from all those infuriating times.

Carbolic Smokeball
Nov 2, 2011


I bought this game years ago and have played it through twice (the second time being just last year) and inexplicably lost interest both times in the final dungeon, so I've still never beat it. I hear M&L 1 and 3 are much better but I can't say I'm a big fan of this one. I'd like to get to the others some day. This game had a great premise and great mechanics. I don't know why it didn't really work for me, but at least I know I'm not alone.

ChaosArgate
Oct 10, 2012

Why does everyone think I'm going to get in trouble?



I think Toadsworth is a terrible babysitter.



Also, I went to a Smash Bros day one tournament and I got a Baby Luigi plush for coming in second, so now I can do this!

YamiNoSenshi
Jan 19, 2010


I'm glad to see somebody tackling this game. All I remember is the difficulty of controlling all four characters at once.

Digital Jello
Nov 2, 2012

Now I have a machine gun. Ho! Ho! Ho!


YamiNoSenshi posted:

I'm glad to see somebody tackling this game. All I remember is the difficulty of controlling all four characters at once.

It's been a long time, but I too halfway recall this. Some of the Bros Attacks were fairly tough to pull off, even when compared to the more creative BIS and DT.

RareAcumen
Dec 28, 2012






As is with all the handheld Nintendo games, I remember just wishing for a skip cutscene/tutorial button because boy would that make these games so much more replayable. And I also didn't really think that they made much use of the dual screens either. But just watching it being played I guess that it counts with how things happen on the top screen during battles.

The touch screen sure didn't get used as much as it should've though.

Digital Jello
Nov 2, 2012

Now I have a machine gun. Ho! Ho! Ho!


I forgot to jump on the bandwagon and agree with all the "gently caress the tutorials!" comments. Seriously, it's what killed DT for me. You were still getting tutorials halfway through the game because Nintendo wasn't convinced you, the player, were ever going to "get it". I'd love to see an M&L game that utilizes a crapload of challenging puzzles without holding your hand. Whining aside, it wasn't too bad in this game, if I recall.

Jobbo_Fett
Mar 7, 2014

It would be a sad error in judgement to mistake me for a corpse.


Clapping Larry

RareAcumen posted:

The touch screen sure didn't get used as much as it should've though.

Thinking about it, I wonder if maybe it's because it came out early in the DS' life cycle and they weren't confident enough to use it more?

And yeah, the tutorials are obnoxious.

CmdrKing
Oct 14, 2012

Maybe if I called it 'Interpretive Stabbing'...

The especially sad part of Dream Team's endless tutorials, at least for me, is the game itself is considerably longer than it really has enough ideas for. They could as easily have made the game half the length and given you almost all the moves from the start instead of stringing you along for yet more tutorials and had a much stronger final product. There's an almost tangible point around the halfway mark where you can just feel AlphaDream running out of ideas and just getting completely bored with standard M&L gameplay. I'm pretty convinced each new game in the series having a new set of mechanics for additional partners is because they blew their entire load for boss design in Superstar Saga. It's really too bad because they've been quite consistent about keeping the quirkiness fresh through the series (disclaimer: I haven't played Partners in Time, actually!) but on the gameplay front it's just tired and only the sheer awesomeness of Bowser kept Inside Story from being equally exhausting.

RareAcumen
Dec 28, 2012






Jobbo_Fett posted:

Thinking about it, I wonder if maybe it's because it came out early in the DS' life cycle and they weren't confident enough to use it more?

And yeah, the tutorials are obnoxious.

Yeah, that's what it was. That's kinda the thing with Nintendo. A new system- past Gamecube- comes out and it's got a new totally different thing involved that everybody has to make use of!!! ...And then they loosen up on that. Look at the DS' microphone or the Wii's motion control nunchuck. The former stopped getting as much use in games and the second had games playable with a controller, entirely making the main draw of them useless.

If they'd came up with a new gimmick [Like the two screens, which is actually pretty cool] and then made the console extremely powerful, they'd have less problems.

I think, at least.

RareAcumen fucked around with this message at 08:57 on Oct 8, 2014

Jobbo_Fett
Mar 7, 2014

It would be a sad error in judgement to mistake me for a corpse.


Clapping Larry


I always felt like the main issue with some gimmicks is that they are so limited in scope that you rarely get the chance to use them in meaningful ways. The microphone is a great example of that; rarely does something get designed for it. The nunchuk's main purpose is to allow you to aim the wiimote at the screen, while regular controllers were always going to be a thing especially when the "Every game needs motion controls!" push was done.

I don't think the DS' problem is power, but frankly I never got around to playing a large collection of DS games. I remember the Advance Wars games being quite nice and stylistic and they had a lot going on, especially during the latter missions.

RareAcumen
Dec 28, 2012






Jobbo_Fett posted:

I always felt like the main issue with some gimmicks is that they are so limited in scope that you rarely get the chance to use them in meaningful ways. The microphone is a great example of that; rarely does something get designed for it. The nunchuk's main purpose is to allow you to aim the wiimote at the screen, while regular controllers were always going to be a thing especially when the "Every game needs motion controls!" push was done.

I don't think the DS' problem is power, but frankly I never got around to playing a large collection of DS games. I remember the Advance Wars games being quite nice and stylistic and they had a lot going on, especially during the latter missions.

That's a big factor, but mostly I'm just talking about the systems actually making significant jumps in power. Like DS to 3DS. And before that there was the DS Lite, the DS i, DSi XL... I've got a decent amount of DS games now too but I'm basically done for the most part. Still don't remember using the microphone on any of them aside from The World Ends With You. There was probably some point in Bowsers Inside Story but I can't remember.

Judge Tesla
Oct 29, 2011



The Microphone was used a few times in Bowser's Inside Story, mostly in the Giant Bowser Battles, but very few DS games used the mic, I think Warioware Touched was one of the few to embrace it, the character Mike (Get it?) had minigames themed around using the Microphone and nothing else.

ChaosArgate
Oct 10, 2012

Why does everyone think I'm going to get in trouble?



Doesn't Spirit Tracks make you play the pan flute with the microphone?

Edit: and we can't forget Ace Attorney's use to allow you to shout OBJECTION at the top of your lungs.

RareAcumen
Dec 28, 2012






ChaosArgate posted:

Doesn't Spirit Tracks make you play the pan flute with the microphone?

Edit: and we can't forget Ace Attorney's use to allow you to shout OBJECTION at the top of your lungs.

God does it. The big thing I was talking about was how Nintendo eased off of 'EVERY GAME MUST MAKE USE OF THE MICROPHONE TOUCHSCREEN AND DUALSCREEN FUNCTIONS OF THE NINTENDO DEE-ESS! '

Of course, a game here and there would use it but they wouldn't make it a core component like the A button in a side scrolling Mario game.

PaletteSwappedNinja
Jun 3, 2008

One Nation, Under God.

Genocyber posted:

That seems to be true of Nintendo games in general in recent years (see: Skyward Sword).

Nah, they vacillate a lot. Take the latest Paper Mario, for instance - it's quite hands-off and leaves the player to explore and work out how to progress on their own, but not six months later they released Mario & Luigi: Dream Team which is one of the most patronising games they've ever made.

Geostomp
Oct 22, 2008

Unite: MASH!!
~They've got the bad guys on the run!~

Genocyber posted:

Happy to see this. The worst Mario RPG by far, but still quite good nonetheless.

I don't know, the latest Paper Mario was pretty bad too. Seriously, who thought removing nearly all unique characters (even Bowser stays silent for the entire game) and forcing you to use stickers for every attack was a good idea.

At least Bowser's Inside Story and Dream Team were better.

PaletteSwappedNinja
Jun 3, 2008

One Nation, Under God.

Geostomp posted:

I don't know, the latest Paper Mario was pretty bad too. Seriously, who thought removing nearly all unique characters (even Bowser stays silent for the entire game) and forcing you to use stickers for every attack was a good idea.

Miyamoto, more or less.

YamiNoSenshi
Jan 19, 2010


CmdrKing posted:

The especially sad part of Dream Team's endless tutorials, at least for me, is the game itself is considerably longer than it really has enough ideas for. They could as easily have made the game half the length and given you almost all the moves from the start instead of stringing you along for yet more tutorials and had a much stronger final product. There's an almost tangible point around the halfway mark where you can just feel AlphaDream running out of ideas and just getting completely bored with standard M&L gameplay. I'm pretty convinced each new game in the series having a new set of mechanics for additional partners is because they blew their entire load for boss design in Superstar Saga. It's really too bad because they've been quite consistent about keeping the quirkiness fresh through the series (disclaimer: I haven't played Partners in Time, actually!) but on the gameplay front it's just tired and only the sheer awesomeness of Bowser kept Inside Story from being equally exhausting.

I was playing Dream Team at the same time I was doing the Inside Story LP and it really felt like they were the same game. Same annoying sidekick, same split between overhead and side scrolling sections, even the giant Luigi battles felt very similar to the giant Bowser battles. Nothing felt fresh or new.

Geostomp
Oct 22, 2008

Unite: MASH!!
~They've got the bad guys on the run!~

YamiNoSenshi posted:

I was playing Dream Team at the same time I was doing the Inside Story LP and it really felt like they were the same game. Same annoying sidekick, same split between overhead and side scrolling sections, even the giant Luigi battles felt very similar to the giant Bowser battles. Nothing felt fresh or new.

I liked Dream Team a lot, but have to admit they reused a few too many elements. Starlow could easily have been removed and things would probably have improved with just the one, plot-important new sidekick.

notoriousman
Nov 18, 2007

I'M AWARE I'M
AN IDIOT


Geostomp posted:

I liked Dream Team a lot, but have to admit they reused a few too many elements. Starlow could easily have been removed and things would probably have improved with just the one, plot-important new sidekick.
to be fair to her, Starlow had one or two really good lines that Mandatory Plot Sidekick wouldn't be able to deliver the same. But a lot of assessments here are true; Dream Team is in too comfortable a spot, building on previous concepts and mechanics instead of trying something new and/or innovative (like this game does in spades) and the length is definitely a factor in why I eventually petered out on it. It's still a good game, but not great.

But this thread isn't about Dream Team, it's about Partners in Time! I beat this once a long while ago and sadly I was rather unimpressed at the time and sold my copy. I'm fairly regretful about this since I think the game's grown on me. It's far from perfect but it does introduce a bunch of new concepts and did a lot to make itself more than just Superstar Saga 2, and it's nice to appreciate that sort of ambition even if it doesn't pan out.

And I'm definitely glad they didn't cop Cackletta's dick move from the final battle.

YamiNoSenshi
Jan 19, 2010


notoriousman posted:

to be fair to her, Starlow had one or two really good lines that Mandatory Plot Sidekick wouldn't be able to deliver the same. But a lot of assessments here are true; Dream Team is in too comfortable a spot, building on previous concepts and mechanics instead of trying something new and/or innovative (like this game does in spades) and the length is definitely a factor in why I eventually petered out on it. It's still a good game, but not great.

But this thread isn't about Dream Team, it's about Partners in Time! I beat this once a long while ago and sadly I was rather unimpressed at the time and sold my copy. I'm fairly regretful about this since I think the game's grown on me. It's far from perfect but it does introduce a bunch of new concepts and did a lot to make itself more than just Superstar Saga 2, and it's nice to appreciate that sort of ambition even if it doesn't pan out.

And I'm definitely glad they didn't cop Cackletta's dick move from the final battle.

True. It's not really fair to say "Well, Bowser's Inside Story did this or that." This was the followup from the GBA game, so a lot of it is Alpha exploring what they could do with more buttons and two screens and the touch screen. The DS had only been out for a year and a lot of companies were still trying to figure out what to do with it.

Genocyber
Jun 4, 2012



Geostomp posted:

I don't know, the latest Paper Mario was pretty bad too. Seriously, who thought removing nearly all unique characters (even Bowser stays silent for the entire game) and forcing you to use stickers for every attack was a good idea.

At least Bowser's Inside Story and Dream Team were better.

Do not speak of that which must not be spoken.

Also regarding Dream Team, I never felt it was too similar to BIS; it came out four years later so unless you did play them at the same time I don't think you'd notice either.

And unless the quality of the games takes a poo poo, I'm fine with less innovation and just more content. Even at their most dull Mario RPGs are more fun and involved than 90% of other RPGs.

Hrist
Feb 21, 2011



Lipstick Apathy

I remember this being one of those games I was really excited for, because I loved the first. But all I can remember of it now is that at some point I got completely stuck, because of some stupid timed platforming thing. And getting stuck in an RPG because you can't figure out the strict timing of some platforming thing and you keep getting stuck wrestling with controls is seriously the worst feeling.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to seeing whatever it was that I missed out on beyond that point.

Araxxor
Oct 20, 2012

My disdain for you all knows no bounds.


I never really liked this game that much. It felt so forgettable, and the whole game felt like a slog to go through. I thought using all 4 buttons was kind of neat, even if it felt a bit clunky at times.

anilEhilated
Feb 17, 2014

But I say fuck the rain.



Grimey Drawer

I only played the GBA one and it was one of the few JRPGs I didn't hate on the first sight. Never had a DS or was aware of the fact there was more of them, so I'm going to watch this with interest. Right off the bat I can tell that forcing you to use more buttons is a bad idea - Superstar Saga was extremely tight on timing at moments and even some of the character switching was a headache once you got more abilities. I somehow don't see the DS features enhancing the experience.

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BottledBodhisvata
Jul 26, 2013

by Lowtax


I did not like this game, and I really liked Dream Team.

Dream Team was actually a rather challenging. Some of the boss fights can really wreck you and I appreciated that.

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