Nintendo fans remember the Gameboy Advance Mario RPG, entitled "Superstar Saga" fondly. It was an accessable, easy playing role playing game with snappy dialogue and a vibrant, colorful presentation.
Partners in Time follows that tradition quite well, though there are some game design issues.
Graphics: Simple, clean, fun. Pretty much standard Nintendo. The DS power isn't really used other than for some special effects here and there.
Control: The battle system is unique and fun, and easy to execute, but also very tiring! Some of the boss battles can really get out of hand; I almost lost a few just from my fingers getting too tired.
Sound: The music is a little repititious, but is still catchy. The boss music is well concieved, as is the "panic" music. The only world to get an "A" from me, however, is the "thwomp" world.
Gameplay/Balance/Difficulty: Generally fun. Leveling up has a unique component: you get your standard upgrades, then you get to sort of use a "slot machine" type mechanism to select one more upgrade. The friggin' bosses get out of hand, however. Too many of em' that take too long to beat. Also, this is a bit long for handheld game; through folks with superiour hand eye coordination could get through it faster.
Overall: Smart, funny dialogue (the hammer bros. are particularly funny; Nintendo should give them a game of their own) and a colorful, fun world make for fairly enjoyable entertainment. It just gets a little frustrating and unbalanced near the end, which stops it just short of an A.
A quality title. B+