Super Princess Peach Review

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Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Nintendo

Platform: DS
Reviewed on DS

Bowser never takes a break from harassing Mario and friends. Usually, Bowser and his minions seize Princess Peach, holding her hostage until Mario leaps across enough platforms and pits to win her back. This time, Bowser has found the Vibe Scepter hidden on Vibe Island, and taken both Mario and Luigi hostage while Peach was out on a walk.

Now it's Princess Peach's turn for payback! Armed with only her trusty umbrella (which happens to be a talking umbrella with magical powers named Perry) she sets out to rescue the two Italian plumbers and countless toads captured by the wicked Bowser.

Kyle Ackerman

While there is ostensibly a different story that has Princess Peach rescuing Mario, Luigi and countless toads, Super Princess Peach is really the story of a magical umbrella named Perry (Perry the Parasol?) and Perry's abduction. As Peach progresses with Perry's assistance, the truth behind Perry's strange existence slowly unfolds.

Peach Gets a Good Vibe

Peach gets the usual array of jumping and smashing platforming moves, along with Perry's help. Using Perry, Peach can float slowly downward, hang from zip lines or even float in the umbrella upside down across water. Perry can even transform into a submarine to allow Peach to explore the water's depths. But Peach has even more exciting powers when she feels one of four vibes. The DS touch screen's corners are filled with four hearts, each of which activates one of Peach's special powers.

When Peach feels joy, she can float upward and spin like a cyclone to dispel fog or turn a windmill. When she's consumed by rage, Peach is surrounded by flames that can burn wood or melt ice. A gloomy Peach can run quickly and pours forth a torrent of tears than can nourish plants or douse flames. Finally, when Peach is calm, she replenishes her own health. With all of these options and Perry's might, Peach is easily up to every challenge that stands before her.

A Focus on Perfection

Super Princess Peach incorporates many of the same challenges as other Mario-themed platformers, but with the difficulty turned down a touch. There's no time-limit, so Peach can take as long as she wants to explore the landscape. Peach's vibes (particularly her Joy vibe that allows her to float) make levels easier. In fact, the casual player will enjoy the fact that most of the levels and worlds can be breezed through without much trouble. Of course, that same casual player may be deeply displeased that every single hidden toad must be rescued before it's possible to battle the final boss (and unlock a bunch of extra levels).

Fundamentally, the problem with the game is that it's not taxing enough for the hardcore player, and the casual player will be frustrated that around a quarter of the game is only available once Bowser is defeated, and that requires locating every hidden toad.

There are a few bonuses that add entertainment value to Super Princess Peach. The title includes a variety of mini-games, most of which must be found inside of the game's various levels. The mini-games take advantage of the touch screen and microphone and earn extra coins that can help unlock new moves and features even faster. Super Princess Peach is also one of the few DS games that supports the DS rumble pack, although the rumble feature isn't critical to enjoying the game.

Ultimately, Super Princess Peach is a solid platformer using many of the mechanics and art from other Mario-themed 2D platformers. The fact that the game is a little easier than other Mario games, combined with the cutesy focus on Princess Peach, makes it a better game for casual or younger players, but Super Princess Peach still offers an entertaining experience for anyone with a hankering for platforming.

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This page contains a single entry by Editor published on March 8, 2006 11:06 PM.

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