Nintendo is well known as the master of the platformer. Their style and characters have become ubiquitous throughout gaming. The company's own mascot Mario has inspired spinoffs on top of his own core platforming series, and Super Princess Peach
is one such example. It was developed for Nintendo's DS by Tose, and feels like a crossover between regular Mario mechanics mixed with those of Yoshi's Island
. The game also includes quite a few enemies from the Yoshi's Island
spinoff series, which begs the question of how close this game's setting of Vibe Island is to the island that baby Mario and Luigi were dropped on as babies. The game was released in Japan in 2005, with international release the following year.
There's not much that Super Princess Peach
does that has not been done in a platformer before. The typical Mario story is flipped on its head, with Mario being the one kidnapped, and its up to Princess Peach to save the world's favorite plumber. The player uses the touchscreen to choose any of Peach's four abilities, which have primary as well as secondary uses in most cases, with two having tertiary uses even! Peach's Gloom ability lets her run fast enough to cross donut bridges that fall instantly, as well as watering plants to grow more platforms, she also stomps when its activated, which flips enemies onto their head. Rage lets her burn down wooden platforms, open hanging pouches of coins, and defeat most enemies. Peach's Joy allows the player to fly to explore for hidden areas in the sky on top of turning switches to open another path. Finally, Calm lets the player heal Peach as long as any extra damage is avoided.
The level design of the game allows players to make use of all of their abilities. More life and extra length of the ability bar can be purchased through the game's shop, which uses the coins found in levels as its currency. There are also basic platforming skills that are critical to purchase through the shop. These abilities make no use of your bar's power, and can be called upon at any time. These abilities are known as Floatbrella; which is a slow fall ability, Poundbrella, Peach's butt stomp, and Chargebrella, Peach's X-Buster charge up. There is no lives system, players have unlimited chances to beat any level they're on. There's not much challenge to be had, so deaths will come about more from running out of ability bar to use or the mechanics of a boss or special room.
As with most platformers there are plenty of extra items to collect that are scattered throughout the levels. The only critical ones are the toads hidden in the levels. Each level has three of them, with bosses adding one after they've been defeated. You also unlock puzzle pieces that can later be assembled once all the pieces are found. Music is scattered throughout the levels, with more pieces of music being purchasable in the shop, so you end up unlocking the sound test mode, which isn't fairly common anymore. The music is also quite catchy throughout the game, and there is never a time when it feels out of place. If platforming starts to feel a bit tedious there are also mini games that are unlocked by finding the first stage of one hidden in a level. Additional levels are purchased in the game's store. Every toad hidden in the levels must be found before the player can face Bowser. After that a second loop opens with all new puzzle pieces and music to find, as well as extra levels.Super Princess Peach
is a great game. The levels are fun to navigate as a result of smooth controls and a wide variety of abilities and uses for each one. Its only real weakness is the fact that it is mind numbingly easy, so it may best be played as a game to cool off, or when challenge is not desired. The game feels like it's meant to be played in short bursts, just enough to beat a handful of levels before the easiness starts to get a bit dull and it may be time to switch to something a bit more challenging. Despite selling over a million copies worldwide the game is still rather pricey, with the loose cartridge around $20, but a complete copy is not much more at around $25. As a collector that extra $5 will likely mean nothing, so drop it down and get that complete package.