Super Princess Peach Review

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Developer: Nintendo Publisher: Nintendo
Release Date: February 27, 2006 Also On: None

When Nintendo announced that they were bringing a new Super Mario Brothers game to the DS, the majority of gamers out there rejoiced. Critics ranted and raved, Mario’s upcoming game would be the true return to platforming that has been long overdue. But Nintendo unveiled Super Princess Peach as well, and it looked as though Peach wouldn’t get any sort of praise for her would-be platforming goodness. Well, I’m here for you, Peach. Super Princess Peach is actually, and you’re hearing this correctly, a good DS game with few gameplay problems to speak of. Once you put down your chicken-boobs-and-beer manliness and adapt to the pink, fuzzy, cute Peach charm, you can learn to love the gameplay concepts found within.

Peach plays almost the same as a typical Mario game, but Peach’s lighter weight makes her a little less likely to cause harm by jumping on the heads of incoming attackers. Instead, Peach uses a trusty umbrella to attack everything in her way, as well as four different vibe powers that are activated by touching large buttons on the bottom of the screen. Throughout the typical platforming levels, which feature tons of enemies, simple but clever puzzles, and elusive collectible items, Peach can find coins that can be spent in Toad’s Store for even more abilities.

The vibe powers that Peach has are interesting aspects in themselves. They are used for attacking, travel, and puzzles, something that definitely goes below the surface of the “travel from left to right” gameplay that Mario and Sonic games have so often supported. One of Peach’s vibes is the Joy vibe, which sends Peach happily floating in the sky. This vibe lets her float, fly, and conjure a cyclone to blow things away. Another vibe is the Anger vibe, which sets Peach on fire when activated. Peach’s fiery body incinerates enemies while she stomps along. The stomping even allows Peach to hurt bigger enemies (like the Wiggler boss) and stomp on switches. The third vibe, the Sad vibe, sends peach wailing, her tears being used to douse flames or water plants. While crying, Peach travels very quickly, allowing players to run and jump around at higher speeds. The last of the four vibes is Calmness, which restores her health at the sake of losing some extra Vibe “juice”, the fuel that powers her ability to use emotions.

Despite the amount of moves and abilities players can gain in Peach, one should not assume that it is a difficult game. Every level is rather easy, even in the later parts of the game. Finding the Toads that are lost in each level (just one of the several “elusive collector items” I mentioned earlier) is just a matter of searching each room until you come across a very obvious, large, pink, and bouncy box. Some of the boss fights required effort, though Wiggler was particularly annoying, and it took me about four lives to put the angry worm down. Sadly, this is the place where Peach breaks a nail. The gameplay is fun, but the game is not very long at all. I would estimate that the average player could beat this game in a few quiet sittings. All of the unlockable items are an added bonus to those gamers that want to get everything in the game, but going back through every easy level to find hidden items is not necessarily the most enjoyable thing to do.

Sadly, Peach also is not the most technically advanced game. The graphics want to scream old-school, but if the DS is capable of recreating a Nintendo 64 classic like Super Mario 64 with improved visuals, certainly Nintendo could do a little more than make a fresh Peach sprite and new sprites for enemies like Goombas and Koopa-Troopas. Peach is like that moderately-attractive girl that is appealing once you get to know her, but does not look like anything special at first glance.

Super Princess Peach is not just a game for your little sister, or your daughter, or your girlfriend. It is an entertaining platforming game in its own right. It may only take a few hours to complete, but it goes to show that the plumber in red is not the only Nintendo star who can steal some limelight. I would highly recommend this game to DS owners, especially those of you who enjoyed Super Mario 64, Kirby’s Canvas Curse, or Yoshi’s Touch and Go on the handheld. Until Mario steals the show with the New Super Mario Brothers later this spring, Peach is your best handheld platforming outlet.

Graphics: 6.5
Sound: 7
Gameplay: 9
Creativity: 9
Replay Value/Game Length: 6
Final: 7.8
Written by Cliff Review Guide

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