Developer(s) – TOSE
Publisher(s) – Nintendo
Director(s) – Akio Imai & Azusa Tajima
Producer(s) – Shigeru Miyamoto, Yasuhiro Minamimoto & Hitoshi Yamagami
Released in the early years of the shelf life of the original DS, Super Princess Peach was designed to be a unique take on the classic 2D side scrolling formula pioneered by Nintendo, whereby players take control of Princess Peach for the first time, as she assumes the role of the heroine as opposed to the damsel in distress. Though it does have some basis in uniqueness, I found the game to be particularly easy compared to most Mario games, and by proxy, nowhere near as good or interesting.
Graphics – 7/10
In lieu of Super Mario tradition, the atmosphere is happy-go-lucky, and the game has no shortage of vibrant and colourful environments and an array of different enemies and worlds. An interesting element of this game is Peach’s weapon; an anthropomorphic umbrella named Perry, which was actually a young man once, as revealed through various flashbacks throughout the game. Back when the original Super Mario game was relatively new, there was a cartoon film made of it in Japan, featuring a dog, which turns out to be Peach’s prince and it returned to normal at the end of the film. I can’t help but think that this in particular element of the film may have inspired this game in turn.
Gameplay – 6/10
As in most Mario games, the objective is simply to get from point A to point B. But in this title, there are 3 Toads to find in each level, as well as an array of different abilities for Peach to use in the form of different emotions. For example, crying projects water, which may be used to water beanstalks, growing them to advance. Though there is that small element of puzzle solving to it, it is still a particularly easy game, since Peach is at a great advantage with her umbrella, which can be used to attack enemies. To me, it highlights why it was such a bad idea that Nintendo originally wanted to give Mario a gun.
Controls – 10/10
As far as the control scheme goes, whilst there shouldn’t have been any problems with the basic layout (and so there isn’t any), at this point, it wouldn’t have been particularly hard to add other features to the mix along with them. I was pretty happy to see the touch screen being put to decent use, at least. Other than this, however, there isn’t much else to say about it unfortunately.
Lifespan – 4/10
Though it does indeed last around the same time as most other conventional Mario games, clocking at about 3 to 4 hours, the game’s paltry difficulty level can make it seem as if it lasts a great deal shorter than even that. The side quest can keep more intrepid players busy for a short while longer, but not as long as its world layout would suggest. The map looks a lot like that of Super Mario RPG, so I was somewhat disappointed to learn that it lasts nowhere near as long.
Storyline – 3/10
Not differing to any great extent from the plot most typically associated with Super Mario, Princess Peach, along with her umbrella friend Perry, are on a quest to save Mario and Luigi from Bowser as opposed to it being the other way round. Though the game didn’t necessarily need a decent story at all, what I don’t like about it is how much it contradicts the entire premise of the series. If Peach has always had these different abilities, then it makes me suspicious of why she couldn’t use them against Bowser whenever she is kidnapped.
Originality – 6/10
The game does have at least some basis in uniqueness at least, with the different range of abilities Peach has throughout the course of game. Ultimately however, it plays out essentially like any other Mario game, and doesn’t stand out to any significant extent. I think the developers could build on what they achieved with this game if they ever decided to make a sequel, but the first game in this potential series was a question of trial and error.
Overall, Whilst Super Princess Peach isn’t one of the worst games I’ve ever played; it unfortunately doesn’t stand out as one of Nintendo’s better efforts. I cant help but think that with a bit more challenge, it could have been much more than what it turned out to be, but given the less-than-satisfactory sales figures this game has garnished, a sequel seems unlikely.