How many times have Mario and Luigi saved Princess Peach from Bowser? Too many to count I’d say. In Super Princess Peach, the tides have turned and it’s her turn to save the plumbers along with her Toadlings. The story is trivial to the overall experience and it doesn’t try to create a narrative ark. What it does have is charm; and It’s oozing with it along with a fun sense of comedy, though not as much as the Mario RPG games.
Like Mario, Peach will run and jump her way through a series of levels on the newly discovered Vibe Island. Vibe Island is a magical place, giving power to emotions, which is another tool in Peach’s arsenal. Simply tap the bottom screen to use Joy, Gloom, Rage, or Calm. Joy, for example, can let you fly while using Calm heals you. Using your skills drains energy, which can be replenishing through items, or and by eating enemies with your magic umbrella, Perry. The umbrella also serves as a weapon and can be upgraded with new techniques, as can Peach herself. The gameplay is as tight as any Mario game, and Peach’s abilities make the whole thing feel like a new experience. Unfortunately it’s a bit too easy for hardcore Mario fans and there’s little in the way of extras aside from some trite mini-games.
As an early DS game, Peach still looks pretty good as a higher res 16-Bit throwback. The worlds are colorful and the animations of Peach and her enemies are unique. The music is upbeat, but not as catchy as other Mario games. And as I said earlier, it’s a tad too easy and there’s not much to explore. In order to fight Bowser at the end, you need to collect every Toad, 3 in each level, which can be a bit tricky and is more annoying than anything. Making you collect them negates that urge to replay levels later.
Super Princess Peach was an excellent experience, putting Peach as the hero. The gameplay is fun and varied from a normal Mario game, the world colorful, and it’s full of charm. It has its setbacks like its easy difficulty, but its flaws aren’t detrimental. It’s not the perfect debut for Peach, but it’s definitely a series I want to see more of.
Score: 4/5 Stars
Special Notes: This article was originally published on June 13, 2012 via my Examiner account before the website shut down.