It's been a long while since Nintendo has made a traditional 2-D Mario game, so you could imagine what excitement I had when I found Nintendo would be releasing one. To my surprise, Super Princess Peach was nothing I thought it would be like. Sure it was 2-D, but it was too different from the traditional Super Mario games. Princess Peach controlled too differently and featured many powers that neither Mario nor Luigi carried.
The game starts out with a short 4 minute intro. It turns out that Bowser has found a magical scepter on an island not to far from Mushroom Kingdom called Vibe Island. The Vibe Scepter was used to capture Luigi, Mario, and a very large amount of Toads who were inside of Peach's castle. While Bowser and his minions were raiding the castle and kidnapping everyone inside of it, Princess Peach was out for a little stroll. She returned to the castle to find a note from Bowser saying that he has kidnapped everyone in the castle and that there is no one left to save Mario or Luigi. Reading this, Peach sets off to Vibe Island to save Mario and the gang, and restore power to her kingdom. She receives a magical umbrella named Perry, who helps her throughout the entire game, and serves as her weapon. Together, Perry and Peach must fight through Vibe Island to save Mario and her kingdom from the evil grasps of Bowser.
That's right folks, you play as Princess Peach in this game, and you actually get to save Mario. Peach's powers are nothing of Mario or Luigi's. Princess Peach has 4 emotions that can be triggered by touching the icons on the touch screen. The 4 emotions are Joy, Rage, Gloom, and Calm. When the Joy emotion is triggered, Peach can float in the sky and attack enemies by spinning around in a cyclone. This can also be used in the game to reach normally hard to reach areas. The Rage emotion makes Peach angry and surrounded by flames. She becomes very heavy and torches all enemies that surround her. She can smash heavy objects down and burn bridges down with her Rage emotion. The third emotion that can be triggered is the Gloom emotion. This emotion makes Peach sad. While she is sad, she will cry a heavy amount of tears, and run very fast. Her forth and final emotion is Calm, which can revive one of her heart containers, which serves as your life. The emotions can only be used until the Vibe Gauge runs out of power.
Activating the each emotion using your stylus during gameplay is very straining to the hand. This makes me ponder if this game even needed touch screen emotions in the first place. I was forced to use my fingers to touch the screen instead of my stylus, thanks to the uncomfortable position my hands were in.
Each emotion can be used to bypass certain obstacles. For example, in some levels, there are some dusty looking clouds blocking a pathway. You can use your Joy emotion and blow that cloud away. A bridge can be burned down by your Rage emotion. You can use your Gloom emotion to cry tears down on a wheel to spin it and unlock a certain area of a level.
There are even some enemies in the game that carry the same emotions as you do. Goombas and Koopas can have Rage just like you can, and when they stomp in a level, they create an earthquake effect that affects everything on screen. Some enemies can have the Joy emotion, which causes them to look very happy, and float around you. The Gloom emotion that your enemies may carry causes them to run extremely fast while crying. Each of these emotions that your enemies may carry can be identified by what color they are. A red colored enemy means it has Rage, while blue represents Gloom and yellow represents Joy.
Just as your emotions, your umbrella Perry can be used as a weapon to harm enemies, as well as destroying objects. By pressing the B button, you can swing your umbrella at enemies to knock them out. Perry can also be used to scoop up enemies and throw them at others. There are a handful of abilities that Perry can use when you unlock them in the shop. For example, unlocking the “Floatbrella,” ability can be used to float in the air for 1 second using Perry. Once powered up enough, Perry can eat enemies to revive some energy in the Vibe Gauge, destroy enemies to retrieve coins, and do many other tasks.
The shop can be used to purchase new mini games, songs, and abilities. When you collect coins, you can use them as money for the shop to buy items. You can increase your life meter or vibe gauge by coughing some coins up, as well as earning new songs and puzzle pieces to play with. You can access the shop by pressing the R button on the select world screen.
When selecting a world, you can also press the L button to get a menu to pop up that has a handful of things to do. You can play one of the 3 mini games, you can play a puzzle, or you can listen to some music. Music and puzzle pieces can be bought in the shop, or found in levels. The puzzles are fairly easy, just as the game is, and each puzzle can be solved in about 30 seconds. The 3 mini games, Toad Jump, Toad Tote, and Toad Shot, are all equally very fun to play, and each feature 10 levels. They’re also a fast way to receive coins while having some fun. Toad Jump involves you blowing into the mic to make the toad jump over obstacles and reach the end of the path. Toad Shot involves you tapping the screen to hit the flying targets and getting the score you need to before time runs out. The final mini game, Toad Tote, involves you having a steady hand. You need to use your stylus and drag the Toad through a narrow pathway while avoiding surrounding fire and obstacles to the end of the stage before the time runs out.
This is a platformer after all, so expect loads of collecting in each level. Each level is packed with coins, music notes, puzzle pieces, mini games, and 3 toads. These 3 toads are in every level besides the boss levels. You will need to collect the toads in order to face Bowser in the final boss level. The puzzle pieces, music scores, and mini games all help in increasing the replay value.
Super Princess Peach is a very simple game. If you’re a die hard platformer fan, I suggest you buy this for your children. Chances are, you could beat this game in about 8 hours. This game is no challenge to some gamers out there. It took me 2 days to beat this game. I would suggest that only big fans of Nintendo’s platformers pick this up to fully enjoy this game, otherwise, this is a kid’s game.
Boss battles in this game are pretty fun, although they are still simple. Each boss battle involves you using your emotions. After about 40 seconds of playing most of them, you can pretty much figure out what the boss is going to do next. Before each boss, you have a short little mini game you have to complete. Each mini game uses the touch screen to do objectives such as fling Peach to a higher platform or roll a log up a narrow crevice. These pre games are probably the only frustration you’ll have with a boss. Even Bowser was easily defeated.
After you defeat the game once, you can play all over again to receive more mini game levels and puzzle pieces. You can also defeat the bosses over again to unlock new stages in each world.
If you’re looking for a game to get you more hyped up for New Super Mario Bros., I suggest looking further. This game is too different from the style of the old school Mario Bros. games. However, if you are just looking for a solid DS game to play, I would recommend checking this title out. Super Princess Peach is packed with a handful of addictive mini games, fun gameplay, and has a cool new style for you to try out.