reviews\ Apr 11, 2006 at 8:00 pm

Super Princess Peach - NDS - Review

I cannot tell you how many Mario games there are out there, I tried counting, but starting with the original Donkey Kong and including everything under the "Mario" umbrella, there has got to be close to 40 titles - if not more. My point being, of all the Mario, Luigi, Donkey Kong, Diddy Kong, Yoshi titles out there, Princess Peach has yet to really kick a little butt. Sure you can race her in Mario Kart but she has yet to take the starring role in any video game (as near as I can tell). That is until now.

Bowzer has been foiled more times by the Mario Bros. then he can count, for every time he has captured the Princess or begun one of his nefarious plans to rule the land of the Koopas and mushrooms they have shut him down. It doesn't matter that he has an army of evil doers working for him or that in some of the games he easily 15 times larger then our heroes, in the end he always gets tossed into an explosive or shot full of fireballs or whatever. So when the beginning of the game has Bowzer's minions capturing the Mario Bros. themselves, Princess Peach realizes it's time to make good on all those "I owe ya one" and go and rescue the fellas.

"On my mark..... FIRE!"

My five-year-old son has wanted this game since he first saw the commercial, I told him that he needed to beat Super Mario 64 DS before I let him play it. Well, I couldn't believe it, but the little stud gutted it out and actually beat the game, no fooling. So that evening he was given the game and is tearing through it like a five-year old playing a new video, well, you know what I mean. From my observations, this title really has a lot going for it. For starters, it really manages to tap into the whole Super Mario Bros. world. It's a 2D game with our heroine rushing from one side of the map to another, along the way she can jump and float, smack baddies with her enchanted umbrella and even throw power shots at her enemies. Next, the use of the stylus is not overplayed and cheap, the folks at Nintendo made some smart choices in having players select one of Peach's emotional powers (anger, happiness, sadness, music) by pressing the stylus on to the icon. If Peach needs to burn something, then anger fires her up. If she needs to grow a plant or stun a boss, the sadness sends in the tears, and so on and so forth. But in order to keep things interesting, using one of these powers depletes her power gauge, making the powers finite. You can replenish the power gauge by collecting blue crystals so that does make things a bit easier.

Now the game also unfolds in small pseudo cutscenes that help describe some of the back story of the enchanted umbrella Peach carries. It's a different way for a Mario game to play out and I welcomed it for its originality and sometimes poignant storyline. If anything, the game is like a Super Mario Bros lite-type title. You could also argue that comment as the levels are quite a bit shorter than other Mario games and the game too, is nowhere as long as I had hoped. Still, that is the only real complaint I would have about this really decent game and I'm sure the sequel (undoubtedly) will fix this problem.

"With a skyline like that, you know it's not going to be a friendly place."

Now there isn't anything really graphically surprising in this title; in fact, one glimpse of the graphics should tell anyone who is even remotely familiar with these games exactly what they are in for. Not that it's a bad thing; the game has a good look to it and the flow of the graphics plods along nicely. Sure there isn't anything really new to the title, but Peach does get to ride in submarines, dive down pipes, climb all sorts of vines and ladders and break blocks with the best of them. 

And with that comes the music, a decidedly Nintendo-ish little tune that keeps the game clearly up-tempo. I like the music but for some reason my son feels it needs to be cranked up as high as the DS will go. Yes, there are limits to that which one can take the same cutesy little song and I have reached them.

Review Scoring Details for Super Princess Peach

Gameplay: 9.0
Strong use of the stylus that has you rushing up tunnels avoiding spikes or blasting away at rocks flying at you make it more then a one trick pony. The jump and action buttons are very responsive to what Peach needs to do in order to save her friends.

Graphics: 8.4
It's a Mario game through and through, nothing wrong with the colorful levels and moving cloud platforms. This is why the DS is so popular; games like this will ensure it's place in video-game Valhalla. The boss battles really make you use all of Peach's abilities as they are original and exciting.

Sound: 7.8
It's good, but again, nothing you haven't experienced before.

Difficulty: Easy
This game is very easy, I like it, but its the difficulty needed to be ramped up a bit.

Concept: 8.8
To give Peach her own title was actually a master stroke. I wouldn't have thought of making a game like this with her in command and yet here I am, enjoying the heck out of it.

Overall: 8.8
Super Princess Peach is just another reason why people still love their DS and with titles like this one, the system is securing it's place on top of the hand-held market.


About The Author
In This Article
From Around The Web
blog comments powered by Disqus