Super Princess Peach (Nintendo DS) Preview

By John Boyle 25.02.2006

When Super Princess Peach was announced the forums of C3 went into a semi embarrassed meltdown. Nintendo gamers are hounded by the term "kiddy" and this game just fell right into that category. It looked generic, it looked graphically poor and it looked like this was one Mario series spin off too far. However some had faith in the game, others believed Nintendo would come up trumps and it's looking like the faith and belief wasn't misplaced. So let's see how everyone's favourite kidnapped princess is shaping up in her first solo game.

Okay, people. Grab a mushroom and sit down. Brace yourselves. Mario has been kidnapped. It seems Bowser has developed some grey cell and realised that Mario is the one who always saves the day, so if he is kidnapped then Mushroom Kingdom will be Bowser's forever (cue evil laugh). Just to be safe he's swiped Luigi as well (Boo must've told him about the mansion incident). He's even got a new weapon, the vibe sceptre. Surely Bowser is onto a winner here... well not quite. Peach stands in his way.

The feminist movement must hate Nintendo; they hardly push the cause of strong females. Actually, aside from Samus, most of the Ninty females are pretty ineffectual. A study by Provenzo in 1992 looked at 47 of the most popular Nintendo games at the time and found that there were only 9 female characters in them. Also 13 of those games depicted the female being kidnapped and the strong male battling alone against an evil force. But that was in 1992, we are now in the enlightened millennium... so now Peach is the leading character. Hurray! But there is a downside as she attacks using mood swings.

Screenshot for Super Princess Peach on Nintendo DS

Yes, mood swings. Trust Nintendo to both empower and mock in one sweeping development cycle. What's next? Zelda attacks Ganondorf using realistic nagging? Perhaps our mocking is too premature, as it does seem like an innovative way of doing things. Essentially you have an emotion bar that gets refilled when you absorb enemies, this bar gets emptied when you tap one of the emotions on the bottom screen. You have four emotions, happy, sad, angry and content. Happy replenishes health, sad makes Peach cry (aw) and create gushes of water, angry makes flames appear around you and content... well... it makes you float a bit.

Those aren't the only way of attacking, but it's certainly the main way. You can jump, slide, hit with umbrellas and chuck the enemies at each other. However these are by no way meant to be used all the time and seem to be made as a way to refill your emotion bar. Which isn't that hard to do... which leads to a massive problem on the horizon for the game.

Screenshot for Super Princess Peach on Nintendo DS

To put it simply it seems too easy. The emotion bar doesn't get empty that often and even if it does refilling it isn't a chore. Peach can get hot several times before dying and even then we have a handy emotion that heals her. Even boss fights aren't that difficult as the solution is spelled out to you prior to starting. The puzzles seem easy enough and even certain "secrets" aren't well hidden. Actually the game alerts the player when you enter a room containing one.

It also doesn't make great use of the DS's unique capabilities. The bottom screen is used to choose emotions and there are a few mini games but it all feels tacked on. Combine that with the distinctly fuzzy graphics and I think you have a game that was initially a GBA game and has been the subject of a sneaky port by the guys and gals at Nintendo.

Screenshot for Super Princess Peach on Nintendo DS

Now that doesn't make it a bad game, however it does immediately taint our view of it. The DS is all about innovation and new experiences and we could play this on the GBA, GC or even (at a push) the old GBC. This was made to further enhance Nintendo's penetration into the new demographics (in this case females) and it is doing it well. But it will not deliver what the DS is there to deliver and that must be remembered.

On saying that it has the usual high standards of a Nintendo platformer and does play well. The levels in the Japanese version are well designed and it is quite fun and not much is changing for the US/UK version. It just seems difficulty and innovation will hold this back to being "just another platformer".

Screenshot for Super Princess Peach on Nintendo DS

Final Thoughts

A nice tightly made platformer that will no doubt earn fans with his cutesy look and rather insulting mood system. However it is shaping up to be far too easy and is plainly a port of a proposed GBA game. Not one to watch at the moment.

Developer

Nintendo

Publisher

Nintendo

Genre

2D Platformer

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  10/10 (6 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

GAME have this listed as

I'm pretty sure it's still

XBL Gamertag: James2t3

If GAME is listing it for that price then something is ridiculously wrong. This and Electroplankton are $20 in the US and should be

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

UNITE714: Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses

Great preview Rob. :-D

Guest 25.02.2006#5

As far as I know, it will eventually get priced lower than "normal" games once it hits stores in Europe. And even if it doesn't, you can order the US version from lik-sang.com for 29.90$ (including worldwide shipping), which is even less than 20

Cool beans! i just read sudoku is also included in this game. I just started getting into sudoku. It's a nice little bonus. :Smilie When my ten minutes is up in Brain Training now I can work out my brain with sudoku.

My problem with importing titles like this, is the fewer sales Nintendo UK get (for unusual titles), the lower the likelyhood of them releasing unusual titles in the future.
I really hope the current prices are wrong :(

So yeah, I actually got a play of the Japanese version. I cannot underestimate how easy this game is. It is impossible to die.

Not looking too Peachy for Mario's biatch...

Nice preview John, shame the game looks like it is going to suck. The lack of innovation is really infuriating for a game that really should be looking to achieve something a bit more interesting than the mundane.

Trying to think of a witty signature after 'Hacker-gate'...

I would be stunned if this wasn't originally pegged as a gba game, such is the lack of innovation. Don't get me wrong, it plays well but it simply does nothing to separate it from the crowd.

Great preview.

I think the game looks brilliant, but it's supposed be stupidly, stupidly easy as you say. I should be getting a play of an import copy sometime next week.

That's the problems with girls, all looks no content.

*WINK*


Cubed3 Staff [ Retro Editor :: Previews Editor ]

Cool beans! i just read sudoku is also included in this game. I just started getting into sudoku. It's a nice little bonus. When my ten minutes is up in Brain Training now I can work out my brain with sudoku.

Indeed, this is probably going to be one of the major factors pushing Brain Age's sales in the UK, despite missing the wave somewhat.

good preview Hazuki.

Dunno about anyone else, but I'm looking forward to getting this. It's insulting yes but I'm gonna give it a go anyways.

And hahaha 'vibe spectre'... sorry Smilie

and spydarlee said:

That's the problems with girls, all looks no content.

whats wrong with that? Smilie

:lol:

Co-founder of the PDSLB - Pink DS Lite Buddies Fraz: Cheerios are made from fairy orgasms.

oops... it was 'vibe sceptre'

spelt it wrong :P

Co-founder of the PDSLB - Pink DS Lite Buddies Fraz: Cheerios are made from fairy orgasms.

This is gonna be wank.

Guest 27.02.2006#17

GAME have this listed as

Guest 27.02.2006#18

Well written preview and definately one to read if you're interested in the game.

The downfall to this entire review is the jargon used i.e. 'edutainment'. I've never heard of this word before but can easily guess it is a form of educational entertainment.

I would have thought that edutainment would be a fairly widely recognised word. Point taken, though. I'll try and and keep an eye on jargon spewing in the future, as it is something I love to do.

Guest 28.02.2006#20

You know I like you really, Smilie. Balls to bones - I am usually harsh when it comes to reviews and previews whether it be typo's etc. Nothing really as big as I make out.

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