Super Princess Peach
|Super Princess Peach|
North American box art
Super Princess Peach (スーパープリンセスピーチ Sūpā Purinsesu Pīchi?) is a platform video game published by Nintendo for the Nintendo DS handheld game console. It was released in Japan in October 2005, the United States in February 2006, Australia in March 2006, and Europe in May 2006.
It is the first game to feature Princess Peach as the main playable character. In the game, Bowser has kidnapped Mario, Luigi, and Toad instead of Peach and holds them prisoner on Vibe Island, but Toad escapes from Vibe Island to the Mushroom Kingdom. Peach must go through eight worlds on Vibe to rescue Mario and Luigi.
Despite the role reversal in the plot, the game was criticized for the nature of how Peach attacked, the marketing campaign, and the simple gameplay. It sold 1.15 million units worldwide.
Vibe Island, a land adjacent to the Mushroom Kingdom, has been rumored to hold hidden powers. Bowser decides to build a summer villa there in hopes of harnessing the rumored power. His efforts are rewarded when one of his underlings finds the Vibe Scepter. He sends a Goomba and an army of Hammer Brothers to Princess Peach's castle to capture Mario. The Vibe Scepter changes the emotions of those around them & they may become calm, happy, angry or sad. While all of the Toad servants are affected by the scepter's power, the Hammer Bros. seize Mario, Luigi, and Toad. Shortly after the capture, Toad escapes to the Mushroom Kingdom. Princess Peach, and Toadsworth, come back to the castle to find Mario and Luigi gone. Toad runs up to Peach, and Toadsworth attempts to convince Peach to not go after Mario and Luigi, but relents and gives her Perry, a talking parasol that has magical powers.
Perry's backstory is revealed through in-game flashback sequences. He remembers his origins as a young boy who had mysterious powers and was adopted by an old man he came to call "Grandpa". He was changed into an umbrella and kidnapped by a wizard and his henchman, but managed to secretly escape by wiggling free from his captors and falling on the road. Sometime later, a traveling merchant found him and sold him to Toadsworth.
In the game, Peach and Perry battle through eight worlds, rescuing Toads along the way. They find Luigi at Giddy Sky, where he escapes from the bubble he is trapped in after Giant Kamek is defeated and later find Mario at Bowser's Villa. Peach and Perry then confront Bowser, who uses the Vibe Scepter to grow enormously. Peach prevails but she, Perry, Luigi and the Toads watch in amazement as the lock on Mario's cage door breaks and he escapes himself. Princess Peach then kisses Mario and he gives her a bunch of flowers.
Super Princess Peach plays similarly to traditional platformers. There are eight worlds: Ladida Plains, Hoo's Wood, Shriek Mansion, Fury Volcano, Wavy Beach, Gleam Glacier, Giddy Sky, and Bowser's Villa. In each world, there are six levels and one boss battle. Each boss battle requires a short minigame to play. For example, in "Shriek Mansion," Peach is descending with the umbrella, and the player taps the screen to scare away Boos. If the Boos touch her, the player must start over.
Within the levels themselves, there are a number of boxes that will give specific gameplay hints. Three Toads are hidden throughout each level; the boss levels have one Toad to rescue (except World 7's boss where Luigi is captive, and World 8's boss where Mario is held hostage) contained in a bubble (Mario was contained in a cage.). Each world has 16 Toads to rescue. In order to play the final boss battle, the player must rescue all of the Toads.
After the game is completed, the player can go through the levels again to pick up more unlockable items. Beating a boss will unlock three new levels for the next world; for instance, beating the World 1 boss will unlock three new levels for World 2 and so on. There are a total of 24 extra levels to unlock.
The game features numerous classic Mario series enemies, such as Goombas, Koopa Troopas and Hammer Brothers. In a twist, some of the enemies are also emotionally affected, such as the sad blue Goombas or the Bullet Bills burning red with anger.
On the upper left hand side of the screen, there are two bars: heart gauge (maximum of five hearts) and emotion meter. Whenever Peach falls down a hole or gets hit by an enemy, she loses half a heart. When all hearts are gone, she must start over at the beginning of the level. Peach has infinite lives, so the player can continue as much as he/she pleases. The emotion meter corresponds to the four vibe powers she has. The emotions at Vibe Island affect everybody, even some enemies, but Peach can change her emotions at will.
Joy, gloom, rage, and calm are the emotions used along the way. When the player taps on each mood, it will activate a different ability, which typically helps solve puzzles or defeat enemies.
- Joy: Peach becomes very happy and becomes enveloped in a powerful cyclone with musical notes, allowing her to fly, gust fogs and clouds, turn windmills, push down fountains, hit blocks above her and blow enemies away. However, she will not be enveloped in a cyclone while flying. With this power, she can fly in the wind in some stages. She can also use it to break open flying bags that contain mostly the coins and sometimes the hearts and the vibe crystals, splash bits of Blooper's ink thrown in the air, spin Kamek's head and slow down her falls as an easy use. However, some areas feature spores that stop her flying abilities, requiring more traditional platform methods to reach, but she can go up platforms that are vertically close. It also quickens the tempo of music with higher notes and a very happy tone. (Yellow Heart)
- Gloom: Peach will cry, making her run faster, jump farther, and inflict damage to enemies on the ground. The stream of tears that gets scattered while she is crying can also be used to water certain obstacles, such as helping a small sprout grow into a long tall plant which she can use to climb and reach higher places. When the tears hit the ground, ceiling or walls, sparkles appear beneath, above or next to them. This power can defeat the Nipper Plants and Cheep-Cheeps, extinguish flames, strike all blocks at once, wash away Blooper's ink on the ground and push heavy chained balls and inflicted enemies. It also slows down the tempo of music with slightly lowered notes and a sad tone. (Blue Heart)
- Rage: Peach will become enraged and catch fire with a big blaze, making her invincible, burn enemies and other objects, and able to cause earthquakes whenever she lands. However, she cannot run fast and won't be able to jump far. This power can scare away the Boos, fishing Lakitu ghosts and flocks of bats, push down switches and stone monsters, melt snowmen and ice, light up lanterns with illumination in dark places and break open flying bags. It also slows down the tempo of music with severely low notes and the music gets an angry tone. (Red Heart)
- Calm: Peach will calm down, become delighted and a "bubble" will appear, surrounding her. This restores health. This bubble will break if hit by anything hazardous, thus stopping the healing process. She can still move and attack whenever she's under this power. It also changes the keys of music into higher notes and a happy tone. (Green Heart)
Each use will drain the player's emotion mood (the little yellow squiggle at upper left of the top screen). The bar can be restored by capturing blue turquoise jewels or absorbing enemies. With Perry the Parasol, Princess Peach can use many abilities. Jumping on enemies does not defeat them; Peach must use the umbrella to hit them. The player can press "B" to immediately sweep them aside or "X" to put them on top of the umbrella. Once an enemy is on top of the umbrella, the player may press "X" again to put the enemy down, "B" to throw the enemy, or down on the D-pad to absorb the enemy, which refills part of the emotion meter. As the game progresses, Perry gains new abilities. The "Subrella" allows Peach to travel underwater. The player blows into the microphone to blow bubbles to defeat the undersea enemies and break blocks. The "Slidebrella" turns Perry upside down and uses his handle like a hook. It is used in areas with a maze of high-flying wires. The "Bowlbrella" puts Peach in the umbrella and allows her to navigate through the water's surface.
In addition, the game features a shop where players can buy items, using coins as currency. The player can buy increment upgrades to expand the heart gauge or the emotion meter, as well as three new abilities. The "Floatbrella" allows Peach to stay afloat for a few seconds. "Poundbrella" shakes the ground and stuns any enemies nearby. "Chargebrella" creates a small charge that will stun the closest enemy. She can also extend her health and vibe meters, as well as earn coins from attacking enemies.
The game's bonuses include a glossary, puzzles, mini games, a music room, and replays of Perry's dreams. There are three mini games within the game and the levels are unlocked as the player finds more mini game pieces in the levels. All of the mini games has the player control Toad in a variety of activities (such as a platforming mode).
The game's lack of difficulty was intensely criticized. Gaming website GameSpy noted that the number of shop items and the "Joy" vibe made it "quite hard to die". Another web site, IGN, was more critical, criticizing Nintendo for "going out of its way" to "spoon-feed" the player full of tips and information. Reviewer Ryan Davis from GameSpot similarly wrote that the game was "way too easy for the average platformer player." X-Play's Morgan Webb gave it a 4/5, commenting that the game was very easy to play and should be played by first timers to platform games.
The nature of the vibes and Nintendo's marketing campaign were also noted in many reviews. Davis accused Nintendo of putting "weird sexist undercurrents" into the game, while GameSpy's Bryn Williams wondered if Nintendo was trying to say that all females were "emo". Craig Harris from IGN said that the copy that Nintendo sent to him came in a box scented with perfume.
As of July 25, 2007, Super Princess Peach has sold 1.15 million copies worldwide.
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- Official North American website
- Official Japanese website
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- Super Princess Peach at the Internet Movie Database
- Super Princess Peach at MobyGames