With the success of Nintendo DS, Nintendo decided to try their hand at creating a game aimed at the female audience. A lot of companies have tried to capture the attention of that demographic, but with “Super Princess Peach,” Nintendo may be the first company to successfully do so.
Of course, a lot of the reason for this is because every other game aimed at the fairer sex is hastily put together in a scheming marketing ploy.
Unlike games such as “Barbie and the Magic of Pegasus,” “Super Princess Peach” attempts to craft a game that would appeal to people other than 9-year-old girls. Just take away the overly-feminine Princess Peach and her talking parasol, and you have a typical action-platformer.
However, it is when the game is judged as a typical action-platformer that players can see its flaws. For one, the storyline accompanying the game is just plain dumb. Mario and Luigi are both captured by the same enemies that they have always dispatched easily before, so it is up to Princess Peach to rescue them. Luckily, Peach has to travel to “Vibe Island,” a mystical place that allows individuals to easily alter their emotional state.
This is also where the game’s main play mechanic comes in. With just a touch of a button, Peach can become so overjoyed that she floats on air, become so enraged that she catches fire, so sad that she begins emitting a river of tears or so calm that she can regain health.
Aside from the “vibe” theme being a bit sexist, it also hurts the game by allowing players to use the emotions at inappropriate times. For instance, the joy vibe could be used to fly right by a well-designed jumping puzzle. In addition, the calm vibe can be used to refill the health bar at any time, making it very difficult to die.
The game is definitely far too easy throughout the first half of the game. Playing the first four worlds is not compelling and if this review were based on those worlds alone, the score would be a lot lower. Fortunately, the second half of the game fares much better.
The levels in the latter half of the game felt as if they had been thought out better, and some of the areas are pretty challenging. It was in this section of the game that the true potential of the gameplay was revealed.
Liking this game requires a good deal of patience to access its more rewarding aspects. However, the game is a success because it has the ability to appeal to both genders without relying on either Barbie or big guns.
Matthew Loriso can be reached at email@example.com.