even though i had just finished a platformer, i’d been intrigued by the role-reversing super princess peach for DS for a while. tracking down a copy on ebay proved to be more challenging than usual due to the fact that there are tons of listings for counterfeit versions (as usual ebay seems to be doing a mediocre job of even simple things like shutting down repeat offenders).
based on the reviews at metacritic and elsewhere i wasn’t expecting anything too unusual (although game informer gave the game a whopping 88 out of 100). this review at nintendolife is fairly typical, and i agree with the general consensus that although there are occasional novel mechanics, for the most part this is a straightforward platformer aimed at less-experienced players. boss fights are entertaining for the most part, although there’s so much hand-holding in the game that directions on how to defeat them are provided immediately before they’re encountered (although these are easily bypassed). the game feels like an early DS game in that the microphone and stylus are used in mini-game type ways that show off the system but don’t really add much. peach’s new companion, perry the parasol, is fun, though, and his back story is presented in a novel way. people have complained about peach’s emotion-based powers as being sexist, but in the context it’s just a funny little game mechanic that obviously shouldn’t be taken at all seriously. the game also includes the usual host of useless collectibles in the form of jigsaw puzzles, music tracks, and mini-games, and after you beat the game you can replay the game to unlock some extra stages and collectibles.
it’s a bit difficult to judge a game that holds little challenge, but overall the “theme and fun” as nintendo power used to call it is still lacking for those who are familiar with the mario games and the hundreds of other platformers out there. all in all this is about what i expected: a spin-off of the mario series that doesn’t add much new but provides a pleasant-enough diversion for die-hard nintendo fans and would be appropriate for inexperienced players. the game was developed by the secretive company TOSE (who 1up profiled a few years ago), and recently i started checking out their starfy series. those games are also known for being fairly easy, but so far the first game i’ve played has had more novelty than this one so i’m looking forward to finding out more.
but for now, some of peach’s peachy links:
– nice peach fansite
– entry at wikipedia
– some FAQs at gamefaqs, including info on finding the elusive starfy who makes a cameo
– info at themushroomkingdom.net including a few wallpapers
– PDF of the manual on the official nintendo site
– great US commercial
– the japanese commercial has a fun song. i’m pretty sure the singer is nomiya maki, the woman from the great, tragically now-defunct japanese band pizzicato five, but i haven’t been able to find out for sure if it’s really her.