REVIEW

REVIEW

Princess Peach: Showtime!

April 11, 2024

GOOD

  • Music and ‘Set’ Design
  • Some fun transformations
  • Attention to detail

BAD

  • Jumpy load screens
  • Incongruent gameplay
  • Inconsistent transformations
  • Creepy tone

OKAY

OKAY

A welcome re-introduction to Peach’s own adventures with excites us for the future but falls a little flat this time around.

I am super happy that Peach finally has her own game. Sure, there have been some solo outings in the past – but with Mario, Luigi, DK, Yoshi and Kirby having their own adventures on the Switch it’s only fair that the Mushroom Kingdom’s monarch gets one too. And the premise is actually quite fun (especially for younger or less experienced players which Princess Peach: Showtime is seemingly aimed at).

Peach Play

Peach heads off to enjoy a famous theatre’s productions – only for all the plays to be taken over by a nefarious magical… grape… woman. It’s a little odd but let’s be honest no storyline in this particular universe should be looked into too deeply. And where it does shine – is providing a fun, easy-to-pick up game that allows Peach to star as a range of characters (a new take on the traditional powerups). And with every drama she enters – she must flip the script and save the day and thanks to some pretty epic-looking transformation cutscenes – it’s hard not to get excited about all the Peach can do.

…it’s hard not to get excited about all the Peach can do.

This setting also allows Nintendo’s trademark character to come to the fore; From a wide range of beautiful-looking dioramas and backdrops that adorn every new level, to the delightful music that adds even more style to every scene. I loved how Peach would dance with Theets (fellow cast members) if you didn’t touch the controls for a few seconds or how she’d slide down the bannisters of the grand staircase if you jumped onto them. They are tiny little things but the familiar attention to detail that you usually get from a Mario game.

Performance Plodder

Unfortunately, it’s also because of this attention to detail that a few things really stood out in Showtime and were a little disappointing. First, the loading screens (which consist of some simple theatre curtains) were visibly laggy and stuttery. I’m not one to usually be very concerned about this sort of thing but it is really obvious and while I’m no programmer – I couldn’t work out why (if you couldn’t remove the lag) why you wouldn’t just replace the moving curtains with a still image of them. The experience would be much better as a viewer and it seems like a quick simple fix. Instead, moving from level to level we have constant and obvious reminders of bad performance in a big bright cartoony game – that you assume shouldn’t be that hard to run (even on the aging Switch). These glitches along with Peach’s less-than-appealing voice (I wish they went more with her Mario movie voice) mean it’s probably not as pleasant an experience as it should be.

…the loading screens (which consist of some simple theatre curtains) were visibly laggy and stuttery.

Next, decisions around level design, tone and gameplay felt a little inconsistent. Almost every level is simple in design and provided you don’t miss the short window of time that allows you to find out how each move-set works by accessing the menu, even new players will likely not have much trouble button-mashing to the end. Some levels that require you to do certain actions – will even auto-complete them if you don’t do it in time. Each level features one of Peach’s new iconic transformations and these are interesting– especially combined with Stella – the sweet Ribbon-like fairy creature that joins the adventure (think Cappy in Odyssey). Some transformations actually change the basic gameplay mechanics – from basic 2D platformers to point-and-click item finders. I like it as a concept as it feels like a bigger version of a mini-game collection and I hope future sequels explore this concept a bit better.

Trans-boo-mations

Unfortunately, right now, I really found some transformations significantly more engaging and enjoyable than others. Being the Superhero or Cowgirl, for example, is great and at least feels like they require a little skill from the player. The Baker and the Thief’s flying-mode do not. The former is a little too simple and gets boring quickly and the latter’s controls are too heavy and just don’t feel right (especially when attempting the bonus Rehearsal stage). This imbalance is only exaggerated if, you’re a bit of a completionist or alternatively you’d like to skip one of the transformations. If you’re someone who likes to 100% these types of games – you’ll likely find that individual levels are quite linear with several hard stops along the way. Because of this, they feel just too long to want to keep jumping back in. So, if you’re nearing the end of a level and then realise you’ve missed a Sparkle Gem/Ribbon the idea of jumping right back to the beginning gets tedious quickly (especially on those levels with less enjoyable transformations).

I really found some transformations significantly more engaging and enjoyable than others

Also slightly oddly, each level in a specific floor of the theatre must be completed before you can take on the boss. Now, this may seem like a small complaint and is a design that many games go for – however, when considering Showtime’s simplicity and the target audience it feels unnecessary. As I mentioned above, I wasn’t much of a fan of some of the transformations, and if other players feel the same, the option to skip a specific level to focus on the ones you enjoy would be very much appreciated. On top of that, I personally found the tone of the game a little creepy. Now, I understand this is a cartoony Nintendo game and therefore for most people the appearance of a ghoul or two won’t even be a flicker on their radar – but I assume some parents would love if they could at least skip over some spooky house/Halloween levels when playing with younger kids – and then keep going. Unfortunately, you can’t. Each level must be completed if you’d like to get to the next level.

Princess Potential

Now, with all that negativity it may sound like the game has very few redeeming qualities. And that’s not really true. Yes, ultimately even Yoshi and Kirby have had better solo outings but as mentioned, both my wife and I were really looking forward to Peach’s adventure and there’s a lot of potential here. The gameplay is accessible and almost anyone will likely be able to pick and play – and that’s always a good thing. Peach’s transformations as a concept are great – and as long as they can figure out the balance and perhaps give players the option to opt out of some levels or the ability to select from an array of the transformations it’s definitely has potential to be a lot of fun. Throw in some Peach dress up and Stella encouragement and there’s definitely something here, and ultimately means Peach deserves the spotlight – even if here starring role may only be in her next game.

REVIEW CODE PROVIDED BY: NINTENDO


For more Nintendo Reviews click here.

April 11, 2024

Like this website?

Building SUPER websites is our game

You May Also Like…

Luigi’s Mansion 2 HD

Luigi’s Mansion 2 HD

Luigi’s Mansion 2 HD is a ghostly reminder that Nintendo are absolute masters at understanding what their player base...

Splatoon 3: Side Order

Splatoon 3: Side Order

Splatoon's fresh take on the roguelite genre is interesting in principle but doesn't quite hit the right balance...

Mario vs. Donkey Kong Remake

Mario vs. Donkey Kong Remake

A fun, more-content-than-expected remake that shines in short bursts. Because I was one of those kids who regrettably...

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *