Science & Technology



Review: In ‘Princess Peach: Showtime!’ a Mario supporting character gets a starring role


Published in Science & Technology News

Despite being the ruler of the Mushroom Kingdom, Princess Peach has always played a supporting role in Nintendo’s games. She’s normally the one rescued or a playable character in an ensemble adventure, but that changes this year.

For the first time since 2005’s “Super Princess Peach,” the heroine stars in her own game. “Princess Peach: Showtime!” follows the royal as she heads to the Sparkle Theater for a performance. Her visit is disrupted when Madame Grape and her Sour Bunch take over the building and the plays. With the help of the theater guardian, Stella, Peach embarks on a mission to clear the facility’s basement and five floors of ne’er-do-wells.


At first, Peach has a few basic moves. She can jump and use a ribbon to interact with the environment and cheer up Sparkle Theater’s inhabitants, the Theets. As players progress through each floor, they unlock stage-specific roles. With 10 main roles and an additional one in the finale, the campaign pushes Peach to extend her “acting” range.

The formula begins with the protagonist unlocking a role in the first stage. She essentially becomes an understudy. The second act allows players to explore more of those abilities and the third level in the Sparkle Theater basement has Peach rescuing the main performer called Stella from the clutches of Madame Grape’s minions.

What’s notable about “Showtime!” is that each role and level has a distinct vibe and method of gameplay. The campaign isn’t all about platforming and defeating foes with an ability. Kung Fu and Swordfighter Peach fill that simple but satisfying gameplay niche, but the princess can do more than combo attacks.



Cowgirl Peach follows the same lines, but she uses a lasso to grab adversaries. Smart players can use that ability to toss enemies at each other. Dashing Thief Peach follows a similar tack, but her grappling hook gives these levels a more platform-heavy approach.

Ninja Peach, one of the juicier roles, adds a stealth element to gameplay. She has to sneak past foes and attack them from behind to defeat them. Rushing at them head-on results in players restarting from a checkpoint.

Of all the action-heavy roles, Mighty Peach has the best levels. A lot of that has to do with her superhero ability, allowing her to smash the Sour Bunch with punches and grab buses and UFOs out of the air to clear enemies in her way. The developer, Good-Feel, also takes advantage of Mighty Peach’s flight abilities to create side-scrolling shoot-’em-up levels comparable to “R-type.”


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