The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

Quarter Muncher: Princess Peach: Showtime isn’t worth the price of admission

Maybe wait for the Off-Broadway run
Princess Peach in five of the 10 featured costumes. She’s cute, I’ll give her that. (Photo from Nintendo)

Editor’s Note: Quarter Muncher is a new gaming column at The Spectator, named after particularly difficult arcade games.

Princess Peach received her second game in the main protagonist role last month as Princess Peach: Showtime hit store shelves. For the first time since 2005, the damsel-in-distress became the leading lady.

The good news is that it passes the Bechdel test, unlike her 2005 outing, Super Princess Peach. The bad news is that that game was way more fun, cost less upon release, has more content and is two decades older. 

Let’s start with the plot.

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Princess Peach and some toads go to the famous Sparkle Theater to watch plays. The evil Grape and her goons, the Sour Bunch, kidnap all the actors and ruin the plays. Peach must take up the mantle of the actors and see the plays through to save the theater and its denizens.

This plot isn’t good, per se, but it’s not bad, either. It’s fine. The mainline Mario games aren’t exactly winning Pulitzer Prizes, so the expectations aren’t high.

Speaking of Mario, he doesn’t appear in this game. He’s not even mentioned. It seems like an odd choice, but I do like that they’re giving Peach her own spotlight.

When Peach (the player) goes into a level, she dons the cowl of whatever main actor Grape has taken. There are ten actor costumes and three levels for each, giving the game a grand total of thirty levels. 

I believe that video games should be accessible to everyone. People of differing abilities, ages, cultures and so on should be able to enjoy the hobby. I also don’t believe that difficulty is indicative of how fun a game is. 

So if a game is very accessible and easy, those aren’t deal-breakers for me. Take Fire Emblem: Fates’s Phoenix Mode or Persona 3: Reload’s Peaceful Difficulty. Neither of these breaks their respective games.

Princess Peach: Showtime is beyond easy. The only times I took damage were when I was on my phone because I was so beyond bored. 

There are only three main controls for the game, being move, jump and action. I don’t think that’s bad, though. Why bother using all of those buttons just because they’re there? I also think it’s a good accessibility option.

The issues show their head when the gameplay actually starts. Enemies charge at you from across the screen at a speed that would make a snail laugh. 

Whatever your currently equipped action is will always solve whatever problem you have. It is borderline impossible to not know exactly what the game wants you to do at any given time.

Even the final boss of the game took me a grand total of three minutes. I spent more time watching the credits than I did actually fighting the boss.

The game also lags sometimes. It usually happens during loading screens, but it occasionally slows down during cutscenes and gameplay. The Switch has been out for seven years and this is a first-party title. It is embarrassing that Nintendo can’t get their games to work properly.

To be positive, the game is adorable. My first reaction to seeing any given costume was always “That’s so cute!” The theater aesthetic speaks to me (a theater kid, shockingly). 

The music of the game is pretty good. The soundtrack isn’t excellent and gets a bit repetitive, but there weren’t any bad songs. 

My biggest problem with this game is that Super Princess Peach did just about everything better. The only thing that the game is missing is the expansive wardrobe the princess has on the Switch.

Super Princess Peach had 48 levels packed with different sorts of collectibles. After beating the game, another 40 levels appear and more secrets are added to the old ones.

The game was still problematic, don’t get me wrong. It featured a woman whose main source of power was her intense emotions and possibly ended in a joke about sex toys. The game was also easy, though not as easy as Showtime.

Still, I think I would’ve preferred that game being remade to this. I picked it back up to compare the games. It took me eight hours to finish Showtime and I didn’t touch it again. I’m 10 hours into Super and want to keep going.

This game is not worth its initial asking price of $60. I think the $30 mark would be appropriate for this title. I give it 3/5 quarters. I could beat it with only one quarter if it was an arcade game, though.

Tolbert can be contacted at [email protected]. Tell him what Peach’s next game should be.

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  • M

    Muhammad Bilal IslamApr 12, 2024 at 2:08 pm

    I completely disagree, I’m enjoying the game a lot