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Princess Peach: Showtime!
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Princess Peach: Showtime! - Video Review

We've suited up as the Princess of the Mushroom Kingdom to save the illustrious Sparkle Theatre from the evil Grape and her South Patch.

Audio transcription

"Considering the uncertainty surrounding Nintendo's first-party portfolio for the latter half of this year and the fact that the first half of 2024 seems to be mostly coined by remakes or remasters of already established projects, there is a very real chance that Princess Peach Showtime is the biggest new game from Nintendo in the Mario franchise this year."

"Needless to say, this puts an unexpectedly large amount of pressure on the title to excel and while we weren't sure it was going to succeed in this effort after the opening few levels, the wider and extended game continued to draw us in with its creative and rather original use of platforming and unique gameplay systems."

"You see, Princess Peach Showtime isn't like many other Mario games in the past.
It's not a 2-slash-2.5D side-scrolling platformer, nor is it a 3D platformer like Super Mario Odyssey, Super Mario Galaxy or even Mario plus Rabbids Sparks of Hope, for example.
It sits in this weird limbo where it's almost a 2.5D 3D platformer that combines traditional platforming systems with party-esque minigames."

"What we mean here is that, since every level takes place on a stage, you only have limited area to move around, plus the camera angle is fixed and always looking at Peach at an angle as though it's a camera mounted in the rafters and recording the events happening on stage."

"Match this up with a variety of power-ups and levels that are designed to make you compete in minigames and side activities and you get a game that truly feels unique to what we've come to expect from the world of Mario.
It is clear however that Princess Peach Showtime is made for younger audiences first and foremost."

"That isn't a knock.
More so, just a warning of what to expect.
As it's quite short and concise with mechanics and challenges that will struggle to pose much of a difficulty to the majority of more versed players."

"The other side of this coin is that Showtime is an ideal game to welcome younger folk to the world of Mario, and a damn entertaining welcome at that.
The way that Showtime approaches level design and its power-ups is fantastic.
Each play has a unique theme, level design and sparkle power attached to it."

"For example, the Wild West play features dusty saloons.
Runaway trains and cowgirl Peach, whereas you will find figure skater Peach in an on-ice type of play, fit with frozen lakes, snowmen and frosty bushes decorated with fairy lights.
The aesthetic of this game is a genuine highlight and something to celebrate."

"Add to this the sparkle power-ups which are mostly well thought out and unique with each bringing something new to the table.
Some are clearly better than others as we found the detective Peach to be a little flat due to the very rudimentary nature of the sleuthing puzzles, and the steady gameplay mechanics and pacing that it presented."

"On the other hand, the Ninja Peach actually delivered quite thrilling and fun stealth sections and platforming elements.
The powers don't even need to have combat or action-based qualities baked into them to feel fun either, as the peaceful patisserie Peach and her baking mini-games ended up being one of our highlights of the entire game."

"The point is, Nintendo has done a solid job in this game at creating and defining differing powers and then tying them to levels that feel unique and a reflection of the stage plays you should find them in.
It's not a clear home run, but there's a lot to love."

"I'm sure you'll enjoy it.
The levels in Showtime do lack a bit of the complexity that you find in the more traditional Mario platformers, mind you.
There are a bunch of sparkle stars to gather in each level, with these usually tied to core level objectives, with some found by wandering a little off the beaten path."

"But aside from also finding a special NPC in each level who rewards Peach with collectible ribbons, there is really not that much else to do within each of the respective levels.
Granted, there are some side activities to tackle, such as mini-games relating to newly-acquired powers."

"But these are only fleeting additions, once again affirming that the complexity and depth you found in Super Mario Bros Wonder, for example, isn't exactly translated and also found here.
Yet Nintendo hasn't slacked on its visuals and art direction, nor its soundtrack, or the way that this game further makes Peach stand out as a grand and iconic character that should be the focal point of more projects in the future."

"There is basic platformer brilliance in this game, and many differing elements that could serve as a basis for future Peach spin-off experiences.
Despite the fact that Showtime has some brilliant elements and is effortlessly fun, it is clear that it feels like a safer and more rudimentary offering from Nintendo."

"But, for younger folk or those less familiar to gaming or the world of Mario, there is heaps of fun to be had with this game, and veterans of the series will no doubt find themselves with a big grin plastered across their face watching Peach excel as the headline act in this standalone title."

"Hopefully Nintendo will see this game as the starting point for more Peach projects, because she deserves to be in the limelight.
And definitely has the ability and charm to carry a game by herself."

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