== Nixon Computer ==

GAME CLEAR No. 168 -- Princess Peach: Showtime!

video games game clear princess peach mario nintendo

Princess Peach: Showtime! (2024, Switch)

Developer: Good-Feel
Publisher: Nintendo
Clear Date: 4/24/24


Why should I care?
Princess Peach’s return to the role of lone protagonist creates some slight intrigue for this otherwise underwhelming game. It may be worth your while if you can look past its easy and sometimes dull levels.

Kept you waiting, huh?

It’s been nearly two decades since Princess Peach was the lone playable character in a video game. Sure, she’s been an option in games like Super Mario 3D World and Super Mario Bros. Wonder, but unlike Mario, Luigi, and even Captain Toad, she hasn’t had her own game in quite some time. Her previous title Super Princess Peach saw her rescuing the Mario Bros. through the power of her emotions, a central mechanic that was seen as sexist at the time and that certainly hasn’t earned any more grace in the meantime.

Now, here in the mid-twenty-twenties, it seems that Nintendo wants to position Peach as a viable solo protagonist in a world they may have finally realized has young girls in addition to young boys that they can market to. In The Super Mario Bros. Movie, Peach was protrayed as determined and capable, and while Showtime! offers a more traditional, regal, and non-vocal Peach, she’s nevertheless certainly not defeating enemies by crying on them anymore.

No, this time Peach is instead thrust into a variety of literal roles at the Sparkle Theater. In a setup not unlike the original Luigi’s Mansion, Peach receives an invitation to the theater, only for shit to go down as soon as she arrives. The evil sorceress Grape along with her Sour Bunch take over the theater, and Peach has to put a stop to the madness by entering each auditorium and playing through light action platforming stages themed around the stories of the plays that are put on therein. From cowgirl to ice skater, ninja to cake decorator, Peach does it all. Pretty fun idea, honestly!

The shame of it all for those of us over the age of, say, eight is that it’s all simply too easy and too slow. Even the fastest-paced levels, like the Ninja and Thief plays, offer only a modest challenge to folks with much experience at all with video games. Of course, I understand that some people are indeed children! And this may be a great game for them. I hope such children enjoy it and it eases them into this medium I love so much. But none of them are reading this, and I find it tough to recommend to those who might.

As something of a Mario completionist, I felt the need to check this box, but I didn’t exactly have a blast doing it. Still, it’s good to see Peach back in a less problematic leading role. Here’s to more of that, whether it appeals to me specifically or not.