Review: PRINCESS PEACH: SHOWTIME! is a Ton of Fun for Everyone

Princess Peach wears a classic European swordfighter outfit brandishing a rapier as rose petals fall around her.

At the end of March, Nintendo released Princess Peach: Showtime! This game was developed by Good-Feel and is the second one focused on the famous video game princess. You can purchase a copy for the Nintendo Switch from your favorite retailers including GameStop (affiliate link) or the eShop if you’re a fan of digital versions. If you are wary of buying the game, there is a free demo you can download that features two of the first levels that is a great introduction to what you can expect from the game. Nintendo did supply me with a copy to review, but all thoughts below are my own.

Join Princess Peach as she steps into the spotlight in her very own single-player action game! As Princess Peach attends the Sparkle Theater, the wicked Grape and the Sour Bunch take control over the play to enact their own performances. Joined by Stella, the theater’s guardian, Peach must save each show and transform to match the performance – becoming Swordfighter Peach, Detective Peach, Ninja Peach, Patissiere Peach and more. Each transformation changes up the action and comes with its own abilities for Peach to best save each play and call curtains to Grape’s wicked plans.

Ever since Princess Peach: Showtime! was announced, I’ve been excited for it. It looked like a lot of fun and the demo confirmed that it would be. There’s a lot that I want to praise about the game, but first, I want to get the downsides out of the way. First, I feel like I would not be authentic if I didn’t mention the performance issues. During cutscenes and loading screens, performance can drop in terms of framerate (loading screens were especially bad in my experience) and it also looked like there were some resolution drops at times. Thankfully, these issues did not extend to gameplay. That’s it. That’s the one aspect of the game that I see as a problem. If I’m being nitpicky, I was a little annoyed that my progress from the demo didn’t carry over, but it was only two levels so it’s not a big deal.

Just because I only saw one problem worth talking about, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t valid reasons to not like the game. The gameplay is not very deep, the levels are not very long, the mermaid voice doesn’t match her speaking voice at all, etc. However, I was never expecting any of that (except maybe that mermaid voice thing) from Princess Peach: Showtime! and I had a fantastic time.

The way that Princess Peach: Showtime! works is that each floor of the Sparkle Theater has four plays for you to star in and each play has you taking on one of 10 different roles. You complete the levels, free the Sparkla (the original stars of the plays who were captured by the evil Madame Grape) through special levels in the basement, and then face off against Madame Grape herself. There are also tons of mini-games and collecting to be doing that extends the length of the game if you’d like. I want to make it clear though that this is not a long game if you just play through the story. My 7-year-old completed the game in about five days (with some parental help) and this brings me to another fantastic aspect of this game.

There are a few tools to help struggling players progress through the game. First is the Heart Charm which is simple and gives you three extra hearts. You can get it by talking to a Theet (the cute yellow guys who run/act in the Sparkle Theater) near the middle on the first floor or after failing a level enough times it will prompt you if you want to use it. You can always talk to the Theet on the first floor to remove the Heart Charm. Another tool they have is that if you fail a level enough times, they will allow you to spend all of the coins you earned to auto-beat the level. This will be a little controversial, but I don’t think it’s bad as you can always reject that prompt. My daughter would get frustrated playing the game at times and this helped her finish the game, feel accomplished, and build up her confidence playing games.

Let’s return to the gameplay of Princess Peach: Showtime! As I mentioned before, it’s fairly simple as you only ever press two face buttons and sometimes use the right trigger. A is your universal jump button and B is your interact/power button. Just because it’s simple doesn’t mean that it’s not fun and rewarding. The first level is Swordfighter Peach who uses a counter attack while fighting and they have a nice long window to trigger it for a more casual audience.

Speaking of the different transformations, it is fun how different they feel. Many of them do revolve around some kind of combat to defeat the Sour Bunch, but there are also transformations such as Detective Peach where there is no combat. The variety of gameplay definitely helps it from becoming stale and each one does feel unique. My personal favorites are Ninja Peach and Dashing Thief Peach. A quick note about Mermaid Peach is that her singing voice sounds drastically different from her speaking voice and this bothered me for a while, but it seems to match the Mermaid Sparkla’s voice which helped me feel better about it because I think the idea is that the spark more or less fuses you with the Sparkla’s spirit and so the Sparkla and Peach having the same singing voice made a little more sense to me at that point.

There’s also a little detail that I think deserves a shout out. When in the Sparkle Theater, Peach can slide down banisters! This is a very small detail that did not have to be included and yet it’s really fun and shows an attention to detail.

I want to talk about the impact that Princess Peach: Showtime! has had in my house. My daughter has been semi-obsessed with Mario for a couple of years now. She loved playing various Mario games (including Super Mario Odyssey), playing with Mario toys, and even dressing up as Mario. Mario was her favorite character from the franchise and for a while, her favorite character from anything. After playing this game, she has said that she likes Peach as much as Mario. I did not expect this response. This game has helped my daughter see Peach in a different light and I’m willing to bet that she’s not the only one.

I greatly enjoyed my time playing Princess Peach: Showtime! and so have my daughter and wife. In less than a week, two of us completed it and I think it’s worth playing. The designs for the transformations are really good, the gameplay is fun, and the only problem is some performance issues which only occur in cutscenes. It’s not a long or complex game, but I do highly recommend grabbing this game.

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