Princess Peach: Showtime! review for Nintendo Switch

Platform: Nintendo Switch
Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Nintendo
Medium: Digital/Cartridge
Players: 1
Online: No
ESRB: E10+

In my experience, bad games are a lot easier to write about than good games. It’s much easier to list all the reasons why you dislike a game than it is to enumerate everything it does well. And so it is that I’m having a lot of trouble thinking of what to say about Princess Peach: Showtime!

I mean, I know the one criticism I’d have of the game: the graphics are kind of subpar during cutscenes. While the Switch generally has no problem with the game, there are definitely moments – at least when you play the game in handheld mode on the OLED Switch – where it gets all blurry. Given that first-party Nintendo games are generally known for looking amazing, the fact that Princess Peach: Showtime! has those moments of looking iffy do a good job of reminding you that the Switch has been out for more than seven years and we’re due for its successor.

But that’s literally my only complaint about Princess Peach: Showtime! In every other respect, it’s a delightful game that gives Peach her long overdue time in the spotlight.

Mind you, the fact that Peach has never starred in a game kind of works to its advantage, since that means it doesn’t need to worry much about preconceived notions or ideas about what she can and can’t do. Given that she’s spent the better part of the last forty years as a plot device rather than a character, Princess Peach: Showtime! gets a chance to answer the question of “What Peach does when she’s not being held captive?” with a pretty resounding, “Everything!”

In fact, it almost feels like Nintendo threw in every idea they’ve ever had for Peach into this one game. Freed of just simply being a kidnapping victim, here she gets to be a cowgirl, a figure skater, a thief, a sword fighter, a baker, and several other roles. While the mechanics don’t change a huge amount in terms of what buttons you need to press, she gets a new power in each new level, and there’s always a moment or two where you need to adjust yourself to the game’s new demands.

But only a moment or two, because Princess Peach: Showtime! Isn’t a hugely challenging game. It’s very generous in terms of your health bar, which means that even when it throws something new at you, it shouldn’t take too long for you to get the hang of what the game is asking of you – though it should be noted that those one or two moments can often be enough to cost you one of the many stars you can earn during each level. While most of them are obvious enough, there are definitely a few that you’ll probably miss out on the first time around. But that’s why you replay a level, isn’t it? And, thankfully, none of Princess Peach: Showtime!’s levels are so insanely long that replaying any of them feels like that big of an inconvenience.

Does Princess Peach: Showtime! reach the level of, say, Super Mario Bros. Wonder? Probably not. But it’s certainly on par with any of the solo Luigi or Yoshi outings we’ve had. Here’s hoping that we don’t have to wait another two decades for Peach to get another starring role, because this one is well worth your time.

Nintendo provided us with a Princess Peach: Showtime! Nintendo Switch code for review purposes.

Score: 9.5

Princess Peach™: Showtime! - US Version

Price: $58.20

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