First Impressions of Princess Peach: Showtime! Demo

Discovering the demo for Princess Peach: Showtime! was an exciting prospect, offering me a glimpse into the whimsical Sparkle theater. However, as I embarked on this mini-adventure, I found myself navigating through a rollercoaster of mixed feelings.

I’m genuinely appreciative that the developers provided a demo, allowing players like myself to sample the game before committing. Yet, amidst the excitement, I couldn’t help but notice some rough edges.

One aspect that caught my attention was the occasional mismatch between on-screen text and character mouth movements. While seemingly minor, it did detract from the overall immersion I was hoping to experience.

The control scheme also struck me as unconventional. I’m curious why the A and B buttons were predominantly utilized. I would have much preferred a more intuitive layout, perhaps involving B and Y. You can switch up the controls, but you’re merely swapping the functionality of A and B rather than moving completely to B and Y. Additionally, the lack of some clear instructions for “more advanced moves” added a layer of frustration, as I was required to press X each time just to learn these controls.

The different transformations are fun, but they seemed very generic and incredibly simple. As a Swordfighter, I was simply button-mashing to fight enemies and sometimes taking damage when I would randomly bumping into enemies. But replacement health hearts were abundantly available, so I never feared death. And the Patissiere stage just had me pressing buttons over and over and depositing cakes on carts.

As I progressed through the demo, I couldn’t shake the feeling that it was more akin to a collection of mini-adventures rather than a cohesive gaming experience. And I have a sneaking suspicion this will continue in the main game. On top of this, the concept of “helping people through the power of sparkle” injected a whimsical charm into the gameplay, albeit one that didn’t entirely resonate with me. While this format may appeal to some, I found it somewhat disjointed and lacking in depth.

Another point of contention was the juxtaposition of a 2D plane with 3D controls. Many times, this left me slightly disoriented and it made navigating through the game world a bit awkward, which is rare for a polished Nintendo game based in the Mario world.

While the Princess Peach: Showtime! demo offers a quirky glimpse into Mushroom Kingdom’s theater district, its unconventional design choices and rough edges left me disappointed. Even though it may not have entirely won me over, I acknowledge that it might still appeal to players seeking offbeat adventures. And hey, it’s a free demo, so go try it. But as for me, I’ll be passing on the main game.

Princess Peach: Showtime! makes its debut on Nintendo Switch on March 22, 2024.