One of Nintendo's main goals with the Nintendo DS and it's funky design was to reach out to new demographics, ones that usually aren't too receptive to gaming, and attempt to draw them in. One of the main demographics Nintendo wants to convert is adolescent-to-teenage girls, a group with a whole lot of money and a whole lot of desire to spend it, but thus far not all that interested in video games.

Super Princess Peach, along with Nintendogs, was an early effort to reach out to them. This is important to keep in mind, as if you were expecting something designed to cater to established Mario fans, you'd probably come away from this one quite disappointed. It's more simplistic than a Mario game, it's easier, it's way more fluffy and pastel, and it doesn't feature series of death-defying heart-pumping precision jumps over bottomless pits and lava.

It is interesting, however, because underneath the frou-frou veneer, there is a ninja game here just waiting to happen. Peach wields her umbrella like a katana, she's got the dash, the slide, the jumping skills, and her "vibes" are really a stand-in for elemental-based ninja magic. Really, with just a little sprite and sound editing, and maybe making the levels a little tougher and more dangerous, you could pretty quickly convert this into something very Shinobi-esque.

Anyway, Mario and Weegee get kidnapped in a very silly way, but Peach was in another castle at the time, so now it's up to her to bail them out by taking on Bowser and his minions. The gameplay is actually halfway between typical Mario and a Wario Land game - Peach must use her four "vibes", which give her powers from turning into a tornado to shooting flame and water all over the place, to bypass obstacles, and the focus is often on puzzle-solving and timing rather than jumping and killing enemies.

The level design is fairly easy, but decent. The one thing I didn't much care for here is that the levels often revolve around having to use your Tornado vibe to fly somewhere, and if you accidentally fall from that area, you have to roam around for awhile looking for vibe refills so that you can get back up to where you were. Make no mistake, this is no Mario game, but a certain subset of casual gamers will probably enjoy it anyway.

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* Gameplay Video

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