fbpx Peach's Odyssey: A Review Beyond the Tiara
Gaming Reviews

Peach’s Odyssey: A Review Beyond the Tiara

Princess Peach is often damsel-in-distress, with Mario as her knight in plumber’s overalls. Super Mario Odyssey flips this trope beautifully. While still captured by Bowser, Peach seizes moments of agency, highlighting the capable leader beneath the tiara. Her unexpected possession by Cappy, Mario’s sentient hat, provides a playful twist for players accustomed to saving her, not playing as her.

Beyond Pink: Peach’s Evolving Moveset

Peach’s floaty jumps and parasol-based glides return in Odyssey. These classic moves feel fresh alongside Mario’s acrobatic repertoire. While initially limited, Cappy unlocks exciting possibilities:

  • Peachy Power-Ups: Peach’s Cappy possessions are like Mario’s captures, but with her unique flair. Stretching like a Goomba or smacking foes as a Hammer Bro brings joy to an old formula. Seeing Peach use these enemies’ abilities against their own kind is delightfully subversive.
  • A Touch of Super Princess Peach: The game subtly references Peach’s solo title. Her possession of a Lava Bubble grants fire-throwing power, similar to her ‘Rage’ ability. This nostalgic touch rewards long-time fans.
  • Femininity as Strength: Peach’s abilities aren’t about brute force. She emphasizes precision and grace. Her zip-lining on an electricity wire or twirling like a ballerina to gain height feels empowering, not dainty.

The Personality in the Pixel

Odyssey uses subtle animations to showcase Peach’s personality like never before:

  • Boss Battles: During Bowser showdowns, Peach isn’t passive. She subtly cheers Mario on, eyes darting to his actions – a simple detail adding layers to her character.
  • Idle Animations: Peach fidgets, stretches, and sometimes checks her nails. These seemingly minor actions bring the usually static princess to life.
  • Posture and Presence: Peach has a newfound confidence. She holds her head higher, and her walk has a determined stride compared to her previous timid shuffles.

A Mixed Bag of Storytelling

Odyssey wisely avoids making Peach the primary objective. She’s more partner than prize. Yet, Bowser’s forced wedding plan remains an uncomfortable trope, even with its playful execution.

The kingdoms she visits while possessed create moments of delightful humor:

  • Fossil Falls Fan Service: Her dinosaur form is pure fan joy. The stomping rampages feel at odds with her usual persona, making it even funnier.
  • New Donk City’s Celebration: The festival sequence with Peach-as-mayor is heartwarming and visually spectacular. Yet, the focus on her outfit choice highlights a lingering emphasis on her appearance.

Is It a TRUE Princess Peach Game?

While not a traditional standalone title, Super Mario Odyssey is the closest we’ve come to experiencing Peach as a protagonist. Her limited Cappy gameplay teases the potential of a full game centered around her unique abilities. It leaves players wanting more, which in itself is a testament to its success.

Final Verdict

Super Mario Odyssey reinvents a classic character. The Peach we see is bolder, more capable, and delightfully playful. While storytelling choices leave room for improvement, her gameplay evolution is undeniably satisfying. This is a must-play for both Mario fans and those longing to see Peach unleashed.

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