Boss Rush Banter: Should the Next 3D Mario Game Feature Princess Peach?

Beginning with 1988’s Super Mario Bros. 2, Princess Toadstool aka Peach has been playable in various Nintendo games.  Despite this, she hasn’t had her own adventure in more than 15 years. We know her moveset can work well in 3D thanks to her presence in Super Mario 3D World.  Her inclusion in that game, along with the ending of Super Mario Odyssey, leads me to wonder: Is it time for Princess Peach to get her own 3D platformer and be the star of what would otherwise be the next 3D Mario game?

Princess Toadstool’s Castle Run Game Watch (left) Screenshot from Super Princess Peach (right). Image Credits: Nintendo, IGDB

In the mid-2000s, Nintendo released the first fully featured game completely focused on a playable Peach, Super Princess Peach.  While it’s true that this was her first game, she did have her own dedicated Game Watch made by Nintendo in 1990, Princess Toadstool’s Castle Run.  Besides these outdated, and criticized titles, the Mushroom Kingdom’s monarch has mostly been relegated to a larger cast of playable Mario side-characters in series like Mario Kart, Mario Party, Super Smash Bros., and other multiplayer games.   

There are several arguments for Princess Peach being the playable character and star of her own 3D platforming game. She’s been a selectable character with increasing frequency, although it feels as though she’s relegated to be a side-character, sometimes caught in a strange situation like the Super Crown from New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe.  Nonetheless, Nintendo fans and players are familiar with her movements, and ready for her to take off on her own adventure instead of constantly being the MacGuffin, the tired trope of the kidnapped princess.  In the conclusion to Super Mario Odyssey, Peach indicated she would head off on her own adventures, which felt earned and also like a hint to the possibility of her being the lead in a future title.  Her unique float ability adds a new dimension to platforming, and could be combined with traditional 3D Mario movements, which we know works well thanks to Super Mario 3D World. She could thrive in a larger, more open 3D environment.  Lastly, the Mario series doesn’t have a lot of diversity in its cast and having Peach be the main character could help a bit, giving players a female lead.   

Princess Peach platforming in Super Mario 3D World. Image Credit: Nintendo

On the other hand, some might argue that even while Peach deserves her own games, she doesn’t need to be pigeonholed into a 3D Mario formula.  Just as other Mario characters, like Luigi, Toad, and Wario have had their own respective games and styles, a Princess Peach game could have new and unique mechanics and be its own thing.  It could be reuse some elements from Super Princess Peach, although the mechanics and tone weren’t super well received. The last 3D Mario entry, Bowser’s Fury, like most 3D Mario games before it, introduced new elements but focused on a playable Mario. Perhaps Mario’s right where he belongs, and other characters can shine in their own separate, different games.      

Character select screen from Super Mario Bros. 2 with Princess Toadstool selected. Image Credit: Nintendo

As for me, I think it’s high time that Peach, one of my favorite Nintendo characters, got her own full 3D adventure. I’d love to see her float mechanic used to its full potential in the third dimension, after getting just a taste of it in Super Mario 3D World. I want to see Peach explore larger, diverse open areas like those found in Super Mario Odyssey, and have her float ability be used to craft new platforming challenges.  

But what about you? Do you agree it’s time for Princess Peach to be the main character in the next 3D Mario game or do you want more of the red plumber man? Tell us in the comments below or be a part of the conversation by joining the Boss Rush Discord.

SOURCES: IGDB, Nintendo Life, Screen Rant


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