ppeach.jpg The perceptive Toybane have an extremely interesting post on how and why Nintendo's Super Princess Peach box art has been revamped from the Japanese release of the DS game to its Western debut.

There were some raised sexism-related eyebrows in some quarters when it was revealed, on playing the Japanese import, that Peach's special powers included crying and getting angry - especially since she normally plays a damsel in distress in the first place.

Toybane notes of this design decision, as it extends to the box: "The storyline for “Super Princess Peach” involves Mario and the gang being kidnapped by Bowser. Yet the original Japanese cover portrays Peach clearly stuck in the same state of “distress” she has been in since 1985. The cover shows her with her mouth agape and her eyes widened with fear."

They continue: "When designing the U.S. Box art, NOA clearly tried to soften the misogynistic implications of this image. They chose to replace the bubbled portraits of Peach’s emotional states (known as “vibes” in the game) with a single bubbled portrait of Mario being tied up, a clear attempt to highlight the fact that Peach has been “empowered” and thrust into the role of the heroine."

As the Toybane folks go on to point out, the change isn't wholly successful, but it definitely downplays Nintendo's oddly emotion-orientated game mechanics to some extent - either an improvement, or an 'under rug swept', then.