Monday 16 August 2021

Nintendo Switch Roundup 7: Shantae


With the recent release of the Gameboy Colour game on the Switch you can now get hold of all five Shantae games on Nintendo’s console. Metroidvania’s at heart, the series has become something of a popular cult classic among fans and physical copies of the games can go for crazy money. The basic gimmick that runs through the series is Shantae being able to transform into different animals by dancing in order to overcome obstacles and barriers.  Here we look at how the five games in the series hold up.


The original GBC game is certainly the most difficult one to go back to now but that doesn’t mean it should be ignored outright. It’s a solid Metroidvania adventure for the time and has some clever morphing abilities and spells to liven things up. It is only really let down by poor check pointing and confusing sign posting. Though being a port rather than a remake, the Switch version allows for anytime saving along with a few other quality of life features that makes it more tolerable. It also includes the enhanced GBA version of the game which boosts the colour palette a bit. It’s not massively expensive either (especially compared to the actual cart), so fans of Shantae who have played the other games should get something out of this.

Shantae: Risky’s Revenge: Director’s Cut

Originally released as DSi Ware, Risky’s Revenge is a big step forward in terms of both look and general design. Again, this is a port rather than a remake so expect pixel work and borders rather than upgraded visuals and widescreen. It’s bigger and bolder than the first game as well but is slightly clunky compared to later games in the series. The biggest issue is that dungeons have no map at all and the world map is borderline useless but the game does remain fun and entertaining to play – just be prepared to spend some time trying to work out where that key is you need. It further develops the formulae of having a big, interconnected, world which require abilities to be gained in order to progress and the level design holds up remarkably well.

Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse

At the start of Pirate’s Curse Shantae has lost her genie powers so now has to find and use various magical Pirate items in order to add to her abilities. Instead of the dancing transformation Shantae can now also use her genie lamp in order to suck up magic and various different types of gas to further expand her repertoire of moves. It’s one of the tougher Shantae games but also one of the best with clever puzzles and dungeons to explore. The adventure aspect of the game is also different with players heading off to multiple islands in search of ‘dens of evil’ instead of the interconnected world layout of the previous games.

Pirates Curse is certainly a highlight of the series and also an essential purchase of platform fans. We looked at the game in more detail here -

Shantae: Half-Genie Hero

Shantae’s first foray into HD is a mixed bag. This is arguably the weakest of the five games though it does look great. It lacks some of the sparkle in its design that the other games have in abundance and is just a bit dull. It’s not the longest game either, though there are a host of other modes and characters that can either be purchased as DLC or that come included in the complete edition. It’s bright and colourful but ultimately easily forgettable when compared to the other games.

Shantae and the Seven Sirens

The most recent of the games has our half-genie visiting Paradise Island along with her genie friends. They are of course all captured and players have to explore under the island to rescue them. Each genie then grants Shantae a new ability which she can use to access further into the underground city. This is the game that most closely follows the format of Symphony of the Night with players exploring one big castle like level. It works really well with a colourful design and a light hearted script throughout. It may be a little easy for some but it’s also a decent length and some of the boss battles are challenging until you work them out so there’s plenty here to scratch your exploration itch with.

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