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Posted on May 24th 2016 at 08:00:00 AM by (bickman2k)
Posted under Wii U, Review, Shantae, Shampoo and Conditioner

Image courtesy of WayForward's website.

Just under a month ago, the group from Humble Bundle brought us the second bundle for the Wii U and 3DS games with the "Humble Friends of Nintendo Bundle." Naturally, I bought it. There was a solid lineup of games from the start and for $13, I ended up with quite a selection of games for each of my consoles. One of those games being Shantae and the Pirate's Curse.

Now, I've seen the Shantae games in screenshots and honestly hadn't had a lot of experience with WayForward games aside from Mighty Switch Force.  As a result, I had already sort of dismissed the game as being oriented toward girls. After playing the game, I couldn't be more pleased to have been so wrong.

Shantae and the Pirate's Curse is the third game in the Shantae series. I haven't played the other games in the series, but the beginning of the game helps to at least catch you up to the events from the second game. Basically, Shantae has lost her genie powers and is learning to live as a human. Soon, the town she lives in is taken over by the Ammo Baron. After trying to take things in and relax with a nice bubble bath, her nemesis, Risky Boots, traps her, because she believes Shantae has robbed her, since her crew and items are now missing! Risky Boots also mentions that her crew has been taken over by Dark Magic. They soon find a common enemy in the Pirate Master, who is trying to revive himself. Enemies become friends! Cats and dogs living together! Mass hysteria!

Image courtesy of WayForward's website.

Shantae has a very "Metroidvania" feel. At first glance, the game may look a bit short with only five islands to explore, but the developers have extended them a little bit, mostly teased by the way some items and areas that can only be accessed after you get an item later in the game. There are lots of consumable items as well that you can both purchase and find from defeating enemies. There is also a novel way of upgrading Shantae's attacks as well. In the item shop in the main town, you can purchase shampoo and silky cream to upgrade her primary attack, her ponytail. Health is increased by collecting 4 Heart Squids and taking them to the Squidsmith, where she smashes them with a hammer to make a new heart for you...

Image courtesy of WayForward's website.

The game controls very well. I played it the first time on my New 3DS XL and didn't run in to any instances where I really felt that the buttons were making movement or actions awkward. Platforming is tight and when I would miss a jump, I realized why I missed it or what mistake I made so that I was able to complete it the next time. I didn't feel like anything was ultimately unfair about the jumping mechanics, but you do have to take the occasional leap of faith to solve a puzzle or get through a room.

Image courtesy of WayForward's website.

Graphically, it's a wonderfully animated game. Idle animations aren't just a quick, one pixel up and down change in appearance and as a result, these animations have nice flow and bounce to them. Movement is smooth, but not floaty (except when you're floating...) and there is a nice feel to attacks from when you press to when the action happens.

Speaking with shop owners and other NPCs in the game is also accompanied by high resolution pictures for many of the characters and this helps tell the story in a way the smaller sprites can't. Depending on how you feel about scantily clad genies, zombies, and pirates, you might want to preview the game before letting your kids play it.

Image courtesy of WayForward's website.

All in all, the game is fairly short, even with backtracking and finding everything, but you really shouldn't let that deter you. It was a blast to play and I'll be playing the new game+ mode soon. It's well worth playing if you bought the bundle, but if I would have known that it was so much fun, I probably would have picked it up before that. Still on the fence? Here's the trailer.


Still on the fence? If you comment below, mention what version of the game you might like. I have 2 Wii U keys and 1 3DS key that I'll be giving away June 1, just to give plenty of chances to get your entries in. I'll use random.org to make the selections and will PM the keys to the winners. Good luck!

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I played through the second Shantae game and highly recommend it. One of these days I'll find a copy of the first game....
I'll take a chance. Smiley

Wii U is the one I'd like.
Nice review, Bickman.  Wii U is the way to go Wink
Great review sir and definitely a game I'm interested in trying out.  I'd like a shot at that 3DS key. Smiley
@shaggy: Agreed!  I also bought the Humble Friends of Nintendo Bundle, and this was the first game I played, mostly because I had already purchased and played through Freedom Planet earlier in the year.  I haven't beat it yet, but I'm really enjoying it, and agree that it controls extremely well, and the game has a lot going for it.  Great soundtrack, fluid animation, and a whimsical story that gives it that extra touch.  Since the 2nd game is on Wii U as well, I may just have to break down a buy that as well, because if it's at all as good as this, I know I'll have fun with it.  Nice write-up, bickman!
@MetalFRO: I completely forgot to mention the audio! The music is excellent and all of the sound effects are fun and match the action perfectly!
I'm in the middle of playing through the second Shantae game right now and I have been enjoying it and I plan on picking this one up some time in the future.
I think I should mention that the first game for the GBA goes for an astronomical amount.  If you find it out in the wild for cheap, be sure to grab it.  It's odd that a game with very little sales, rarity, and lack of success has had a few sequels. Great games though!
I also bought the Humble Nintendo Friends Bundle, but the Shantae game was the only one I didn't activate yet.  I also had some prejudice against it because of the overly sexy anime-feel to it.  But Addicted was generous enough to gift me a copy of the Risky's Revenge on Steam, so I thought I would have a look.  Boy am I glad I did.  The game is amazing.  Once I finish Risky's Revenge I will definitely play Pirate's Curse.
Looks like have only people in for exactly what keys I have. Only a few more days left to get your entries in if you want a shot at a key!
Guess that's it! I'm seeing 2 Wii U requests and 1 3DS request. No need for a drawing! I'll send your keys out shortly!
Good news from XSEED:

XSEED has announced that they will be localizing three indie games that span across various consoles.

Shantae: 1/2 Genie Hero

In the magical world of Sequin Land lives Shantae, a spirited young half-genie. She has dedicated her life to defending her home of Scuttle Town from evil in all forms, and has been called upon again as pirates attack! Using her trademark Hair-Whip Attack and special ability to transform herself into various kinds of creatures by way of magical belly-dancing, she must fight her way through steamy jungles, ancient ruins, and stormy deserts to topple the villainous Barons behind each criminal caper, preparing for the ultimate showdown against her arch-nemesis: the bodacious buccaneer Risky Boots

Shanai: 1/2 Genie Hero is coming to the PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita and Wii U. The title will be released on physical media with a soundtrack for $29.99

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