Play Time 4h 49m
Special Items 22/34
Play Time 4h 49m
Special Items 22/34
While the first Shantae game felt a little more experimental as it worked with the mechanics that would one day become legendary, this one immediately feels very modern. It’s got a lot of the classic character illustrations from later on along with the great music tracks. It’s aged quite well as this looks and feels a lot newer than the GBC era. If you like platformers or Shantae then this is definitely one that you don’t want to miss.
The game starts with Risky attacking town once again and Shantae is unable to stop her from getting away with a magical lamp. As a result the Mayor fires her from her duties of being a protective genie of the town. It’s definitely a pretty rough day for her, but Shantae won’t let herself get down in the dumps. She still intends to save the day and to do that she will need to find 3 seals/artifacts. Her uncle won’t tell her why they are needed though. Is it possible that Shantae is actually putting the world in more danger now?
I do think the Uncle is being rather shifty with not just telling her what’s up. That would very easily put everyone on the same page and it would just make more sense. I mean, why all the secrecy right? Risky clearly knows what is going on so now the villains have an edge in information. Shantae’s other friends may not be super helpful either for the most part but she does have one useful ally. Sky is able to help her with a lot of missions here that are needed to complete the game like making a frappe.
Rottytops also makes her big debut in this game and she’s a fun character. Not exactly the most heroic one out there of course but as a zombie she is always expected to be rather unpredictable. She’s just a fun character to have around. Then you have Risky herself who is always a great villain. She really has fun mocking you if you end up losing the level which is a nice touch. The cast of characters in Shantae is fun. They’re a colorful bunch who always have a lot of energy.
I think that’s part of what has always given the series a lot of charm. Throughout the game all of the characters are bouncing with energy thanks to the exaggerated idle animations and the art style. The graphics look excellent and I’d say a big part of that is how well crafted the art style is. The soundtrack is also ahead of its time with the solid themes. The music themes have been remixed a lot over the years and they always land well.
As for the gameplay, it is greatly improved from the last one. The hair attacks have some real range now which is pretty huge. You feel like you can hit opponents without having to take a counter attack at the same time. Everything’s a lot faster. The only part you can tell hasn’t been fully finished is the dance transformations. Instead of a shortcut for each dance, you have to let the dance linger on longer for each transformation. Later games would add a button shortcut which is quicker.
As with all Shantae games, there is a good amount of strategy here as well. Each new form allows you to access new areas so it’s important to keep on back tracking to where you used to be each time to see if there are more collectibles to get. The hub world is rather large so make sure you wake up every teleporter you can. It’s not exactly instant travel but it will save you a lot of walking. There is a map but it’s definitely not the most helpful since it doesn’t show you your position on it most of the time. There’s also one point in the game where they get the directions wrong so you end up having to run around the hub world a bunch.
The main game isn’t very long. You should have it beat in 4-6 hours I’d say. In terms of replay value, you can always go back and try to get all of the collectibles and health upgrades. I believe the ending illustration also changes based on how quickly you complete the game so that’s fun as well. I wouldn’t say there is a huge amount of replay value for these things with the post game content but the game is fun so you should have a good time exploring the levels.
Unlike the first game you aren’t able to keep on rewinding and using access points. So in that respect you might expect the game to be a lot harder but I would say it’s easier either way. That’s probably why they felt that rewinding wasn’t needed. Thanks to your extended range you should be able to get through most areas without an issue. The only time you’ll be dying will be for particularly difficult platforming moments or if you’re trying to rush through an area since you’ve already been through it many times before. As long as you take your time then you’ll be good.
Around town you’ll see various side things you can do like joining the battle tower or buying upgrades at the shop. The tower’s a really good idea for earning a lot of gems. For the shop I would recommend maxing out your hair’s attack/speed since this comes in handy quite a lot. After that I guess maxing out your fire and the pike ball are good. Also you should buy the 9 pack set of health bars. Each drink completely restores all hearts so that means you can fight a boss while essentially having 10 health bars. Even with that the final boss did take me a pair of tries so this is definitely not someone to underestimate. As with most platformers the key is to figure out first how to hurt the boss and then you’ll be good from there.
Overall, Shantae: Risky’s Revenge definitely feels like the point where the series really became modern. All of my big issues from the first game were addressed here. Ultimately I would still put Half Genie Hero as the best Shantae game of course but this one holds its own. I definitely recommend checking it out if you can still get a copy from Limited Run Games or you can always go the digital option.
I’ve played all of the newer Shantae titles but I hadn’t gone back to play the older ones before now. Well, Limited Run comes in handy with these remakes/ports so now I can experience the original game with the full Nintendo Switch experience. The game holds up pretty well. There are definitely some areas where you can tell it isn’t quite as polished as it would be for the future games but the core essentials are all already there.
The story follows a half genie named Shantae who is the guardian of a village. One day everyone is attacked by a pirate known as Risky Boots. She is trying to assemble 4 mysterious rocks that each have a lot of power. Shantae will need to try and grab them first to avoid calamity. Still, it’s unknown exactly what these rocks do so Shantae will have to be careful. She’s also effectively on her own with this mission since nobody else dares get in Risky’s way.
One difference with Shantae compared to other platformers is that the entire world is connected. In a way it’s like Metroid but it’s more of a straight line. The world is essentially flat in this title. If you start out at Oasis town for example, you can run to the left and eventually you will make it back to Oasis Town. It goes without saying though that the game won’t let you do this until near the end since you would need the flying ability to pull that off and it’s the final power up that you get. Makes sense though because otherwise you would be blasting through the areas a little too easily.
There is no map in the game so proper navigation can be a little difficult at times. The characters technically give you a hint when you’re trying to figure out where to go next but the hints are always not very helpful. They hype up the place itself more than giving straight advice. You’ll see them say something like “The mountain is pretty cold up ahead” but that doesn’t really help you out since there are exits to the town from left and right so you can’t be sure what ahead means. At times I basically travelled across the whole world and back when looking for the right spot. Fortunately the world isn’t huge so you can do this but it will take a little extra time.
The game has access points though which is great since you’re going to need them. If you aren’t sure which way to go, just leave yourself a backup save so instead of walking all the way back you at least have a checkpoint. It’s also helpful just when you’re walking around or for boss fights. The enemies can be rather tricky and the spikes come out of nowhere so having regular access points will help you get through without a hassle. Access points are something that I’m always quite glad to see in these games. It’s a great way to add a modern twist to the more retro styled games.
As for the gameplay, it definitely feels a lot like your classic Shantae experience. You use your hair to smack enemies out of the way. You can also dance to turn into animals like a monkey, elephant, and even a bird to get past obstacles. The dances definitely get very handy when you are trying to get to the next point of the game. Your hair’s length is pretty short though so timing your attacks is absolutely critical if you don’t want to get countered right away. You can find upgrades to your health along the path as well as new attacks so search each area carefully.
The soundtrack is also a lot of fun and you should recognize the tracks from the newer games. They may have been remixed a few times since then but the core beats and energy still remains the same. The game definitely sounds really good particularly considering how long ago it came out. It just goes to show that good music is quite timeless. The graphics are a lot older since they’re from the Game Boy era but they work well. The stage designs especially stand out and I liked Risky’s design here. She looks like some kind of evil vampire with the way the graphics look here.
In terms of length the game should last you around 6-7 hours I’d say. It’s a pretty decent length especially considering the difficulty level. If you are able to not get lost or shred your opponents really quickly then you can probably shake that timer down just a bit. In terms of replay value you can work on getting all of the power ups so that you really destroy that final boss but there isn’t a post game in this case so for the most part you are just focusing on playing through the main campaign. There are minigames and such you can find along the way though and if you gather enough squids you won’t have to walk quite so much since you can teleport from town to town. Now that’s a great incentive to grab collectibles if you ask me.
Overall, It’s good to finally have gotten to play the original Shantae title. It’s definitely a solid platformer that I would recommend. It’s considerably more difficult than the newer Shantae games since you can’t amp up your speed and attack into broken levels but you do have access points which really evens the playing field. Just be smart where you save it and you’ll be good. Also, note that losing a life doesn’t reset a boss’s health so having multiple lives is a great way to prepare for the boss. In particular the final boss is really tough. Even now I can’t say that I figured out a strategy for her beyond just getting hits when you can and staying far away so she doesn’t counter.
Play Time 6h 16m
Item Collection 60%
Shantae has had a pretty fun gaming history over the years. While her games did not start off very big, they’re now titles that are at the top of the Indie charts to the point where you probably could call her mainstream nowadays. The best title in the franchise is still Half Genie Hero if you ask me, but the Seven Sirens is a great follow up. It’s always nice to see the characters get together for some more adventures and the new Siren characters are pretty solid as well.
The game starts with Shantae and her friends going on vacation. They’re looking forward to having a peaceful time away from their usual save the world adventures. Unfortunately it won’t be as easy as all that. It turns out that there are a bunch of other half genies so now Shantae isn’t the only one. This is great except that they are all promptly kidnapped. Shantae is once again the last one standing but this time she has a chance to save the others. She’ll have to travel all across the island and an old villain by the name of Risky Boots has shown up which complicates matters. Risky always has some kind of purpose behind her actions and Shantae is going to need to figure out what that is before it’s too late.
The gameplay is that of a classic platformer but it’s got Metroidvania elements to it as you will often have to go back and forth in the map as you search for things. You start the game off with no real powers and every world you learn 2. For example, when you start the game there will be large pools that you can swim in but once you unlock the frog ability then you can go back there. It’s unlikely that you will memorize all of the different routes so you are highly encouraged to go back through each area when you gain new abilities. At times the map will show you where you need to go next but usually it’s more about trial and error. At one of the 3 towns there will usually be someone who can give you a hint though.
Your main attacking option is your hair. It’s a pretty quick attack that deals a lot of damage. At the shop you can buy an upgrade to make it faster or to make it more powerful. If you earn enough coins you can quickly max out both stats which makes a big difference in the battle. The rest of your abilities are explained as you learn them which includes shooting electricity, seeing invisible objects, and causing tremors. One ability allows you to heal yourself or cleanse poisoned water which is really handy. You can also buy magic spells like fireballs which can aid you in gameplay although they’re never as effectively as your classic hair blows if you ask me.
The boss battles can be pretty tricky at first until you remember that you have items. So at first I was just spinning my wheels without any backup assistance. No magic or items, just my platforming skills and hair. That’s when I realized that something just wasn’t quite right. It was then that I realized I had been holding myself back for quite a while. With the items the game becomes a whole lot easier to the point where you should not lose again. Not only are items so common that you should have all food maxed out pretty quick but you’ve also got your healing spell which takes up virtually no energy and heals you thoroughly. Your magic meter also regenerates pretty fast as long as you have the proper equipment on which you unlock near the middle of the game.
So the game should not pose a challenge to you as long as you remember these key elements. At that point you will be all set for action. So the gameplay is nice and fast paced which should keep you entertained at all times. The story is also pretty fun. The Squid is definitely my favorite character now. Not only is he just a fun guy but he’s got a great character theme as well. His story is rather tragic if you think about it. He really just wants to be successful and he’s trying to do it the right way but it’s just been tough for him. Hopefully one day he’s able to get that spinoff game that he’s always wanted. Shantae is a fun lead as always too. She may be a little starstruck at the other half genies but at the end of the day I would take her in a fight. Risky Boots is also a solid villain who never underestimates anyone. She just uses whichever characters are around and that’s the hallmark of a talented villain.
The graphics here are definitely real solid. The art style is excellent and is part of the game’s charm. It’s all definitely as colorful and vibrant as can be with a lot of good level backdrops. It may be a little more limited than the previous installment since you’re mainly stuck on the island the whole time but it’s a good locale in general. The soundtrack is also very good. You have some remixes from past games and then a lot of original tunes. They all bundle together for a solid array.
The game’s length is around 6 hours or so but there is a good amount of replay value as you grab all of the collectibles and aim to grab the PS4 trophies if that’s the version that you got. The toughest trophy will probably be the speed run entry since you have to complete the game very quickly. It can definitely be done if you put your mind to it though. Platformers usually aren’t super long or anything so 6-7 hours is pretty standard I’d say. You’re getting a good purchase for your buck.
Overall, I’d recommend picking up Shantae and the Seven Sirens. It’s a fun game with a pretty engaging plot and definitely a solid cast of characters. This is a game that’s very easy to pick up and play at any time. The overall atmosphere helps to keep the game calm and interesting from start to finish. I do hope they keep the Shantae series up with quick releases because there’s always a whole lot you can keep doing here. The game ends on what I would consider a cliffhanger after all so I am expecting another game at some point. In the meantime I suppose I just have to wait until she makes it into the Super Smash Bros series.
Play Time 5h 28m
Game Complete 74%
Heart Squids 18/32
Downward Stab Upgrades 0/3
Pistol Upgrades 0/3
Combat upgrades 0/?