Publisher: WayForward Technologies
Developer: WayForward Technologies
Rated: Everyone 10+
Release Date: March 20th, 2018
Platforms: Playstation 4, Xbox One, Wii U, Gameboy Advance, Nintendo Switch, PC
Shantae: Half-Genie Hero, one of the Switch’s earlier platformer releases, happened to be one of the best. What could possibly be better than that? How about the port of our favorite gaming genie’s Gameboy Advance release, Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse? It might be a release of a much older title, but it actually exceeds he latest adventure in certain ways. This is platforming at its finest.
Being the third game in the series, you’re thrown in a bit later in the story as Shantae already has some adventuring under her belt, but has lost her magic that made her a genie. That means initially all you have to rely on is her hair whip attack and classic platforming jumping as you take on old enemies and the latest threat, the Pirate Master. Of course what type of game would this be without picking up some power-ups along the way? Former foe Risky Boots guides Shantae throughout the story this time and you’ll actually pick up Risky’s lost items, such as her pistol, boots, and more, each giving you a new ability to help make your way through the game. The items were replaced in Half-Genie Hero with the transformation dances, but honestly, here the items are much more intuitive to use than getting caught up in which transformation of the many available you need to use to continue. It makes for a more streamlined adventure that really makes for the best game in the series.
Graphically Pirate’s Curse has actually held up extremely well considering its age. The game runs consistently smooth from start to finish with some great character artwork along the way. Along with the gameplay and the graphics, the overall story stands on its own still, making fun of genre tropes and itself along the way. The characters, bosses, and the world never lose their charm, all having kept this series charm endearing for so many years.
Shantae: Half-Genie Hero was actually the first game in the series I was able to play. As amazing as it was, I never thought one of the previous titles in the series could match or exceed its high quality design. Much to my surprise and joy, Pirate’s Curse comes out on top with an even tighter gameplay than the sequel and a fantastic story along to boot. If you like platformers, you have no excuse not to play through this if you haven’t caught it in one of its earlier releases.