Nice follow-up to Risky’s Revenge
Shantae was a title which originated on the Gameboy hardware and was received with critical acclaim for its platforming and level of depth. It was followed by Risky’s Revenge which was released on multiple platforms. Not only has the graphics improved but the gameplay itself evolved as well. So what has Wayforward done this time around with Pirate’s Curse?
Once again the central focus of the story revolves around Scuttle Town where Shantae currently resides. Shantae is approached by her arch-nemesis Risky Boots who explains how her henchmen have gone missing which leads to the revelation that the pirate master could be revived due to dark magic being placed on her tinkerbats. Shantae decides to form an alliance with Risky in order to put a stop to all this.
The gameplay of Shantae is pretty much the same as the past entry as you will have your hair whipping and the RPG elements will allow you to upgrade your skill-sets at a later point in time either by finding items throughout different islands or purchasing upgrades in a store. Although, the dancing to transform element is now gone in favour of a new upgrade system such as finding new shoes to dash in order to remove obstructions in your way.
Traversing scuttle-town is always interesting as NPCs will have new dialog for you as you continue to progress in the story. Unlike Risky’s Revenge you no long have the option to hop back and forth through the bakcground and foreground as it is now only one static layer you move throughout.
You will travel on a boat with Risky to go to different islands this time around and as expected each island will have a different theme to go along with it. Upgrades are essential for traversing different islands. There will be a bit of fetch questing involved in order to progress certain areas.
In order to keep things from being too much of the same Wayforward decided to mix things up a bit and add certain events like having you running through a cavern with many obstacles in the wat before time runs out. Some of these new editions can be frustrating and overly lengthy, but I am sure challenge enthusiasts will find this more than a welcome edition.
The art is quite charming to look at – as with Risky’s Revenge. Although, this game could use a higher budget to further showcase evolution of the series. Some sections such as the level select screen look a bit amateurish as the images are quite static and plain. Doesn’t necessarily detract from the experience but it would be nice if the boat was a little more hands-on.
As with all Shantae titles the music really hits the spot as you will be sure to hum a few tunes here and there as they fit the mood of each situation quite well. Sound effects are all there and do a fine job, but voice acting would be a most welcome edition instead of having to go through so much text.
Fans and newcomers of Shantae be sure to check out this sequel as it shines that 2D is still relevant in this current gaming-age of high-end graphics.
Platforms: PC, 3DS, Wii U