|Pardon the dust!
This page includes some jargon that hasn't been added to the site's glossary yet. I'll be around to fix this later, but sorry for the inconvenience in the meantime.
Review: Shantae: Risky's Revenge
At a Glance
|ESRB Rating:||E10 - Everyone (Ages 10 and up)|
|My Rating:||Ages 10 and up|
|Review Published On:||May 5th, 2021|
You'll choose use one of three save slots to record your progress at the beginning of a new game. However, there is no autosave, so you'll need to talk to an old sage who will record your progress for you.
The biggest issue most parents will have with this game is its art style, which is much more suggestive than you'd expect for a game that was once on a Nintendo system.
Our story goes something like this: Shantae, a half-genie, works to protect Scuttle Town from various monsters, pirates, and villainous types. After some quick training against the weak local monsters, she heads into town to visit the annual Relic Hunter's Expo, where Uncle Mimic is preparing to display a recently recovered artifact. However, things go sideways when the relic is revealed to be a small, ordinary lamp. Before anyone can explain what's going on, the dreaded pirate captain Risky Boots attacks the hall and steals the lamp from right under Uncle Mimic's nose.
This prompts the mayor of Scuttle Town to dismiss Shantae from her role as the town's guardian, as Risky Boots' attack demonstrates that she's not up to the task anymore. Understandably angry at the situation, Shantae wants to help, but Uncle Mimic tries to discourage her. True to form, he lets slip that the lamp's power was divided into three Magic Seals, and that these Magic Seals are currently in the hands of Sequin Land's notorious Barons. Thus, our heroine resolves to gather the Seals before Risky Boots can find them herself.
From this point on, the game is a fairly standard Metroidvania, as you'll be spending most of your time looking for the next item or ability in the sequence to progress the story. Combat will feature pretty heavily as well, since every screen has a number of respawning enemies for you to deal with. Of course, you're probably expecting Shantae to fight her battles with the incredible magical powers her genie half provides, but you'd be wrong. While she can learn and utilize a small number of magical spells, her main attack is to simply swat at enemies by whipping her long hair in their direction.
This doesn't mean she lacks supernatural abilities though. Her real magic is the power of DANCE: after discovering the relevant Magic Fountain, she can use her dance moves to transform herself into one of three different animal forms. The player doesn't need to remember any codes or anything though, as there's a dedicated "dance button" that cycles through various dance moves. Each dance step corresponds with a specific animal form, so no memorization is needed. By becoming a monkey, an elephant, or a mermaid, Shantae can access to areas that she wouldn't be able to reach normally, such as tree tops or undersea caverns. Finding transformation relics enhances the various forms further, so exploring is highly recommended.
On the downside, there are some issues with this game. The biggest is obviously the art design, which tends to overemphasize some of the characters' features in ways that might make parents uncomfortable. It's also a fairly short game with only three main "dungeons" (excluding Risky Boots' lair). This might be due to it having originally been a DSiWare title, but I can't really say for sure. All in all, it's still a fun game and an excellent entry into a new franchise for Metroidvania fans.
Points of Interest
The more fun benefit of completing the game is the new "magic mode" that unlocks. This mode gives Shantae a new golden "magic" outfit, and changes the game's rules a little to make things more interesting. For example, using magic now requires less energy, but as a trade off, you'll also take more damage from enemy attacks.
Of course, there is also a set of Steam trading cards, if you're interested in collecting those.