Game: Shantae: Half-Genie Hero Ultimate Edition
System: Nintendo Switch
Price: £21.89; €24,29; $29.99
Overall feeling: I Like it a Lot!
(Review copy provided by Wayforward)
Both the realm of the Genies and Sequin Land are in terrible danger. Our favourite half-genie must thwart Risky Boot’s evil plot to corrupt the genie realm with dark magic and rule over Sequin Land. To save the day, Shantae (with the help of her uncle and friends) must battle and magic her way through several stages to foil this wicked scheme. Shantae Ultimate Edition also comes bundled with two DLC modes that develop the story further. The first pack titled ‘Pirate Queens Quest’ considers the game’s storyline from the blinkered eyes of Risky Boots. The second DLC pack titled ‘Friends to the End’ delves deeper into Sky’s, Bolo’s, and Rottytops mission, which coincides with an important event later in the game.
Overall, I’m pleased with the game’s short but positive storyline. Half-Genie Hero promotes selfless heroism, the importance of family and friendship, etc. In spite of being filled with various quips, the story never resorts to inappropriate or offensive language. The only issue I have is the consistent lack of clothing on well-endowed females. This small niggle aside, the game’s positivity is something I’d like to see imitated in more T-rated games.
At heart, Shantae: Half-Genie is a platform adventure title. The player must jump, climb, defeat enemies and overcome several bosses to complete each stage. The game itself isn’t too challenging, but some sections can prove to be tricky. Thankfully, the game’s controls are both responsive, tight and never felt inadequate.
Hidden within the game are numerous objects and upgrades that give Shantae new powers and abilities. These are obtained by exploring stages, completing side quests, and by purchasing upgrades from Scuttle Town’s item shop.
The game also includes eight transformation dances which are essential to gain access to certain areas and make progress. As a monkey, Shantae can run faster, jump much greater distances, and climb up walls. Has a crab, she can travel through water and gain access to caves. Each creatures’ abilities are further enhanced by collecting relics.
Music and Visuals
Shantae Half-Genie Hero looks and sounds great. The HD visuals are clean, colourful, crisp, and look great in both handheld and TV mode. The game also includes minimal voiceover work, simple but effective sound effects, and a soundtrack that’s catchy but sadly not very varied. I was more than happy to listen to the Shantae Half-Genie’s soundtrack for a good few hours, but by the time I finished the main game, and the ‘Pirate Queen’s Quest’ mode, I tended to keep the volume low.
The Entire Package
Shantae Half-Genie: Ultimate Edition includes a large amount of content. As well as the main game, the package also includes three additional DLC packs.
Play as Risky
In ‘Pirate Queen’s Quest’, you play as the wicked Risky Boots, and even though each stage remains virtually the same, nice touches have been made to suit Risky’s skill set.
The notorious Pirate may lack Shantae’s Genie abilities, but she packs a punch thanks to her sword and firearm abilities. She can also float by using her Pirate Hat and use her grappling hook to zip up to and move along ceilings, platforms, and other hard surfaces. Like Shantae, Risky’s abilities can be upgraded by collecting Dark Magic throughout each stage.
The overall aim of the DLC is to replay the main story but through Risky’s eyes, which is a great idea, but the DLC falls short of its goal. This mode is basically the main game with a few minor alterations, and having already played ‘Shantae: Half-Genie Hero’ for more than 10 hours, the novelty of playing as Risky soon wore off.
Play as Shantae’s Best Friends
In ‘Friends to the End’, it’s Sky, Bolo, and Rottytop’s turn to play, but they must work together to progress past all sorts of puzzles. Sky can glide through the air and make temporary platforms, while Bolo can swing past gaps, obstacles and reach higher areas with his grappling hook, and Rottytop can throw her head and teleport her past enemies and magic/energy barriers. There’s also a basic levelling up system that boosts each character’s abilities. This particular mode mixes the gameplay up far more than ‘Pirate Queen’s Quest’, but again, don’t expect significant changes.
DLC 3 pack 3 includes multiple modes that I haven’t been able to play to completion yet. Ninja Mode sees Shantae wearing a Ninja Outfit and boasting Ninja style moves. Beach Mode has her running about in a Bikini having to collect bottles of sun cream. Finally, Officer Mode offers a nice Mighty Switchforce feel in which Shantae is dressed up as a futuristic cop, armed with a pellet blaster, and dashing about each stage hunting for space hooligans. From the little I’ve played, this appears to be the most interesting DLC mode, and perhaps I’ll be able to comment on DLC pack 3 in a future article.
I’ve enjoyed my time with Shantae Half-Hero: Ultimate Edition. If you’ve never played the main game, then that alone makes this title worth purchasing. If you’ve already bought the game on other systems, then the portability aspect is the major selling point.
I’m happy to conclude that I like this game a lot.
Been having a blast with this one! It was my first Switch retail purchase in a while. Tons of content and I’m only about 5 hours in, about to beat the main game. Then it’s on to check out all the DLC. The level of polish here is great, especially in a genre that is jam packed with retro graphic games which I desperately needed a break from. Shantae’s full of life and I love the fourth-wall breaking tongue-in-cheek humor 🙂
I’m thrilled you’re having a blast with Shantae Geddy. I enjoyed the game so much that I’m contemplating purchasing Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse. The humour is great! I would share my favourite comment but I wouldn’t want to ruin anything for you.