Game: Shantae: Risky’s Revenge – Director’s Cut
Genre: 2D Adventure Platformer
System: Nintendo Switch (also on Steam, Wii U, Playstation 4 and Xbox One)
Developer | Publisher: Wayforward
Age Rating: US E10+| EU 12
Price: US $9.99 | UK £7.59| EU €8,39
Release Date: October 15th 2020
Review code provided by WayForward
Given the early history of Shantae it’s no surprise I hadn’t heard of the series until more recent years. With the first game releasing for the Game Boy Color in 2002 (in America only) and this sequel arriving as a DSiware in 2010/2011. I’m not sure how it is for people in other regions but I’ve only seen a DSi once and I had never heard of it until some kid showed me! Luckily the sequel to Shantae got an ever so slightly enhanced version known as the Director’s Cut which released on various systems until finally arriving on the Nintendo Switch this year.
Half Pint Genie
In this game the nefarious Risky Boots comes to take her revenge and steals an oil lamp from Shantae’s Uncle. It’s up to Shantae to find the three magic seals before Risky, luckily she’s been fired and has plenty of free time.
Traversing the land Shantae has her all but patented hair whip and various items she can buy from the store. Such as a stormcloud or fireball. These items (and herself) can be upgraded provided she has the gems and magic jam required, which can be found hidden in places throughout the world (where you can find heart holders to increase your maximum health). Though there are but a few labyrinths in the game, getting around the world is difficult enough. The map is pretty hard to read and various places have different planes Shantae must jump between, even in Scuttle Town.
As you progress further through the story areas will increase the number of enemies with stronger ones added to boot. Which was slightly annoying when I was just trying to find other upgrades. Thankfully there are warp squids which can take you to any other totem you’ve awoken.
The Barons Three
The labyrinths are a mix of platforming, combat and puzzles. In a couple you’ll find a new transformation dance for Shantae such as the monkey that allows her to climb most walls, or a mermaid form (which is beautiful) allowing you to swim under water. I did find the monkey platforming to be troublesome sometimes as she slowly slides down any surface she’s clinging too. Outside of the labyrinths you can find upgrades for each of the forms, such as dash for the monkey or a stomp for the elephant.
Exploring around the world is strictly necessary as you won’t be able to finish the game without finding these artifacts to upgrade your transformations. As far as I can tell the Import Room does nothing so I wish they could’ve at least changed it to a bathhouse.
Since there’s not many boss fights or labyrinths in the game they did mix things up a little, such as making the desert a near maze in itself. Following that the second seal is acquired through a timed battle tower instead of a labyrinth. There is some incentive to go for higher scores in the tower but that’s not my scene.
The game defaults to a 4:3 resolution though you may change it to widescreen or the original resolution if you wish. I wouldn’t recommended stretching it as the pixels get a little worse for wear that way. Whatever you prefer will let you experience some absolutely gorgeous and detailed pixel art and sprite work. I can see how some people missed this style.
The music is pretty good (though I didn’t find it has as many bangers as the Pirate’s Curse does) with an interesting mix of styles like ambient electronic for the forest or a more mid eastern touch for desert areas. Packed with entertaining dialogue, Risky’s Revenge delivers even without voice acting. The portrait art sticks true to it’s original style but looks clean.
I had absolutely no technical issues with the game.
I’d say this is slightly more difficult than the newest game (my review for that here), even to just progress through the main story there are trickier platforming sections. You can still chug restorative items but you can only hold so many. Though that certainly isn’t a bad thing at all.
This is a little on the short side, taking me five hours to beat (more or less depending on your need to collect everything or desire to look up information). I find it’s priced reasonably and there is a post game magic mode. Enabling you to use more magic at the expense of half your defense. Which of course requires you to wear a very interesting outfit. If you like achieving things you do get the extra end screens based on your time and how many secret items you’ve found.
Outside of some slippery monkey business, a difficult to read map and some annoying layers to jump through, this is a pretty good game.
Final Verdict: I Like it a Lot!