Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse is a sequel to 2010’s Shantae: Risky’s Revenge and, like that game, features a side-scrolling action platformer. It also features elements from the Metroidvania genre as players traverse the world’s labyrinths, battle guardians, and learn transformation dances to gain new abilities.
Unlike Risky’s Revenge, which has a huge, single-world map, Pirate’s Curse takes a more level-based approach, where you can choose from a handful of islands to explore in sequential order. Getting around the game’s islands is easy, though, with players bouncing across the world using analog controls on the JoyCon action buttons.
The game’s premise is simple: Shantae’s genie powers have disappeared, and she must partner up with her nemesis, a pirate called Risky Boots, in order to save Sequin Land from a curse that has plagued it for centuries. Along the way, Shantae can earn Pirate gear and weapons to advance her quest, slay monsters, and defeat epic bosses.
High-Res Entertainment After PS5 Release
Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse features pixel art graphics that evoke the style of classic 8-bit video games. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as the sprites and backgrounds in this game are extremely well-designed and detailed. The character art is also impressive, as the developers took their time to create each individual character’s expression and design.
The graphics in Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse are beautiful and look great on the 3DS. It looks much better than it did on the Wii U and even better than on the GBC. As with the first two games in the series, a wide color palette and an amalgamation of high-resolution stills give way to a colorful and vibrant visual experience. While the game looks a bit old-fashioned, WayForward uses the PlayStation 5’s improved capabilities to deliver a pixel-art experience that’s as polished and refined as its modern console counterparts.
A Simple but Good-Enough Story
The story here doesn’t have as much depth as in previous Shantae games, but it still does a nice job of keeping things interesting. It’s a little bit over-the-top and wacky, but it’s done in a way that keeps you invested in the characters and makes you want to see them succeed.
When Shantae is robbed of her genie powers in Shantae: Risky’s Revenge, she has to adjust to living a normal life without them. Her friends Mimic, Bolo, and Sky help her, but one day, her nemesis, Risky Boots, approaches her.
After a quick conversation, they team up to save Sequin Land from the Pirate Master, a villain who is using dark magic to return from the dead. To do so, Shantae must locate and seal away the sources of the Pirate Master’s dark magic before he can revive.
With this in mind, players will need to find Pirate Gear – items that can be used to attack enemies or activate distant switches – throughout the game. These include pistols, scimitars, cannons, and more. Some of these can even be upgraded throughout the game, which can change how effective they are.
The Whip Remains
Unlike the previous Shantae games, this one focuses on exploration besides platforming. Instead of moving to a new level, players explore self-contained islands and navigate through the world using their collected gems and a variety of Pirate Gear, including pistols, scimitars, and cannons.
As in previous Shantae games, you’ll be able to attack enemies with Shantae’s hair as a whip. However, this time players can also purchase additional attacks and evasion moves by collecting gems throughout the game. This allows for some great customization options and makes each playthrough unique, so be sure to pick up all the gems you can find!
WayForward’s sprite work is incredible, and the level design is tight. The soundtrack is also pretty impressive, with each area having different music that complements the environment and atmosphere.
If you’re a fan of Shantae or want to experience a fun and memorable adventure with your friends, this is the game for you. The game isn’t as difficult as it was in the past, and the gameplay is a lot more entertaining.