Iggy’s World: Shantae and The Pirates Curse

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Have you heard of a game through the power of social media? Well for me that game happens to be Shantae and The Pirates Curse. For those that are curious I have never played the previous two games so I went into this one blind. Well mostly blind, when I was told that the Shantae series was rooted in the Metroidvania style gameplay my interests were peaked.  Can someone who’s never played a Shantae game before jump right in? Well I’m here to see if it’s true.

Looking at my recent reviews the stories tend to be skewered towards either a over the top or simplistic storytelling. Shantae and The Pirates Curse veers as far away from that and instead focuses on a humorous approach to telling it’s story. Comedy isn’t easy to write but the writing staff did an amazing job making moments genuinely fun and hilarious. Shantae and the remaining cast of characters while simple deliver some of the best and funniest character interactions that I have had the pleasure to experience. Even though the main plot of Shantae is simplistic it’s still an entertaining ride from start to finish.

Shantae is a Metroidvania game…….a very light Metroidvania game. Instead of one organic world that Shantae travels through, each world is treated as individual stages and inside the stages is when the game begins to feel and look like a Metroidvania title. Shatae herself controls beautifully with her jumps and her hair whip has decent range allowing the player to deal with enemies early on, and while Shantae seems rather basic but lucky for use the developers introduce upgrades for Shantae’s abilities along with new weapons to increase the amount of fun the player will have. While there isn’t a sense of growth for Shantae as a character or feeling more powerful as the game continues it doesn’t detract from the enjoyment, and usually that annoys me. However Wayforward managed to make me forget that and just focus on having fun.

Each area is absolutely gorgeous, with vibrant colors that pop off the screen with or without the 3D on which makes traveling through them a wonderful treat. No one area feels reshashed but instead they feel unique and different as the player is provided with unique challenges to said area. Even better each area actually pushes the player to the test, challenging their skills and new upgrades to find their way through the maze like areas.On another note I also did enjoy how animated the sprites were, keeping with the spirit of the game of high energetic fun. Nothing about this game was boring, even down to the rhythm bumping music. The musical approach takes hints from middle eastern instruments and with most games today leaning towards western or eastern music it provides an X factor while playing the game. Not to mention it’s sounds like it could be dance music which would be appropriate given that Shantae herself is a dancer.

I did have a few problems with the game, one of them being that I was bit letdown by the Metroidvania. Namely the lack of an interconnecting world instead of individual stages just didn’t sit well with me on a personal level,It’s a design choice that I didn’t agree with and odds are that who ever is reading this won’t mind this aspect and just enjoy the game for what it is. It really is a nitpick in an otherwise amazing game.

Despite all that I can highly recommend Shantae and The Pirates Curse to anybody who wants to have fun. The story while simple on a macro level makes up for it with hilarious scenes and lines of dialog. The gameplay is fun despite me not agreeing with certain aspects it’s still a blast to play from start to finish. Shantae and The Pirates Curse is a breath of fresh air with most games these days taking the route of serious and edgy. So if you’re looking for a change in pace, try out this one.

Shantae and The Pirates Curse earns a 8/10

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Posted on February 24, 2015, in Iggy's World and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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