Shantae and the Pirate's Curse (2014)

Shantae and the Pirate's Curse (2014)

Publisher: WayForward Technologies
Developer: WayForward Technologies, Inti Creates
Director: Matt Bozon
Platform: 3DS

Stripped of her genie powers, Shantae has to adjust to life as an ordinary human, but when her longtime nemesis Risky Boots returns warning of the return of the Pirate Master, the two enemies form an uneasy alliance to defeat a greater evil.

At its core, Shantae and the Pirate's Curse takes the engine from Risky's Revenge, so if you've played the previous entry, you'll be familiar with this. Tight, very precise controls, but this means the game will sometimes hold you to that accuracy. Because Shantae no longer has her magic powers, you have to use items for her spells and instead of transformations, she now acquires pirate gear to improve her mobility. This does a good job of making The Pirate's Curse distinct from Risky's Revenge while still maintaining an organic continuity between them.

This is a much bigger game than Risky's Revenge and there's story to match. The fallout of RR is actually meaningful and there's some interesting development in the character dynamics, especially between Shantae and Risky. There's new character art for the dialog sequences and it looks even better than before without being a complete overhaul. Shantae in her pirate getup is super cute. ^_^

Not only the game engine but also a lot of the graphics cross over from Risky's Revenge. It all still looks quite good and until we see graphics being recycled over the course of 15 years as we saw in Castlevania, there's no real reason to complain. The environments are more diverse and all look good.

Music and sound remain solid and consistent if not particularly remarkable. This entry features brief voice clips. The casting feels appropriate enough in my opinion, but I've heard some people complain about Shantae's voice. I had no problem with it. I thought the actress fit the character quite well.

After you beat the game, Pirate Mode opens up, giving you all the pirate gear from the beginning so that you can have an easier time speed running.

Shantae and the Pirate's Curse takes the good game that was Risky's Revenge and improves it on every front. This is exactly what you want to see from a sequel. If you're a Shantae fan in particular or a Metroidvania fan in general, this needs to be in your collection.

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