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Apr 22, 2021 - Nintendo Switch

OpenCritic Rating


Top Critic Average


Critics Recommend

70 / 100
Nintendo Life
6 / 10
Pure Nintendo
6 / 10
Worth Playing
8 / 10
Digitally Downloaded
4 / 5
8 / 10
Video Chums
7 / 10
Seafoam Gaming
8 / 10
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Shantae Media

Shantae (Switch) - Release Date Trailer thumbnail

Shantae (Switch) - Release Date Trailer

Shantae Screenshot 1
Shantae Screenshot 2

Critic Reviews for Shantae

As a $9.99 download, the Switch re-release of Shantae is a great look at the half-genie's debut for those who want to check her out. It might be dated compared to the rest of the series, but it's a nice look back at the classic series we know and love.

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Shantae is a product of its time, which can be both a good and a bad thing. On one hand, this old Game Boy Color game displays an ambition and quality that outpaced many other games of its time and it easily stands as one of the best releases for that retro platform. On the other hand, it is still a game from 2002, and showcases many of the game design shortcomings one would expect from that time. It's not a bad game by any means, then, but this is easily a game that we can only really recommend to longtime fans who are curious where Shantae got her start. If you don't fall into that camp, we'd recommend you pick up one of the later releases and maybe come back to this one later on.

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Shantae was released in 2002, and it's a little less than perfect, especially compared to its many sequels. Despite being one of the most beloved Metroidvania series, this GBC cult classic may be a little too clunky for modern gaming palettes. If you're looking for a Metroidvania fix, I would look elsewhere. However, it's a definite must-have for all Shantae completionists looking to see where the magic all started.

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As a port, Shantae delivers. Minor issues like button remapping aside, once you get over a few things like the lack of a map and a more brutal life system, you'll find this to be a classic platformer that shows off just how good WayForward and this series was from the beginning. Fans of both the series and of old-school gaming would do well to add this title to their Switch libraries.

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I know I've said this at least a dozen times now, but I do think Shantae deserves better than the platformer genre. She's just too good of a character to waste on a genre that doesn't really do narrative. Give her an RPG or something, WayForward. In the meantime, though, while this might not be the biggest release of the year, it's certainly a worthwhile celebration of one of the most niche - but loved - platformer heroes out there.

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The original Shantae is a lovely little game that too few people were able to experience, so I'm thrilled that it's available for mass consumption on the eShop. Franchise fans should, of course, jump on this as soon as humanly possible, but folks curious about the series or who just want some GBC nostalgia will enjoy it too.

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It's been a long time since Shantae debuted and it did so on very limited console hardware so it's impressive how well it has held up even though its sequels are certainly much more enjoyable. Oh, and this Switch release acts as a lovely time capsule for fans, too.

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Shantae is an excellent port, starting off a promising new line of GBC ports to Switch. While there were minor gripes with the inability to remap controls or borders, and the saving issues I had are pretty concerning, the port is otherwise outstanding, and makes me absolutely hungry to see other GBC classics launch in this emulator: especially if the pixel scaling continues to be just as outstanding!

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