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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
9 / 10
Worth Playing
8 / 10
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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9 / 10.0

The game that started it all still holds up

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As a straightforward port of the GBC classic, Shantae works quite well. 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 how good this series and WayForward were from the beginning. Shantae fans who only own a PlayStation system will be very happy with this, and we hope that this means Xbox and PC fans will also be able to get this game on their platform of choice soon.

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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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