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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
"Colourful retro spirit."
Review in Finnish | Read full review
Classic games are frequently ported to modern systems for players to revisit the games or experience them for the first time on modern hardware. At times, the systems featured in these games are outdated. Other times, games feel just as good as they did when last played. One such game, Shantae, was published in 2002 for the Gameboy Color. This title has recently been ported to the Nintendo Switch. Whip enemies with hair, transform into animal buddies, and save the town from imminent peril in Shantae.
It's impressive that WayForward managed to fit a game of this scale in the old Game Boy Color. For all intents and purposes, it has all the main pieces that define the series all while being one of the best experiences for the GBC in its own right. However, the GBC era is long gone, and we cannot turn a blind eye to its limitations. Therefore, Shantae is not an adventure every player will enjoy, but it's an enchanting window to the past of the series for long-time fans.
Review in Portuguese | Read full review