Shantae and the Pirate's Curse
Summary: Shantae and the Pirate's Curse has critics praising its retro aesthetic and gameplay, saying that it is well worth checking out for not only those aspects of it but its charming characters and story
Top Critic Average
Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse succeeds by building a funny, gorgeous world around its tried and true Metroidvania gameplay. In the brief moments when the combat becomes exhausting, it’s the writing, in all its self-referential and juvenile glory, and its visual splendor that keep the pace going. Though it’s an unmistakable tribute to Metroid and Castlevania, infusing a sharp wit and bold style helps Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse stand above its retro-inspired contemporaries.
Some of the best 2D sprite work ever seen in a video game, and all used to support an impressively varied and imaginative Metroidvania.
A solid retro-minded throwback that packs some funny dialogue but ultimately fails in its backtracking-heavy quest structure
With this game, a cult favorite comes into its own. Shantae has always been a passion project for WayForward, but this is the first time the series feels like it properly realizes the developer's ambition for it. A fun, funny, and pleasant substantial Metroid-alike boasting phenomenal old-school visuals and a refreshing sense of optimism, it's both an eShop standout and a great (though by no means final) conclusion to a slow-burning trilogy of games.
Shantae and the Pirate's Curse under-delivers on a few aspects of the overall package, but the fact remains -- genie or not, Shantae is still very much relevant in the current market. Just keep in mind that at times it feels like an appetizer for the upcoming Half-Genie Hero, which sees the full return of Shantae's powers as well as a fully playable Risky Boots.
The lack of meaningful obstacles lessens the overall experience a bit, but Shantae and the Pirate's Curse still stands as an excellent addition to a series with a devoted fan base. The Pirate's Curse adheres to the Metroidvania formula from previous games, but everything here feels bigger and better. I imagine the devoted fan base will only grow after more people play it.
Shantae and the Pirate's Curse is the very same game from 2014 (even from the graphical side), with few improvements, like rumble HD. A fast port that Shantae's hardcore fans and newcomers will enjoy, but for all those that already played it on 3DS, Wii U, PC or Xbox One, there are better options out there, like Half-Genie Hero (also on Switch).
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Shantae and the Pirate's Curse has many of the trappings of a fantastic Metroidvania game, but has a few notable flaws holding it back from greatness. For people who can't get enough of the genre, the game will likely serve as an enjoyable and light-hearted diversion, but for gamers looking for a Metroid substitute on the PS4, there are better options like Axiom Verge or Guacamelee! already available on the system.
Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse is a gem of a game that deserves to get more attention on its second time around. Those that have nostalgia for platformers from the 16-bit era owe it to themselves to check out this quirky experience. There is a lot to love about the half-genie, and certainly not enough of these types of games currently available on home consoles.
Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse tells an old story wrapped in humor with a cast of character’s you may genuinely feel emotion for.