Top Critic Average
WayForward proved its considerable talent at creating fun, colorful, retro-inspired platformers long ago and each Shantae title has simply reinforced that reputation. It should come as little surprise that Half-Genie Hero continues that tradition. While some longtime fans might be somewhat turned off by the more contemporary visuals and streamlined level design, others will undoubtedly enjoy these changes.
While the game is light on extra content right now, the promise of free DLC that will expand the game dramatically could easily lead to this being the biggest 'Shantae' yet. It might not be the half-genie's best adventure to date, but it's an upbeat, extremely fun game that's well worth checking out for anyone who likes platformers.
Now, reviews generally exist to answer the question of whether something is good or not, but the answer to that question is a bit more complicated than a simple yes or no in this case. In fact, if my notes are any indication, the answer is “yes, then kind of, then yes again, then no no no no why is this happening, then ehhh, then yes again,” which is a roundabout way of saying that the game is worth it overall despite having some pretty glaring issues.
WayForward clearly took their time to complete this one, but in the end, the wait was worth it. The game is fantastic, and a lot of fun. The graphics are colorful, charming and vibrant, showcasing a very high level of polish. You feel like you’re playing a cartoon! Something else worth mentioning is that the music from composer Jake “Virt” Kaufman is excellent, as always, perfectly complementing the action on the screen. I highly recommend that you get this one today. I had an absolute blast playing it for my Shante: Half-Genie Hero review and I’m sure you’ll enjoy your time with the game from the moment you play the opening sequence!
Overall and Shantae: Half-Genie Hero has all the qualities to become of gaming’s best platformers. With its enjoyable gameplay and classic characters, as well as a fantastic story and exceptional soundtrack, this is no doubt a must play title for anyone who enjoys the platforming genre.
Shantae: Half Genie Hero is a fun platformer with a lot to love. Shantae continues to prove her worth as an important character in gaming, eager to stand alongside characters like Mario or Mega Man. It’s definitely a game that will stand the test of time, many years from now as a classic.
On a whole Shantae Half-Genie Hero clocked in around the five hour mark for the first play-through with about seventy-five percent of the collectable items and the good ending. This leaves more time for completionists, speed running challenges, the new mode that opens up thereafter, and those wonderful platinum trophies that the more elite covet. With lovable and detestable characters alike making their return for the latest adventure there's no reason not to explore Sequin Land with our Half-Genie Hero Shantae.
The first thing that comes to mind when thinking about Shantae: Half-Genie Hero is fun. The platform game developed by WayForward is a true blast to play, thanks to a beautiful presentation, great writing and an excellent, varied gameplay experience that never feels stale, with plenty of optional content that makes everything even better. Topping some of the previous entries in the series was very hard, but WayForward managed to achieve it with Shantae: Half-Genie Hero, releasing one of the best platform games of the year, if not the very best.
Shantae: Half-Genie Hero is a beautifully made, wonderfully crafted, and totally fun adventure. It's got great characters, fun gameplay that'll keep you entertained throughout, epic bosses that'll keep you on your toes, and plenty of collectables that'll have you going back through the levels multiple times.
Some of the meta-humor in Half-Genie Hero had to be explained, since this happened to be my first Shantae game. It definitely won't be the last – I've got all four now on various Nintendo systems, and I'll definitely dive into the ones I've missed. But you never forget your first, and I'm definitely "RET-2-GO" if WayForward brings it back.
In the six hours I spent on my first play through of Half-Genie Hero, I found myself smiling at the creative level design, laughing at the whimsical characters, and striving to get better whenever I missed a challenging jump. It’s rare that I ever want to play a game to completion twice, but I absolutely intend to throw myself back into Sequin Land to uncover all the secrets I missed in my first run—maybe I’ll even tackle the “Hero Mode,” which is designed for speed runs. Whether you backed the game on Kickstarter or have been on the fence with the series for a while and waiting for a time to jump in, there’s a lot to love about 1/2 Genie Hero.
This game’s obvious new feature is its HD art, and, more than just being beautiful, the ability of this art to enhance the characters and world makes Shantae: Half-Genie Hero the most impressive take on the whole fantasy Middle East setting since the utterly brilliant Prince of Persia: Sands of Time.
Shantae: Half-Genie Hero was a blast to play. Gameplay is near-perfect, the platforming sections were challenging, and the bosses were creative. When the only thing you can complain about the game is some grammar mistakes, you know you’re having a lot of fun actually playing it. If you are a fan of the previous games or like good exploration based action-platformers with a Metroidvania twist, then this is the game for you!
Shantae: Half-Genie Hero is an enjoyable experience and although Shantae doesn’t necessarily bring anything brand new to the table you can see the respect, love and polish the developers have for the genre that led them to create a game like this in the first place. With strong platformers already on the Switch such as Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment, Blaster Master Zero and Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap, Shantae: Half-Genie Hero stands strong and proudly amongst them.
It’s clear to see WayForward put their Kickstarter funding to good use. Shantae: Half-Genie Hero features some of the best platforming of recent years, and it’s easy to recommend to anyone that’s a fan of platformers or Metroidvania style games, though a couple more levels to combat the game’s repetition would have been perfect. Wayforward will have to settle for almost reaching that mark instead.
Shantae: Half-Genie Hero is an easy recommendation to any fan of the genre with its lush visuals, memorable soundtrack and varied environments, making it one of the best 2D platformers of recent times.
Shantae: Half-Genie Hero is exactly what the series needed; a gorgeous-looking, classic-feeling, adventure that was made to be played 1080p at 60fps on current consoles and even PC. It's light-hearted but fun story will take players to multiple areas that will feel open for exploration, boss fights that will feel outmatched yet unique, and interactions that will be funny and pretty meaningful. It all works together perfectly and gives players a truly fun adventure to dive into, almost playing out like a cartoon show. If you're a fan of the side-scrolling platform games, a fan of the Shantae series, or just interested in enjoying a colorful and lighthearted game, this title is a great option to add to your collection sooner or later.
Shantae is back in a beautiful game with terrific soundtrack and solid gameplay mechanics. Half-Genie Hero is the most linear adventure on the series but it is still a fun experience for the platformer games lovers
Review in Spanish | Read full review
Shantae: Half-Genie Hero is WayForward’s finest entry in the series yet. Platformer enthusiasts and people who can’t get enough of collecting virtual trinkets will undoubtedly find something to get lost in here.
Going into Shantae: Half-Genie Hero as someone who had no experience with the series has left me feeling impressed by the undeniable charm of the titular heroine, and has all but guaranteed that I will be going back to check out the earlier games in the franchise for some more half-genie action.
Shantae: Half-Genie Hero will whisk you away on a platforming nostalgia trip while you platform through beautifully designed levels to a rocking soundtrack in the background. The platforming featured throughout is some of the most fun I’ve had with the genre in quite some time. The actual design of the levels is intricate yet fun to navigate, as each one holds secrets galore. Different forms that Shantae will gather allows her to revisit older levels to try and find secret areas and collectibles that you may have missed the first time through. And some of those forms are necessary to reach these areas. The game definitely offers a lot of replayability and invites players to keep coming back to past areas and levels in order to see everything Shantae: Half-Genie Hero has to offer. And since the game is quite fun, doing so didn’t feel like a chore either.
Shantae: Half-Genie Hero Ultimate Edition is an amazing game with unique art style, Beautiful level design, nice music and various boss fights. Gameplay is the game's strongest element and is fun, challenging, diverse and exciting. Various modes, each one of them different from the other, is why this game can be played multiple times and not be boring. Of course thre are problems like not so good story-telling and difficulty unballance in some parts of the game, but in the end, Shantae: Half-Genie Hero Ultimate Edition is a very good choice for long time fans of Shantae series and for every gamers that are looking for a valuable platforming game with some good challenges and beautiful art style.
Review in Persian | Read full review
You could likely beat Shantae: Half-Genie Hero in a couple of sittings, but the platforming action is so varied, and the levels so explorable, it’s worth playing well beyond that. While it's neither innovative nor high-concept, its hand-drawn look and toe-tapping music successfully channel a joy and enthusiasm that has become far too rare in modern video games.
Shantae: Half-Genie Hero spent a lot of time cooking, but the end product is well-built. There are occasional tedious moments, and the story's disjointed at times (which can be chalked up to the fact some characters and chapters were added as Kickstarter campaign stretch goals), but it's still a must-play for Shantae fans. And if you're not a Shantae fan … what's wrong with you?
Shantae: Half-Genie Hero is a highly familiar, yet fresh take on 2D platforming, and the results are a game I can easily imagine scaled down to 16-bit on a Sega Genesis. A nostalgia hound for the 90s will find a lot to love with this game, from the gameplay down to the look, feel, and story it presents. Far from perfect, but charming beyond its expectations, Shantae: Half-Genie Hero is wonderfully fun.
Wayforward's heroine has come a long way from her GameBoy beginnings, and she's still got some great adventures in her yet. The gameplay is on point, and the visuals are top notch. The experience is a little on the short side, but fun throughout.
Channeling its Metroidvania roots, Shantae offers newcomers and genre aficionados alike a taste of what made the genre so great back when it was new and uncharted while offering plenty of upgrades to keep the journey feeling progressive.
Shantae: Half-Genie Hero is a great metroidvania financed by Kickstarter, with a solid gameplay, a stunning art design and also exciting platform sequences.
Review in Italian | Read full review
There is nothing more satisfying than when a developer learns from their past mistakes, and WayForward has finally refined the Shantae experience. Shantae: Half-Genie Hero is the belly dancing heroine’s best adventure yet, and doesn’t suffer from any huge leaps in difficulties like previous titles. While there are parts that will feel a bit too familiar for series veterans (certainly there has to be other characters that exist in Shantae’s world), it’s a highly polished title that provides plenty of fun from start to finish.
Half-Genie Hero does not reinvent the wheel but it brings a series of new elements that are more than welcome to rejuvenate Shantae. The new visual interface is an appetizer that shows there is more to Shantae than just the style and the game's structure and level design further add to make Half-Genie Hero a title that should be in the choices of every platform fan.
Review in Portuguese | Read full review
Considering the efforts passionate fans went through to see this franchise have another entry, it comes off as surprising and unfortunate that Wayforward did not decide to take more risks by adding new characters and mechanics.
All in all, Shantae: Half-Genie Hero is a solid and polished, if not overly risky, addition to the franchise. In some ways, it feels like a soft reboot that goes back to the franchise's core mechanics and refines them. That makes it a strong introduction to the series for newcomers and a great game for existing fans . The only really flaws include some unnecessary padding and backtracking and its short length, neither of which is enough to be more than a minor blemish. If you're a fan of old-school platformers, Half-Genie Hero is a game for you.
Shantae: Half-Genie Hero brings the series to the best place it has ever been, thanks to some fantastic visuals, a catchy soundtrack and a loveable cast of characters.
Whilst it starts off somewhat slow, Shantae: Half-Genie Hero quickly kicks into top gear and stays there right until the end, making for one of the most engrossing 2D platform adventures of recent times.
This is a superb entry in what has become a remarkable platforming saga. The lush visuals are impressive to behold, and Jake "virt" Kaufman has outdone himself with yet another phenomenal soundtrack. The game itself finely balances both the action and adventure elements. With the amount of abilities involved, there could have been a little more creativity in how they're employed. Still, it's a mild complaint considering the amount of care that went into everything else. The pacing is efficiently handled. Shantae: Half-Genie Hero doesn't benefit from having checkpoints that must be repeated dozens of times, or thousands of shiny objects to collect. Everything has a purpose, and nothing wears out its welcome. All in all, this is a can't-miss title of the holiday season.
Old-school gamers and newcomers alike will find a lot to like in Shantae: Half-Genie Hero. It’s unique blend of humor, detailed art style, creativity, and platforming will appeal to most any type of gamer.
Shantae: Half-Genie Hero was actually decent representative of the genre of platformer elements metroidvania are wisely mixed system backtracking, no bother, colorful art style mixed with great music is harmoniously interwoven into the game world, a world that the developers have filled not only a beautiful picture, but also the soul.
Review in Russian | Read full review
WayForward Technologies Shantae: Half-Genie Hero's experience remains this fresh platforming adventure that will not disappoint you, full of comedy and fun characters, topped by an exemplary design.
Shantae: Half-Genie Hero provides the same great sidescrolling action and charm of previous entries, though it also retains the series' awkward progression mechanics and suffers from a short length.
While I enjoyed my time with Shantae: Half-Genie Hero, I was left a bit wanting in regards to gameplay. It just wasn’t satisfying to engage with the platforming and enemies, it was too simple, too easy. I’m not looking for a punishing experience, but I do enjoy having my skills challenged in platformers. Regardless, the beauty on display and the energy in both the soundtrack and movement of each and every character impressed me. I just wish it had a little more bite.
A light-hearted platformer, competent if not brilliant. The adorable transformation mechanic is a highlight, as are the customisable and upgradable abilities, the creative bosses and the quirky humour. Short-lived fun for all ages. For the tactile thinkers among you; this game tastes like bubblegum.
All told, Shantae: Half-Genie Hero is a very solid Metroidvania-esque platformer that caters to fans old and new. Everything that is loved about this series remains, while a brand new art style and a simple story put the barrier to entry very low. There's a lot of backtracking, and we found the combat to be a bit shallow, but the gameplay is largely very good, and you'll constantly be switching forms as you explore and hunt down everything the game has to offer. It's wonderfully light-hearted and doesn't take itself seriously, which is sadly quite rare these days. If you're after a tightly designed platformer with memorable characters and varied gameplay, Half-Genie Hero is here to grant that wish.
Shantae: Half-Genie Hero is a welcome arrival of the series to a new format. Thanks to an exquisite audiovisual environment, Half-Genie Hero's mechanics and overall charisma make this a fun and enjoyable game that could be better with some more precision in the controls on certain moments and some work on the level design.
Review in Portuguese | Read full review
Shantae: Half-Genie Hero is an orchestra for the sense, yet a bully to the mind. While it's a delight to look at and listen to, much of the gameplay feels like it should have been left in the path. Fortunately, clever boss fights that manage to fuse simplicity with depth save this from being an otherwise tiresome affair. If difficulty is a turn-off, though, steer clear. Other than that one could do a lot worse than this little game.
Shantae: Half-Genie Hero has an amazing presentation and precise platforming that will make gamers of all ages smile. If only the game stuck to its guns instead of devolving into a tedious collectathon that shatters the game's pacing.
If it was not for the music and the superior graphics, Half-Genie Hero would be viewed even less favourably for the simple fact it is not fun. Much of the goofy charm of the series has long been extinguished, and the main character is grating at this point. The platforming, despite having previous in the series that was great, is shockingly bad. Pretty graphics cannot hide the fact that after one too many trips to the bottom of the endless towers they climb, this game is simply not good, especially when the company, and the genre as a whole, offers so many better options.