Shantae: Half-Genie Hero - Pirate Queen’s Quest
Very few games make me smile while playing. I always find gaming pretty intense, even when having fun. But boy, do I grin like a dang fool when playing the Shantae series. I love the colours, the characters, the world, the adventures and the music. Simply put, the Shantae games make me happy, whisking me away briefly from the blues of the world, like many good video games should.Last year's Shantae: Half-Genie Hero was a popular release, despite its streamlined design, audience-dividing aesthetic changes and incredibly low difficulty. Sometimes, people love a game's world, and just enjoy being part of it. Today, you can return to the Half Genie Hero world, but this time in the role of the genie-girl's notorious arch-enemy; Risky Boots, Queen of the Seven Seas!
Shantae: Pirate Queen's Quest is a fine add-on for fans of the series. Although an entirely new adventure would have been preferred, WayForward implemented a number of clever ideas to keep this one interesting. Exploring the levels in any order is a neat design decision, and it's nice to revisit Risky Boots' impressive skillset. This DLC also spares its players the meaningless questing, so they can focus squarely on the journey. Altogether, it's a fine way to spend a couple of hours.
If you liked playing Shantae: Half-Genie Hero, then you know what to expect in this experience, but I still recommend this game as the gameplay is fun enough to justify the purchase!
Having said that, I greatly enjoyed my time with Pirate Queen’s Quest. After playing this DLC adventure, I can say with confidence I would love Risky to get her own standalone game, maybe even a prequel that shows how and why she became a pirate queen, as well as where the Tinkerbats came from. Though I had some minor complaints, all in all I feel it fixed the issues the original game had and offered a streamlined and fun experience. I managed to beat it in a little under three hours with 93% item completion. For $9.99, this DLC is a must have for any fans of classic platformers, lovable genies, naughty pirates or who just want to support WayForward. If anything, this just made me hungry for more cartoony adventures in this lush world. Here’s hoping we won’t have to wait too long for the next game in the Shantae series.
Pirate Queen’s Quest has redeeming elements, such as a great final boss fight and some Risky hijinks that subtly manage to pull her back a bit from the uncomfortably senseless malice she showed in the base game (which felt wrong after the events of Pirate’s Curse), and the upgrade mechanics really allow you to break the game in an entertaining way, but the chest placement and overall lack of an interesting plot or story resolution hold it back in a big way. If you’re already crazy about the series, this is an obvious “buy” regardless. If you’re not, it’s probably best to wait for a sale.