Shantae and the Pirates Curse
Review Written By: Adolph Vega
This game was made to be played in 3D; the stereoscopic 3D graphical layering is gorgeous. When you walk around environments you can clearly see what scenery is meant to be in the foreground, midground, and background. The visually impressive 3D is not only limited to pretty scenery; many times the characters will talk to one another and the art is presented with a nice 3D effect to give the characters a more rounded 3D look. The 3D element does not slow down or have any negative effect on the gameplay either, so it plays just as fast and smooth with the 3D on or off. Sometimes the enemies will appear to recess into the background and some of the attacks will play with the 3D element too. Some areas within the various levels are more clearly visible in 3D, and the entire presentation is more visually striking when viewed in 3D. Shantae and the Pirates Curse does a fabulous job of presenting itself in 3D and is a real graphical showcase to what the 3DS hardware can do under skilled hands.
Final Verdict: Great 3D
Shantae and the Pirates Curse is traditional side scrolling action game that feels fast, fun and fresh. You play as Shantae a female half genie protagonist who must defend her hometown from an evil ghostly pirate. To accomplish this goal you must travel to several different locations, defeat boss characters, explore labyrinths, and collect dark magic. Your main weapon is Shantae’s long hair, which you can use to whip attack enemies. You can buy upgrades to your hair at the shop that will make it faster to use and cause more damage. During the adventure you will talk to several characters and gain new powers and abilities to help you explore the various locations. The game always stays fresh by constantly mixing up gameplay elements and making the areas very distinct and different and never gets dull or repetitive. Shantae and the Pirates Curse remains fun to play from beginning to end. I truly enjoyed exploring the different areas and finding new enemies in each area to defeat. The level design is top notch with some of the best-imagined and most interesting game worlds I have seen in years. Each area has a final boss character to fight that is both challenging and fun to battle. The levels feel very stream lined, which keeps the exploration fast, paced and limits backtracking to a minimum. The game has a gorgeous musical composition that is easily some of the best music to be found on a 3DS game. The game controls are simply perfect with character movement that is incredibly tight and precise. The games inventory and map are handled via the touch screen and are very simple and easy to use. This game has a well-written and interesting storyline that has many twists and turns that I found immensely enjoyable and funny. The game lasts a solid 8-11 hours depending on how much time it takes you to solve the various puzzles and how much time you decide to spend on finding all the secrets. Regarding the secrets some of them are very tricky to find, but the game will reward you for finding all the magic with a better ending. The game resembles other popular video game games like the Castlevania, Metroid or Zelda franchises with similar game mechanics, so if you enjoy those games you will enjoy this unique game. Shantae and the Pirates Curse has a spectacular art direction with graphics that are an amazing sight to see with wonderful attention to detail and incredibly fluid animations that plays very fast and smooth. One small annoyance I had with this game is the fact the enemies can regenerate quickly and become annoying at times. The only real negative I have with this game is the simple fact that many times I become lost with little direction to where to go or what to do next. I understand this game is supposed to be challenging, but several times I grew frustrated because I had no clue on how to progress within the game. Adding a fortuneteller character to the town to help guide players would have mitigated this issue without decreasing the challenge or dramatically changing the gameplay. Shantae and the Pirates curse is a amazing game, with beautiful graphics, gorgeous music, flawless controls, wonderful gameplay, charming characters, funny story that is overall well worthy of your time and shouldn’t be missed.
Final Verdict: 9/10
*© 2014 WayForward Technologies. Shantae and the Shantae logo ™ Matt Bozon.