Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse Review (3DS)

Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse has been in development for almost two years. It was announced in Nintendo Power, that’s how long it’s been in development. After two delays, and so much hard work, WayForward has produced the best Shantae game ever, and a new standard for indie platformers. It is a mastercraft in virtually all aspects. Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse is their 3DS magnum opus.

Rottytops Key ArtShantae Key Art A Right out of the box, the games atmosphere is incredible. No one knows beautiful sprite work like WayForward and the game is gorgeous. Along with hand painted backgrounds the game also features character portraits by Inti Creates, and a spectacular soundtrack by Jake Kaufman (Of DuckTales: Remastered and Shovel Knight fame). There is also, surprisingly, a small bit of voice acting. Not full conversations mind you, but Shantae will say names of characters or a word like “Hey” or “Uhh” depending on her current dialogue. It’s a nice touch I didn’t expect. Shantae’s voice is provided by Cristina Vee (The only person I would have wanted to voice Shantae had you asked me). For these reasons alone, the game screams quality, and that’s before you actually start playing.Shantae Key Art A

The gameplay is top notch, but this time Shantae is missing her genie powers. You’ll have to use Risky Boots’ collection of pirate gear to explore the many dungeons that await. These tools range from a pistol, a parachuting pirate hat, a sword (providing a block breaking, downward attack.), Risky Boots’ boots (A dashing shinespark attack for you Metroid fans) and a cannon that provides a triple jump while shooting at the ground below. And of course you’ll be going back to previously explored areas with your newly acquired pirate tools to find Heart Squids (used to expand your health bar), finish Side Quests and other things. However this time WayForward dialed back the metroidvania styled vast world map in favor of a selection of isolated islands selected from a menu. And that’s fine, there’s 6 large islands for you to explore, along with a dungeon on each. Pirate’s curse isn’t a walk in the park however, If you’ve played a Shantae game before you can expect the same difficulty as before. If you haven’t, be prepared to become a platforming master by the end of the game.You’ll probably average 8 -10 hours of gameplay, at least that’s how I fared.

Since Shantae is missing her Genie powers you’ll be whipping hair more so than before, but you can upgrade your hair with Shampoo and Hair Cream for a faster harder punch. You’ll also have helpful items like spinning Pike Balls,  Bubble Shields, Potions, and Monster Milk ( for harder hitting hair!). Not to mention you’ll be able to purchase more skills like the Backdash, (I was hoping it would return from Risky’s Revenge!) and an aerial kick.

You can manage all these items from the bottom screen, which I like better than the selection menu from Risky’s Revenge. This time it’s managed with three separate tabs for Items, key Items , and the Map. I wish I could have switched between these tabs while paused, but that’s just nitpicking. There’s actually nothing really I have an issue about. The 3D effect is fine, It gives the background and foreground some depth and lets you better appreciate the parallax effect. Except the character portraits are converted into 3D. That looks kinda awkward, but I’m just nitpicking again. These are just silly issues that have no bearing on gameplay whatsoever.

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Shantae and the Pirate’s curse is exactly the game I wanted to it to be. I knew WayForward would release a great game, and I was still floored by it. The bar has been raised for indie platformers, not just on the Nintendo eShop either. I know $20 may seem like a lot, but every penny is worth it. This is a high caliber of quality and I know you wouldn’t regret it. Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse is a must own for every 3DS owner, unless you don’t like genies.

I proudly give Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse a 10 out of 10. A perfect indie platformer.

Shantae and the Pirate's Curse Review (3DS)
Shantae's newest adventure sets a new standard for indie platformers!
Gameplay10
Graphcs10
Challenge10
Sound and Music10
Pros
  • Gorgeous artwork
  • Fantastic soundtrack
  • Top notch gameplay
Cons
  • High-ish pricepoint
  • Steep difficulty
10Overall Score
Reader Rating: (7 Votes)
8.7
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About The Author

Game Reviewer
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While I might not look all that impressive, I'll have you know that I've rescued many princesses and kingdoms while wielding various mythical blades in the process. In my off-time however, I'm an avid video game collector with over 300+ games. Everything from Atari 2600 to now! In short: Full-time cool dude, Part-time slacker.