I had been planning to review Paper Mario the Origami King (so far enjoying it but I have criticisms). However work has me rather exhausted right now and that’s an RPG and thus very long. Fortunately during the heaviest of the lockdown I got a fair few games played and completed and were going to look at one of those. Shantae’s most recent game.
I’ve talked about Shantae before (.. I think… yes sure I reviewed the first game) Sgathaich: Shantae and she managed to get a few entries since. Admittedly the releases were rocky with Risky’s Revenge being scaled back from being episodic (an idea in gaming that died very quickly) Pirates Curse getting pushed back but then Half Genie Hero a crowd funded game being a real push in awareness. Of course all these games are widely liked by the gaming community, especially the last two.
Seven Sirens is the most recent entry (and for some reason delayed a few days for Switch in Europe… resulting in some arses crying smugly about one of the few times a game got out here first ahead of America… your’re still many MANY games away from that scale being anywhere close to balance mate) and is out on many consoles. It sees Shantae and her friends arrive on an island for a special half genie day event only for once the performance to start all the entrants bar Shantae to mysteriously vanish (one of whom is obviously Rottytops in disguise… that’s not a spoiler it’s that obvious the game barely tries to hide it).
The game is a Metroidvania style one, so it has a large overworld map you explore which can be divided into the surface of the island above and the ruins beneath. As you explore you find one of the dungeons the captured half genies are in which gives you access to a transformation allowing you to reach deeper in that dungeon and fight a boss, one of the Seven Sirens. Once completed the half genie is free and after a wee side quest you get a magic spell which as well as the transformation will allow you to venture into previously inaccessible parts of the island and find more stuff, repeat until final boss.
It’s a rather basic Metroidvania though, yes there are additional collectables that increase your health and the like, carts that you can equip to increase some stats. But exploration isn’t all that intricate. There was however one moment where I went over the entire island looking for the one guy to talk to, only to find it was someone originally not far because it gave no real hints, that made me rather annoyed.
There is a currency to buy items, but it is so plentiful I had my attack stats maxed out after the first dungeon and was often trying to find ways to burn it. No point in buying food either as enemies drop more than enough and even then it was rare that I got into an encounter that would make me use any.
The art style remains as it is so if you don’t like a lead character dressed in a fantasy belly dancing outfit… and yet somehow bought this game without looking at the cover… well it’s not for you (thanks however for best girl Rottytops outfit, always wanted to see her in one of those… what?) that being said the characters still have their fun personalities… well Rotty, Shantae and Risky do, and some of the new ones are rather cute and huggable looking.
But in honestly this isn’t Shantaes best outfit, still gave me a few hours of fun which during a hellish time of isolation was very welcome. There are rewards for doing multiple completions under certain circumstances though… but those bits of art are better off googled as not really enough incentive for multiple play throughs. I wouldn’t recommend it as a first entry into the Shantae games as Half Genie Hero is still the best for that (Pirates Curse being too much of a departure for that role).