The game, called Shantae, was said to feature some of the most advanced animation techniques ever seen on a portable game system. Anticipation for the title began building, unfortunately the Game Boy Color system's days were already numbered with the impending release of Nintendo's newest portable game system, the Game Boy Advance.
Capcom snapped up the rights to publish the game, but sadly the game would end up spending over eight months in the cue and wouldn't be released until June 2002, almost a full year after the release of the Game Boy Advance. By the time the game hit the market, many gamers were already heavily entrenched in the Game Boy Advance system and Shantae would go on to sell less than 15,000 copies.
Over the years, the original game has garnered quite the cult following among the classic gaming community and news of a Shantae sequel tend to pop up every time a new console or handheld game system is launched. Of course there's a good reason for this, as according to WayForward's lead game designer Matt Bozon, "Each time we build tech on a new platform, we'll demonstrate our abilities with a Shantae effort of some sort." Matt went on to name the Gamecube, Game Boy Advance, DS, and Wii systems as targets of these various Shantae demos.
Fans of the game have long been clamoring for a new Shantae title, and this was further fueled when Spencer from Siliconera reported that at the GDC 2008 conference he had run into WayForward founder Voldi Way, who mentioned that they were looking into the Nintendo Wii console as a possible home for a new Shantae title. When asked whether or not the new WiiWare service might be a possibility for the game, Way responded, "that's the plan."
Over the past few months, there hasn't been much in the way of new information on this possible Shantae WiiWare title, but like clockwork, speculation is once again running rampant since the first edition of the Official Shantae Fan Club Newsletter was sent out to fans yesterday that had an interesting excerpt mentioning the possibility of a WiiWare Shantae release.
Shantae WiiWare: informally (and inadvertently) announced at GDC, this is an ongoing experiment in 2D on the Wii. As it currently stands, the game is very traditional as an action/platform game (no Wiimote Wagging) with its main draw being 480P 2D artwork. If the project gets legs, well have more to say in the next newsletter. For now, it just looks cool!
WayForward is also asking that game fans who are interested in the prospect of a new Shantae game sign up for the Official Shantae Fan Club in an effort for them to gauge interest in a new title. Click on the link above and show your support for a brand new Shantae release on Nintendo's WiiWare service. We'll have more information on this hotly-anticipated WiiWare title as it becomes available.