News Article

First Impressions: Shantae and the Pirate's Curse

Posted by Lee Meyer

A "Risky" new title

While Wayforward Technologies' Shantae and the Pirate's Curse is one of Nintendo Life's more anticipated upcoming eShop titles, the critically acclaimed series has yet to resonate with the "mass market," likely because the original had the misfortune of being released on Game Boy Color at the end of its life cycle and its sequel was developed for the overlooked DSiWare service. With Pirate's Curse set to release on the more user-friendly 3DS eShop and the successfully Kickstarted Wii U entry Shantae: Half-Genie Hero getting lots of good buzz, hopefully Shantae will have a chance to shine.

We got to try out a demo of Pirate's Curse at this year's New York Comic-Con; the series' stunning pixel art and festive music was on display and better than ever, with the visuals complemented by the 3D effect. More importantly, the gameplay was solid as ever and we came away shaking our heads at the fact that gamers weren't fighting over the 3DS units to play the exciting adventure.

We were able to try a portion of a dungeon that is likely early in Shantae's journey. Fan favourite character Bolo explained the standard, self-explanatory platforming controls before Shantae set off on her dungeon crawl. At the onset, Shantae had no special abilities or powers and was limited to her signature "hair whip" attack. Dungeons in the Shantae series are structured like those found in The Legend of Zelda series — but viewed from a side-scrolling perspective, obviously. Shantae must traverse large chasms, defeat enemies, find keys and solve simple environmental puzzles.

The dominant recurring puzzle found in the demo involved Shantae hair-whipping switches to move platforms across large chasms and navigate the many rooms. While the puzzle was nothing we haven't seen before, it was still satisfying to get from one room to another. After finding a key and unlocking a blocked path, we came across a treasure chest containing Risky's Gun (Risky Boots is Shantae's evil rival). Using the gun, we were able to hit switches from afar and attack enemies from a safer distance. While in past games Shantae learned dance moves that transformed into various animals with special abilities, Pirate's Curse will have Shantae finding more swashbuckling-themed items to add to her arsenal; hopefully her dancing won't be completely omitted.

Sadly, we were unable to try the demo's boss thanks to a line forming behind us. While it would have been great to keep playing, it was encouraging to see more gamers interested in this exciting title. Shantae and the Pirate's Curse is due for release this fall on the Nintendo eShop. Are you looking forward to Shantae's latest adventure? Let us know in the comments section.

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User Comments (28)



Volmun said:

Iv bean intrested in thes games befor. What sort of game is it? As in is it mission/chapter bassed or more like a metroid vania like game?



hcfwesker said:

Good to know this game still exists. Been waiting for a long time for it's release.



ChessboardMan said:

Previous games were pretty Metroidvania-ery, though because of the setting and one or two other things, it reminds me more of Monster World IV…



XFsWorld said:

I dont like the GameBoy Color version. This looks wayy better, well of course.



Ralizah said:

Big fan of the series and the first game in particular. I can't wait for this.



Kirk said:

Looking forward to this more than the HD Kickstarter game because I prefer the particular look and artstyle used here (irrespective of it being pixel art).



Genesaur said:

Lookin' good, and I like how this one will differentiate itself by excluding the animal transformations. Those pirate powers look way cooler, anyway.



unrandomsam said:

I hope they return to the proper difficulty and length of the first. (Somehow I don't think it is at all likely based on what they have done recently).



feelthesarcasm said:

I'm interested but it won't be a day one buy. I've never played in the shantae series but I like the way this looks. A lot of people were commenting on the HD version going to consoles and said they actually would have preferred this art style better.



bofis said:

After beating Risky's Revenge on my 3DS I'm excited to have a 3rd Shatae adventure on my system



Weedy said:

It seems they have actually toned down the cleavage for this one! Hopefully they've been focusing on increasing the amount of game instead; Risky's Revenge felt a bit short.



alrighthearthis said:

I hope with the enemies showing damage they are going RPG style leveling up like Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. It would help alleviate some of the tedium of fighting enemies that Risky's Revenge suffered from. I liked that game but eventually gave up due to hating battles with regular enemies.



Giygas_95 said:

I'm thinking I'll skip the next two games as the first two, I felt, were mediocre, but we'll see closer to time.



WaveBoy said:


The Kickstarter game visually looks awful. Looks like a bargain bin I-phone game whipped up by some ameatur college student. It looks 10x less appealing than it's GBA predecessor. Maybe the art style is in it's early stages, but as it's absolutely appalling. this is NOT how you do a hand drawn(whatever tactic they used) sidescroller. They need to take a look at what NIntendo has done with Wario Land Shake it.



Eldoon said:

@CountWavula The game's a whole year off. What you're seeing is mockups, early concept art, and art put together just for the presentation of the Kickstarter.



CazTheGamerGuy said:


You're free to have your own opinion, but...
1 - That's early work and the game is a year's way at earliest. It is not representative of the final product whatsoever.

2 - Its "GBA predecessor" was never released and as such, all that we've seen of it has been conceptual or a small demo with placeholder assets. It's about as complete as the original Playstation release of Shantae.
3 - Wario Land: Shake It! was done by Good-Feel, not Nintendo, who merely published the title.



Cesco said:

I like the cover image, with that blue giant-sized tank and the captain in front of it...
it almost seems that Wayforward artists have taken inspiration from Metal Slug and its middle east level



Kirk said:


Well I don't think it's terrible but it's just not as good as the older artstyle and I certainly don't think it's the best realization of the classic Shantae look and artstyle in HD.

Basically, I know the HD game could have looked much better because I've seen their older games and I can easily imagine how they would look if done in proper HD and this is not it.

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