Wayforward is a studio that has made its name on the excellent 2D platformers that it's put it out. While titles like Ducktales: Remastered, Contra 4, and Aliens: Infestation do an excellent job of showcasing the studio's talent, it's Shantae – Wayforward's flagship franchise – that arguably shines the brightest. The latest installment in the Shantae series, Shantae: Half-Genie Hero, is due out sometime early next year and Matt Bozon - the Director of the Shantae games - recently sat down with The Mary Sue in order to drum up more hype around the game and to talk more about the series as a whole.
One of the topics mentioned was how Shantae is very much a modern day mascot, in the same vein as Mario, Mega Man, and Sonic. Bozon agreed with this and shared his opinion on what a mascot is:
When I think of video game mascots, I usually think of characters whose designs are based on their gameplay. Sonic runs and rolls into a pointy destructive ball. Crash Bandicoot spins into a tornado. Mario is a blocky all-purpose shape that stomps or pounds. Shantae is just a whip or a yo-yo headed character. I'd argue that like those other characters, her look in the beginning was less important than her function. But with a lot of mascots, time passes, and the character comes to represent either a certain kind of gameplay, or a promise of a certain quality bar.
The discussion later moved on to Shantae: Half-Genie Hero and while Bozon remained tight lipped as to the game's firm release date, he mentioned that DLC is a possibility if there's interest:
If we sold a lot of copies, and there was a lot of clamor for more DLC, that's a possibility. The game lends itself to a lot of expansion if that's what fans want! There will already be a ton of content with all of the stretch goal that were reached… costumes, extra characters, and Risky Boots Mode! There's a ton of game there, but there's always room for more!
What do you think? Would you like to see some post-release DLC? What do you think qualifies a character as a mascot? Share your thoughts in the comments below.