Shantae and the Syndrome of Awesomeness

Few people can evoke nostalgia reference retro platformer Shantae, but its modern sequels is a good sample of the gameplay and our pixel memories.

The last part of the series — Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse, and the fourth that’s ready to go. Personal computers surprisingly not deprived of their presence. And for whom retro style is an additional plus, and indie platformers for 6 hours seems like a delicious dinner, you will find a real treasure.

Here is a great design of levels and characters, developing plot, humor, and most importantly, requires gameplay, is the study, not forgetting the other usual items.

In fact, this article is a review of Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse, but I can’t casually not tell the entire series, which can be each unexpected pleasant discovery, hitherto unnoticed because of some factors. I will talk about them next.

Once upon a time the first Shantae was released by publisher Capcom for not that widespread console Game Boy Color. Neither anticipated sequel Shantae 2: Risky Revolution, no porting on the popular advanced Game Boy Advance followed. Those few who caught the game elevated it to the status of a cult classic. And how wonderful that you and sequel and trikvel was able to come out and reveal the talent of the team.

Shante and all of its features, like bumps and hair transformations in animals, was coined back in 1994 by Matt Bozon and Erin bell. They soon married and began to bring the concept to life. Slowly developing Studio WayForward started the development.

Now that is a pretty successful game developer, trapped in the niche of creating modern versions of old classics like DuckTales: Remastered and Double Dragon Neon. Matt holds the position of creative Director, and his play is one of the key.
Series Shantae was always portable. First GBC in 2002, and then after a long break, already in 2010, there was a revival of the NDS and 3DS. It turned out that the classic platformers back in Vogue, even on big gaming platforms. So 2014 is a very active series began to move partly on the Wii U and PlayStation 4 on PC.

Players fell in love with Shante that have already chipped in a fourth part, by providing developers with much more money than they could imagine. She was released on whatever you can, and will be a modern platformer. But more on that later.

It’s funny that many complain that the game was ported from the Nintendo console as they looked on the small screen, making the image become too pixelated. At first I thought it was now fashionable stylized retro! And it looks good, adds some charm, but Yes, some can be daunting. Sorry, the series appeared on the PC and big consoles only now. Of course, nobody knew what it is and why it is to play. Moreover, the gameplay here is in “move in” is harder than one of Freedom Planet.

All games Shante unchanging set of characters, enemies, locations and gameplay mechanics. Is added and new, and experiments here are not shy. In the third part, for example, you cannot dance and turn into animals, but was replaced by something fresh. The third part generally stands a little apart from the rest. In a good way.

Each time the story revolves around Shantae and her antagonist Risky Boots. Always somewhere nearby Sky, Bolo, Rottytops, the mayor of the town, near which the two-storey house the heroine lives her uncle, evil barons and plenty of weird people.

There is even some cross-cutting theme. Shante — paladin, standing guard over the city. In Risky”s Revenge she loses her magic, Pirate’s Curse is teaming up with his rival to get her back. And always somewhere out of reach lurks the dream to meet the mother who was the real gin.

So, we Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse is a modern style platformer metroidvania. The goal is to pass the levels from left to right, and travel on them, to explore, to constantly come back with new possibilities for movement and opening up this dead-end passages.

The basic principle of Zelda and Metroid: see high hanging chest, and on the right the overgrown roots of a cave — come back when you learn how to jump high and burn obstacles. Prize will be some valuable item for pumping and opening the next piece of the game world outside the cave.

Yes, there is pumping, “farm” and trade. First let me say that the world is not open, as is customary in the genre, and is divided into 5 big locations, between which you can swim on the ship Risks. No quick movements (only emergency evacuation)! Through these segments, Shante finds some part of a pirate costume and acquires a new ability.

Learning to hover, shoot, run and cut with the sword, to the end to overcome the levels of this killing machine will be fast and easy. Usually pumped magic, and acquire new shape for turning, but the plot in this part of the character even less gin, than half. There is no magic at all, and therefore the gameplay is unique.

In the city, the departure point for each trip in the dangerous outside world, you can chat with friends, to visit the smithy, fountain treatment, but most importantly — the dealer. The range of consumable reinforcing material and pumping of all offensive abilities. It is very expensive, so in the end will have to farm some creeps crystals. Best place — vases in the hidden rooms of the Egyptian Palace.

A little back to the pimp in the world there are 2 kinds of hidden resources; both seek optional, but they are incredibly valuable and worthy of constant returns on completed locations. First, it is a heart-squid. They are often clearly visible, but can be reached only after acquiring some skills. Four of these can be melted in the city in an additional heart of life for themselves. 32 pieces total. Secondly, dark magic.

First, it is unclear why in some hidden or not locations across unique monsters, from which after winning, you can suck the black smoke. This narrative justified, but why — is not fully disclosed. But if you find all 20 creatures in pirate bandanas, but in this case it is possible to see the true ending and beat the final boss.

And, Yes, Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse even more than the predecessor, fan service-y, comedic game. Local illustration is something else. Good thing they did for PC in high resolution. Despite the kindness and naivety of what is happening, the four main female characters put in awkward situations and wear interesting outfits.

Humor is largely based on parody and mockery of its own genre and its representatives. Here round red squid can not hesitate to philosophize about his reference villerest.

None of this would matter without good gameplay. To play just a very nice environment and bright light. Every element has been perfected over the years, and innovations look very out of place. Moreover, they are made of Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse is a truly modern game — a quick, clear and friendly.

It would seem that many abilities, and even equipment overload control, but the opposite happened. Management is nice, double tap jump and press attack is not used at all, contrary to tradition.

The architecture of the levels-dungeons and open areas is very different. In the dungeons waiting for the usual mazes, finding keys, jumping on moving platforms and a boss at the end. Up to the location of enemies and segments that you can simply fly a comet with certain abilities, the game design on top.

The developers, by the way, don’t stop halfway and try to add as much diversity as necessary to hold the interest of the player. Rush through the forest with a friend, zombie arms, to sneak past the guards in the Palace, hiding in the shadows, to pick up the code to the lock, solve the puzzle with the order of maplevania of tentacley monsters… It’s all unique to the situation.

As we have here, and mazes, and pseudoarthritis world with friendly characters, and some kind of coherent quest chain, you can often stumble on the problem of finding the way. For example, to find the code to the Palace in the Egyptian level, it is necessary to find fragments, returning to previous levels. Implying, of course, but for now I guess, pace and interest might fall. Yes, it is a common problem, but progress in solving it visible.

Can’t forget to mention about the unexpected problem with running the PC version. The controller refused to work, even if you emulate it as isbecause for which management and sharpened. This problem was with DuckTales: Remastered, but decided just emulation. Here I had more hours to suffer a forced bind each controller button to a keyboard key using special software.

Shantae: Risky”s Revenge was shorter, slower tempo and just developed the ideas of the original. There is a completely open world with a map and quick transitions. The world of small to run back and forth frequently. The biggest local attraction is the tower of trials, which is very interesting to go for a while.

The second part, not counting the platforming reminded more Dizzy. The run and search for items given a lot of attention. The trading system has not had time to balance out — earned crystals to put nowhere. Potions can be purchased chock-full the first time, and for serious upgrades need to report to banks incredibly rare magical jelly.

The fourth part, called Shantae: Half-Genie Hero, the developers decided to go on Kickstarter. And guess. A large army of fans who wants to see a deserved sequel, have thrown for a score of about 800 thousand dollars, twice the amount requested. Was immediately set new goals, appropriate budget, and now the game comes out on everything except the toaster. With additional modes, costumes and playable characters.

Expected release is promised at the end of 2015. The gameplay will be more like the first part, but the graphics will get rid of PixelNet. It was inevitable. If only his charm is not lost, because the style will also become another, more angular and “cybergym”.

This is a very bright and memorable game, taking variety and design. After Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse would like to meet the rest of the series, and indeed, more to play platformers.

A little late, but the third part Shantae gets 8,5 points, and this game simply must be seen. Continued around the corner to look forward to.

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