Harsh Review - Shantae Half-Genie Hero
Okay this one is gonna be rough.. I was a little let down by this game unfortunately. Also Merry Christmas! I'm waiting for my Cauliflower Bake to cook and I just got done playing this game so I thought fuck it i'll write something.
Although i'm a fan of the Shantae series, I feel this game did not do it very much justice. I'm gonna be straight up honest and say it's worth playing, but it just felt a bit lacking in a few parts. The art style, music and voice acting were absolutely brilliant the whole way through. I would have appreciated a bit more voice acting, as only some scenes were done and the rest just text. The colourful characters and environments were bright, beautiful and matched perfectly. The music was memorable and i'm gonna be ballsy here and say possibly the best in the whole series... possibly excluding the original, that shit is just nostalgia boner material right there. One comment on the art that felt a bit off was the character portraits during dialogue.. their legs were missing! I'm not sure if this was because I was playing the Switch version, but they could have placed them on the bottom of the screen rather than the top so that you didn't have cut-off legs in the middle of the screen all the time. Minor flaw though..
The gameplay.. absolute perfect. I couldn't expect anything else from a Shantae game though. Every movement felt smooth, every attack felt purposeful and the combat was just done to perfection and it was just very satisfying to play. The boss fights were entertaining and relatively challenging.. at least early on anyway. As the game progressed, the bosses seemed to get easier.. which is a little bit backwards but I put it down to the fact that you could get more heart containers, more items to lower damage taken and increase damage dealt. With enough grinding you can pretty much just cheese your way through the game.. which is probably one of my main gripes with the game, it was at times very easy, which for me can make it a bit boring. You can actually get a bracelet that gives you infinite mana and an item that gives you invincibility but drains your mana. If you use both, you just cannot die. I did however notice in the menu that there is a Hardcore mode, i'm not sure how I missed it but if I knew I probably would have picked that from the start. It only took about 7 hours for me to complete the whole game which is a little disappointing.
That's going to bring me to my thought, the game is fun but just way too short. Considering the game is quite limited release, it was US only for physical copies and Steam/eShop only for the rest of the world, the physical copies have skyrocketed in price to up over $100 for Vita and PS4 as it is region free.. the Wii U copy is still going for about $30 but does not work outside of the US. The digital copies are still $20 on Steam/eShop and the two DLC's are a further $20 but only offer another 3 hours of gameplay each. I feel that if the DLC was just part of the game, then it would probably be worth it, but as it stands it's quite pricey. I will still try and find a copy of the Vita or PS4 version for my collection, but I would highly advise anyone that if they want to play it, they wait for a Steam sale or Humble Bundle or something as it is quite a steep price tag for what is essentially an indie game (I mean, it WAS funded on Kickstarter..). You can pick up 5 indie platformers of equal quality for the same price..