Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse Review

I’ve been slowly picking away at my huge backlog of games. It’s been a slow process as I get into moments where I want to game back to back or on my day’s off then I just take a break for some time. I decided to give Shantae Pirate’s Revenge on the PS4 a try this month and I’ve been in love with this game ever since.

Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse is a platform game developed by Wayforward Technologies for the Nintendo 3DS, Wii U, and also on PS4. It is the third game in the Shantae series following Shantae: Risky’s Revenge.

The art is so eye catching and really unique to this series. I would love to have this as a poster.

The Pirate’s Curse takes place after the events of Risky’s Revenge where our heroine, Shantae, has lost her genie powers and has an adventure with her archnemesis Risky. Together they discover that Dark Magic has placed a curse on Risky’s Tinkerbats, turning them into evil Cacklebats. Risky believes that the Pirate Master is attempting to revive himself and she is determined to stop his revival at all costs. Risky forms a reluctant alliance with Shantae to destroy the dens of evil that are giving him power, recover the lost pirate items that once belong to Risky, and retrieve the Dark Magic inhabiting the Cacklebats.

I had only played some of half genie hero when it first came out. The game didn’t really hold any excitement as I didn’t really know much about her besides what my best friend would tell me. I really couldn’t get into the game at all so I put it down in favor of another game. I started playing Pirate’s Curse this month and I became completely hooked. I haven’t had a game, besides Uncharted 4, that I played recently that has had me excited from the very start.

What I enjoy about this game is that you can tell the developers had a lot of fun making it. There are so many references that will make you laugh. For example, there’s an NPC Bran-Son, whose real name is Brandon, who left his magical sword on a bus in the desert. Once you locate his sword, he’ll transform much like He-Man even referencing his companions though with different names.

This was a fun side quest and I would love to have him appear again.

I really enjoyed the puzzles in this game. Every place of travel has a puzzle that requires either an upgrade found in the den of evil or just needing to hit a certain switch. These puzzles are common sense, but, still gave me some thought on what to do next. When I playing in Spiderweb Island, there was an area where I had to hit three switches found throughout the den of evil to activate a machine. Once I activated it, there were gusts of wind but I didn’t put two to two together to figure out I had to use the hat to move to the next area until my roommate mentioned to try it.

I also love the characters. They bring in so much life to this game that it’s hard to not to have a favorite or favorites. My favorite in this game is Bolo just because he’s really the odd man out who means well but tends to get in over his head. There’s just something about his yearning to be like Shantae but tends to cause more problems that I really find endearing. Plus, I think he’s adorable with glasses.

Jake Kaufman did an amazing job with the soundtrack with every island, the den of evil and boss fight has it’s own sound where it’s easy to find a favorite. Mine is Rave in the grave on Spiderweb Island and it just makes me want to dance while playing. It really fits the mood of the island very well with the zombies and bits of thunder. The music just adds more of an urgency to quickly get to your location before the zombies come. I also felt that this theme really fit when Shantae attacks the zombies so their heads pop off it sounds like a cat meowing. I don’t know but it fits. Trust me.

 I do have some dislikes that don’t really take away anything from the game but just from my experience playing it for the first time. One of the things is the learning curve using the upgrades that you obtained in all of the dens of evil.  Shantae will be able to use Risky’s weapons and each weapon has an upgrade that will be extremely helpful as you make progress in the game.

When you gain Risky’s Boots, this allows you to send Shantae into a charging dash that can break through certain walls, blocks, and enemies. It also allows you to get into a higher speed to do a long jump across areas to gain access to the next area. There’s also a learning curve to properly use this and it took me some time to master it. Where I was making my mistake was trying to hold the square button while Shantae was running causing it to fail. It was a minor annoyance until I figure it out.

The other thing that I dislike is all the backtracking you need to do. I am never a fan of having to go back anywhere as I just want to move forward in the story. This game will make you do a lot of backtracking and while it’s easy to see where chests are and squid hearts it’s still annoying. At least for me. 

You’ll also need to backtrack if you want to unlock some achievements, to beat the twenty cursed Cacklebats which gives you the best ending and to fulfill certain quests in order to progress such as finding an item on one island and giving it to someone on another. For example, getting Brandon’s sword. 

I played this game out of order so some of the plot, in the beginning, made zero sense and certain characters’ appearance had little appeal to me. It would have been smarter for me to play Risky’s Revenge then tackle this one just so I would understand the game more, but, I don’t feel I missed out.

Pirate’s Curse is just the game that has made me a huge fan of this series. I am loving every second and do not want this adventure to end. I am hooked on this series and urge others to give this game a chance. It really surprised me on how much fun it is and is making me want to play it again. You’ll be wanting to Ret-2-Go!

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