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Worth the Risk? - Shantae Risky's Revenge Director's Cut Review

Shantae Risky's Revenge Screenshot

In 2010, WayForward celebrated their 20th anniversary in the games development market. As celebration, they released the sequel to their 2002 Game Boy Color cult classic, Shantae. Shantae: Risky’s Revenge was released exclusively on the then new DSiWare digital storefront and was met with mass acclaim. Fast forward to 2014 and WayForward ported it to PC as an enhanced “Director’s Cut”. Last year, marking their 25th year in games, it was ported to Playstation 4 and now this year to Wii U. Is this release worth your time though? If you own the DSiWare version on a DSi or 3DS system, yes, actually. While it’s mostly small traversal changes that have been made, these alone negate a lot of backtracking the original release suffered from. As for new players who’ve never played a prior title, this title has enough to offer to make it worth playing.

Platforms: DSi, iOS, PC, PS4, Wii U [Reviewed]
Developer: Wayforward Technologies
Release: March 24, 2016
MSRP: $9.99
Press Copy provided by Wayforward

Shantae Risky's Revenge Screenshot

Shantae: Risky’s Revenge plays somewhere between Metroid and Castlevania with a helping of Zelda thrown in for safe measure. You traverse a map with upgrade required roadblocks, attack with Shantae’s hair (which functions very similarly to the Castlevania whips) and visit dungeons filled with keys and chests. While it uses these familiar elements, as a whole it is most definitely its own unique thing with a lot of creativity behind its execution. As it’s unique feature, Shantae can transform into different animals each with different abilities that let you access previously inaccessible areas.

As far as the presentation goes, the game is very reminiscent of 16-bit classics with superb animations and colours that pop out of the screen. The art style lends itself extremely well to the sprite aesthetic with nothing looking out of place. The music is very fitting too, with largely Arabian inspired flavour to match the overall tone of the game. It’s sense of humour is also firmly planted in cheek, never taking itself seriously throughout the whole game.

Shantae Risky's Revenge Screenshot

The Director’s Cut adjusts the game’s original warp system into something far more manageable. Before, you would have to pair warp pillars together before they can be used, and then they can only be used to warp between the pairs. This led to a lot of backtracking. Now, as soon as a warp pillar is activated you can travel to any other pillar you’ve found. In addition, a new magic mode has been added. This changes Shantae’s attire in favour of boosting magic power but lowering her defence. It effectively serves as the game’s challenge mode. The game also presents you with several screen modes, so if you don’t like the bordered 4:3 display you can change it to stretched 16:9 widescreen if it pleases you. Unfortunately, there is no way to display the inventory and map on the Gamepad exclusively, much like how the DSiWare original displayed them on the bottom screen.

As a whole, Shantae: Risky’s Revenge - Director’s Cut Is a short but satisfying experience. It will only take a player a few hours to finish, but it is a very well polished few hours. If you picked up Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse on 3DS or Wii U prior to this, it’s not as in-depth as it. Nonetheless, it is a fine experience, a worthwhile upgrade for DSiWare players and a good start for beginners alike.


Pros

  • Tight controls
  • Superb presentation
  • Excellent revisions

Cons

  • Rather short

Verdict:

Great

Great

Great games are generally good buying decisions and are recommended for those with an interest in the genre. There might be a few flaws that detract from the gameplay, stories, controls, presentations, or value, but the game is still an enjoyable experience that justifies a full playthrough.



Want to know what this score means? Check out our Scoring Guidelines page.

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