Game Title: Shantae Risky’s Revenge
Developer: WayForward Games
Platform: Nintendo 3DS
Game Type: DSi
Download: 129 Blocks
NA Availability: Digital Download
EU Availability: Digital Download
Shantae is a series that has always had time between its releases. The original Shantae released on the Game Boy Color, and its originally planned sequel for the Game Boy Advance never saw the light of day outside of a beta demo. Since it never really became anything, many people thought the series would never go further. That’s no so different from the fact that Half-Genie Hero was in development and Kickstarter funding for years upon years.
Shantae Advance lived on as its ideas and graphics were used in the game’s actual sequel, which released originally as an exclusive game for the Nintendo DSi. Later ported to some consoles and the lead-up to hit title, Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse, here is my Retro Review of the eShop title, Shantae: Risky’s Revenge!
Some time after the events of the first game, Risky Boots returns to Scuttle Town and steals a Magical Lamp of unknown origin. Although recently fired as the Guardian Genie of the town, Shantae springs into action and goes after her. In a race not unlike that of the original game, Shantae and Risky fight each other to get 3 magical seals that may unlock the power of this mysterious oil lamp.
One thing I will say about the story of Risky’s Revenge is that it has a very unsatisfying ending. The game’s final chapter takes you through 2 bosses and right when there should be a final fight with Risky, the game comes to a sudden and abrupt end. It was very sad, but also very unsatisfying and a big “Wait, what?” moment.
Like the previous and future entries, Risky’s Revenge is a side-scrolling platformer with combat elements thrown into the mix. As you play through the game, you will be exploring areas around Scuttle Town in a big exploration fashion. As you do so, you’ll find and navigate labyrinths as well as solving puzzles for keys and fighting enemies and large bosses in order to progress the story to the next area.
While the game plays similar to the original, it did bring some new things to the formula. There were balancing aspects, like transformations freezing time instead of running in real-time. But many additions are in the form of purchase-able magic spells and an MP Gauge. On top of that is a much better hint system both with NPCs and story scenes, removing the lack of direction from the original game and making the game much more accessible to play.
The overall exploration is the same, but with new twists. You will always have a certain labyrinth or area you need to go to and to find it will be a matter of exploring areas, fighting enemies, and finding new transformations that let you access new areas. Overall, it’s the same song and dance, but levels now have several planes you can jump between (Like LittleBigPlanet or Kirby Triple Deluxe), so there’s a bit more depth here than there originally was.
The exploration is just as important as before, as hidden moves are required for reaching certain dungeons. The game does a nice job of telling you where to find these areas, so there’s no reason to be confused at all. But just know, you need to explore and test new transformations to be able to find these new attacks and skills required for moving onward. There is a substantial amount of optional content as well, like Heart Containers to increase your max health and other collectibles.
Despite there being a lot to do, Risky’s Revenge is a very short game. The original game lasted me around 7-8 hours. Risky’s Revenge was slightly over 4 hours, making it feel like a pretty short experience. Tying that with the abrupt ending, it just left an unsatisfied taste in my mouth once the credits started rolling.
Controls in this game are pretty intuitive. First of all, the touch screen is used for your inventory. So, instead of having to go into a menu to change your equipped magic/item, you just tap on it on the bottom screen. This is very accessible and easy to use.
Moving around has changed a bit, since this was made for the NDS instead of the GBC. Moving around is done with the D-Pad (and can also be controlled by the Circle Pad on the 2DS or 3DS), and the L/R buttons are used for launching selected items/magic. The B button is used for jumping and Y is used for attacking. A is used for speaking to NPCs and X is used for Magical Dances.
Visually, there’s a lot of enhancement going on. The character models are much more animated and there’s a ton of detail in the background. The music has also gotten an improvement by remixing a lot of the original’s tunes to fit a more modern age.
Performance I cannot complain about. Load Times never go past a few seconds, frame-rate stays steady and it overall just plays well.
Shantae: Risky’s Revenge is the sequel that led to more games in the series. Although the game’s abrupt ending and shorter length do hold it back, fans of the series will find a fun platformer to play on-the-go that look for more Hair-Whipping, Belly-Dancing action!