Shantae: Risky's Revenge - Director’s Cut (PC) Review

By Az Elias 02.08.2014 6

Review for Shantae: Risky

With not one, but two brand new Shantae titles in development - Shantae and the Pirate's Curse, and the Kickstarter-funded Shantae: Half-Genie Hero - WayForward is keeping the spritely purple-haired genie girl very busy in recent times. This is after Europe had initially missed what she had been offering with the North American-only release of Shantae on Game Boy Color in 2002, which thankfully made its way over to the 3DS Virtual Console last year. As a DSiWare, and later an iOS, title, Shantae: Risky's Revenge may have been overlooked by many, but this unexpected Steam release might just help garner more attention.

Having not played the original DSiWare or iOS versions, it is instantly obvious what makes the Shantae series such a highly regarded one after spending just a few moments with Shantae: Risky's Revenge - Director's Cut. It feels like a culmination of many great titles; it has the Metroidvania edge to it with the exploring and bits of back-tracking after finding power-ups to open new areas, and what could even be described as a Paper Mario feel in more ways than one thanks to its quirky NPCs. Even slices of 2D Zelda spring to mind at some points, the unorthodox sides to the Oracle games and Link's Awakening coming through, in particular. The expressionistic characters; the simple, but effective level designs; the catchy music; the lovely pixel art - it mixes plenty of ingredients to form a wonderful little cake.

'Little' is the key word there, though. Risky's Revenge is a rather short offering when it comes down to it. In truth, the game world is bigger than the world map suggests upon first glance, but there aren't quite enough labyrinth-style areas or bosses to defeat that would have really spruced this title up. As such, it's over quicker than would have been liked, with the easiness helping make that possible.

Screenshot for Shantae: Risky's Revenge - Director’s Cut on PC

As the Director's Cut edition, what's been added, and is it enough? In addition to the usual bog-standard offerings that come with Steam games these days, like Achievements, Steam Trading Cards, and controller support (with issues), actual in-game stuff includes some new HD character portraits, a redesigned warp system to travel hastily through the lands, and an unlockable tougher Magic Mode with new costume. The graphics remain decidedly unchanged. On the one hand, after seeing the glorious HD work of what's to come in Shantae: Half-Genie Hero, this does make for disappointing viewing, visually. However, on the other hand, there is a delightful charm portrayed through these pixelated character and level designs, and when the resolution is scaled down a tad to a more suitable size, it simply feels like basking in the marvellous platforming days of the SNES and Mega Drive. Any further extras are practically non-existent, though, meaning this is a very barebones port.

There are the odd niggles in this PC edition, sadly, too. The major one would have to be game data getting completely erased if Alt+F4 is pressed during the game. This came as a shocking revelation during the playthrough for this review, as it was performed right before the final dungeon. Granted, it may not be the actual recommended method for shutting down a game, but Alt+F4 is such a universally recognised command for closing windows, that it would never cross the mind that something so drastic would happen when performed. Therefore, a good five to six hours was wasted, taking into account the odd restart from deaths.

Controller support is there, but it has some limitations, like not being able to switch the 'confirm' and 'deny' buttons around from the standard Nintendo style. It's rather easy to adapt, and the main setup works perfectly fine, but it's worth noting for those who are accustomed to the Xbox or PlayStation layouts.

In short, Shantae: Risky's Revenge - Director's Cut is sheer platforming goodness, but these peeves, along with its unfortunate short length and lack of challenge set the game back.

Screenshot for Shantae: Risky's Revenge - Director’s Cut on PC

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

It's clear WayForward is a talented group of people because this is a game that oozes Nintendo levels of platforming quality. Shantae: Risky's Revenge - Director's Cut may be short and on the easy side, but it's such a charming and accessible ride whilst it lasts, greatly appealing to anyone looking for another dose of 16-bit style platform or Metroidvania side-scrolling action. Some unfortunate slip-ups with regards to the odd bug and a game-erasing glitch do hamper the product, regrettably, and added extras and an HD graphics option would have been very welcome. That being said, the fact that this delightful game is now readily available to even more players through Steam means they can be glossed over by the majority that haven't had the pleasure of playing Risky's Revenge before. If this is a taster of what to expect in Shantae's next two adventures, platform fans are in for a treat.


WayForward Technologies




2D Platformer



C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10 (1 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   


This made me dig out my old DSi...and then I was totally puzzled as to why I couldn't find the game on there. Finally, it dawned on my that THIS was one of the games I actually bothered to transfer to 3DS in an attempt to eventually review it. Clearly THAT never happened, though Smilie

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

UNITE714: Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses

Definitely play it if you get a chance. Couldn't put it down until my data got erased!!

Really hope they throw in more dungeons and bosses in the sequels. Hopefully they earned enough money in their Kickstarter for Half-Genie Hero to make it a beasty game.

Working my way through Ace Attorney Investigations 2 still, and then it's next on my list... Smilie

Lots of Shantae coming later this year. I'm thinking that something needs to be pushed back to 2015, and it has to be 1/2 Genie 1/2 Hero (that's how it's actually written, isn't it? Large 1/2 with Genie at the top, Hero underneath?), since Pirate's Curse on 3DS eShop was almost finished in September/October last year Smilie

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

UNITE714: Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses

Kickstarter just calls it Half-Genie Hero, so... I guess it's just stylised as 1/2 Genie Hero?

Hopefully they do spread the games out a little so they both get the attention they deserve. Pirate's Curse will be on Wii U as well as Half-Genie so they both should need 2+ months apart really.

Hmm, yeah, so it does. But do you see what I mean by the logo? Makes it look like half-genie, half-hero Smilie

Yeah, popping Pirate's Curse on Wii U is an odd one. I could understand it coming later as an HD update, similar to what they've done in the past...but putting 3DS/Wii U versions out at the same time? Hmm, not the best idea, unless they're confident there's not much overlap in the systems' audiences.

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

UNITE714: Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses

I get you XD

I guess they've done it before with Mighty Switch Force, but they released the Wii U vers later down the line with that one. I guess they figured it'd get better sales if they released at the same time with Pirate's Curse. If they make money back on both systems it's good for them I guess, and we get a choice of portable or HD anyway.

I imagine Half-Genie will look better than Pirate's Curse HD, though, since that one's being developed strictly for HD systems.

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