Shantae: Risky's Revenge (Nintendo DS) Review

By Adam Riley 20.11.2014

Review for Shantae: Risky

Platform games used to be a dime a dozen, went out of fashion, and have been making a comeback again thanks to some very high quality efforts. Following on from a look at the PC Director's Cut edition, Cubed3 heads back in time to look at Shantae: Risky's Revenge on Nintendo's DSiWare download service.

The platform genre had somewhat of a revival during the Wii lifespan and has continued strongly thanks to Ubisoft and its Rayman series, but there is one particular line of games that stands proud amongst the crowd, and it is that of WayForward's Shantae games. The half genie, half human first appeared on the Game Boy Color and the team struggled to get a sequel to market for many years, but thankfully an eventual sequel in the form of Shantae: Risky's Revenge landed on Nintendo's DSi download service, DSiWare. After the re-released version on PC and the new 3DS eShop game, Shantae and the Pirate's Curse, going back to the older game (2010 in the US, early 2011 in Europe) was actually a pleasant surprise to see how well it still holds up today.

Screenshot for Shantae: Risky's Revenge on Nintendo DS

As the title hints at, the main bad from the first game is back to get her revenge - Risky Boots is a nefarious pirate lass that brought a reign of terror upon Scuttle Town in the past, and now she is up to no good once more, stealing a special genie-styled oil lamp, leaving Shantae to be cast out of the town by a disgruntled Mayor that believes she did not do a good enough job of protecting it, even pointing at her very presence being the cause of the problem in the first place. Ever the resilient one, though - and against her Uncle's wishes - the adventure begins with Shantae traversing the land to collect three magic seals that can restore the dark magic of the lamp before Risky Boots achieves the same goal, with the ultimate objective to confront Risky in a final tête-à-tête and end this once and for all.

With a mere flick of the hair, Shantae must take down all manner of strange beasts littering the land, and the range of attacks may seem frustratingly limited at first. However, as with games of this ilk - be it the IGA-developed Castlevania games for Konami or Nintendo's Metroid series - more moves are unlocked as play goes on. A slew of magical spells of varying strengths can be purchased once enough gems have been attained and Magic Jam jars discovered (fire, electricity, and even a brutal cannonball-esque ability), the hair flick manoeuvre can be sped up, and various other move upgrades are on offer. The intriguing thing about proceedings is that the order in which certain aspects can be completed is pretty fluid.

Screenshot for Shantae: Risky's Revenge on Nintendo DS

Sure, there are times where progression can only be made once one of the transformation spells have been found - turn into a monkey to scale walls, an elephant to smash through objects, a mermaid to swim underwater, and more permutations of those further into the adventure - but grab some of the magic on offer in Scuttle Town as early as possible, mix it with some platform expertise thanks to the extremely tight control system, and the world opens up…to a degree.

As with any of the great 2D Metroid outings, along the way there will be specific things that are agonisingly just out of reach, so a mental note is required to come back once a new ability has been found, and it is encouraged to go around collecting every tiny extra squeezed into the moderately sized world, but it really is not a necessity to complete the whole adventure. Once enough heart containers have been collected, boosting Shantae's health sufficiently, and a bevy of magic and health potions have been bought (up to nine of each permitted), tackling the final battle with Risky is taxing, yet not enough to cause a major headache (unlike a special battle tower earlier in the adventure that really was a nightmare to work through until shopping for upgrades took place).

Screenshot for Shantae: Risky's Revenge on Nintendo DS

Overall, whilst not the 20-hour adventure that WayForward had planned for the canned Shantae Advance, the five-to-six hours that can be poured into Shantae: Risky's Revenge are very pleasurable indeed. At the time it cost 1200 Nintendo Points (roughly £12) on DSiWare, this original is now £10.79 on the 3DS eShop at the moment...whilst the Director's Cut costs a mere £6.99, complete with extra modes and tweaks. Although highly enjoyable on the portable system, the PC edition is probably the way to go, unless 3DS is the only option, of course! Whatever the case, this is a game that should not be missed out on.

Screenshot for Shantae: Risky's Revenge on Nintendo DS

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

What a splendid game Shantae: Risky's Revenge indeed is, showing exactly how platform titles should be done. Smart level construction, intuitive controls, and smooth integration of ancillary moves and weapons are all included, as well as a wonderfully varied cast of characters and enemies to interact with. WayForward Technologies shows, once more, why not only is the Shantae series so deserving of its lofty status amongst the gaming community, but just why the development team receives such plaudits time and time again. If 3DS is the only option, download this on the eShop today. Otherwise, check out the cheaper Director's Cut version on Steam with its various extras. Either way, do not miss out on this piece of platforming genius.






2D Platformer



C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   


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