Shantae and the Pirate's Curse (Wii U) Second Opinion Review

By Liam Cook 23.04.2015

Review for Shantae and the Pirate

The Shantae series has been around for 13 years now, with the first title being released on the Game Boy Color in 2002, published by Capcom. After many attempts to create a sequel, WayForward finally made it possible with the DSiWare title, Shantae: Risky's Revenge in 2009. Following its presence on Nintendo hardware, the latest game in the franchise is available on both 3DS and Wii U. Cubed3 takes a second look at the Wii U version of Shantae and the Pirate's Curse.

In the final events of Shantae: Risky's Revenge, everyone's favourite half-genie is stripped of her magic by rival Risky Boots. Shantae and the Pirate's Curse picks up after the events of the last game, with magic-less Shantae learning that the evil and powerful Pirate Master is about to be resurrected. She and her once rival, Risky Boots, form a temporary team in order to get back Shantae's powers and foil the Pirate Master's plans.

The unlikely duo sets sail for various islands, conquering the Den of Evil on each one - dungeons that task Shantae to use her newfound abilities to progress further into them. At the end of each Den, a boss awaits. The boss fights usually require Shantae to use the new item she obtained in that Den of Evil, similar to bosses in classic Zelda games.

When Shantae first sets out on her adventure, she only has the ability to use her hair as a whip to defeat enemies, but as she traverses the numerous islands, she obtains Risky's Pistol, which can be used to shoot enemies and activate switches; Risky's Hat, which acts as a sailcloth; the Scimitar, which is used in a similar fashion to Scrooge McDuck's cane bounce in DuckTales; and more.

Screenshot for Shantae and the Pirate's Curse on Wii U

Like all Metroidvanias, Shantae and the Pirate's Curse is full of secret collectibles, such as Heart Squids and Dark Magic. Each island has a number of hidden Heart Squids, and when four of them are collected, they can be forged into an additional heart for Shantae's health meter. The Dark Magic can be collected from enemy Cacklebats, which are hidden throughout the game's various locales. Obtaining all the Dark Magic is required to see the best ending, so players wanting to experience the multiple endings will have to do a bit of exploring.

Another traditional mechanic from Metroidvania titles present here is backtracking. In order to progress further into the story, players may need to go back to a previous island and use their newfound tools to get to a previously unreachable area. It is also required for those who want to obtain all of the game's hidden collectibles.

However, the mandatory backtracking can sometimes break the immersion a little and is often just used to artificially lengthen the story. For example, there's a moment in the story where Shantae must have the Death Mask to enter a certain section of the fifth island. For those who weren't lucky enough to find the fossil or give it to Bolo to be appraised beforehand, then some backtracking is in order.

Screenshot for Shantae and the Pirate's Curse on Wii U

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

Shantae and the Pirate's Curse is a solid title that is sure to please fans of the series, but also offers a great opportunity to check it out for the first time. Whilst there are a few issues with backtracking in certain sections, potential players shouldn't be put off by these, as the well-designed dungeons, bosses and crazy cast of characters does more than enough to make up for this minor nuance.


WayForward Technologies




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 None   Australian release date Out now   


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