Shantae: Risky's Revenge - Director's Cut (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Athanasios 16.11.2020

Review for Shantae: Risky

Shantae, begun her shimming adventures on the Game Boy Color, with the sequel coming almost a decade later for the Nintendo DSi. Like the original, it wasn't exactly the biggest hit, and yet it garnered thousands of loyal fans, and became a cult classic that now graces a bunch of modern systems, essentially cementing this series of platformers as WayForward's flagship franchise. After a look at the PC, and PlayStation 4 ports, it's now time to give it another try, as it has arrived in the beautiful hybrid that is the Switch.

Although a sequel, without any exaggeration, this is basically the 16-bit sister of the GBC original, whether that has to do with the upgraded - and beautiful - visuals and catchy OST, or the core gameplay loop, which still revolves around the curvy titular heroine exploring a fairly linear world, trying to find the tools that will permit her to explore more locations, be it a simple key that can unlock a door, or a spell that can help her turn into an animal, like, say, a tiny monkey that can scale walls, or a large elephant that can crash boulders.

Similarly, the story once again follows voluptuous corsair Risky, as she tries to ruin Shantae's day with her evil plans, with the latter having to do typical video game-y stuff (gather a bunch of items) before confronting her, due to… reasons. Thankfully, despite the lack of a more memorable plot, this has enough character to make up for it, with Shantae being able to talk with the denizens of this world, and with the main purpose of each exchange being to make you laugh, or at least snicker. This critic also loved the many naughty (but far from vulgar) lines of dialogue, like how a small kiddo mentions that his mommy dressed as a pirate for daddy, but "he isn't allowed to say that!"

Screenshot for Shantae: Risky's Revenge - Director's Cut on Nintendo Switch

Shantae can hit enemies by flicking her hair towards them, as well as spitting all sorts of spells, like fireballs, rotating cannonballs, and more. From her hairdo, to her magic tricks, everything is upgradable, but this isn't simply a case of farming gem drops from enemies. A number of the rare Magic Jam artefact is always required to do any of those, something that basically forces you to backtrack to previously explored locations, and, through the use of any newly obtained abilities, discover a chest where that tasty item lays waiting.

Now, while the "metroidvania" element on offer is nice and all… it's probably way too simplistic - even more so than how simple it was in the original, to be perfectly honest. It never offers that "aha!" moment that titles like, say, Super Metroid does, or any other exploration-heavy platformer. Even worse, Risky's Revenge is actually noticeably less challenging than the GBC entry, which was already a newcomer-friendly kind of experience. Add to that how short this is, and how devoid of content it is compared to the original, and it's thus hard to recommend it to anyone but young genre fans, or those who simply love the franchise, and just need to play every single Shantae instalment.

Despite what has been said so far, however, it should be noted that this is far, very far from a bad game. The levels are well-crafted, the controls are almost flawless, there's a decent variety of enemies to fight, skills to add to your collection, and items to discover by using said skills. It's just that it constantly feels as if this is just a sample of a better, more "complete" version. As for the Director's Cut thingy, it adds HD character portraits for the menus and cut-scenes, a variety of display options (just stick with 4:3 with black borders, though), and a new Magic Mode, where Shantae is a better spell-caster, but much weaker physically.

…Oh, and she also gets a new, sexy as hell outfit. Tyb Almadhaq!

Screenshot for Shantae: Risky's Revenge - Director's Cut on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

6/10
Rated 6 out of 10

Good

Part culmination of old-school classics, part a simplistic form of them all, Shantae: Risky's Revenge is not exactly the best title in WayForward's, otherwise charming, line of platformers. If a fan of Shantae do check it out, but you won't miss much by skipping it, and simply trying any other instalment - 2002 original included.

Developer

WayForward Technologies

Publisher

WayForward

Genre

2D Platformer

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  6/10

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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