Shantae: Half-Genie HeroShantae: Half-Genie Hero
Year: 2016
Rating: T
Time Played: 7 hours

After playing through Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse on my 3DS, I was looking forward to experiencing the next game in the series on the big screen. I picked up Shantae: Half-Genie Hero on sale from the eShop, and I believe I got what I paid for. While there seems to be a lot of extra content locked behind DLC barriers, it doesn’t look like any of it adds to the core experience of this game. As far as I can tell, Half-Genie Hero hearkens back to the original Shantae game, relying more on transformations instead of items to uncover the secrets contained in the handful of colorful levels.

While the higher definition graphics were great on the Switch, I felt that Shantae handled worse than she did in Pirate’s Curse. Often, I’d find myself trying to perform some action, and the game wouldn’t let me do it (the flying fortress level is of particular note here). Additionally, trying to find the required items to progress the plot wasn’t as intuitive as I would have liked. I had to re-play past levels multiple times, not always finding the secret path or hidden area needed to find the required items. This became tedious the longer I played.

I’m sure the extra DLC might have extended this game’s playtime, but even with the need to replay levels multiple times, it still felt like a short game. Granted, it was still reasonably fun to play with an adequate amount of challenge. Stylistically, Half-Genie Hero looks great and on par with other games in the series. However, the story and gameplay didn’t seem to be anything to write home about. Then again, with a “T” rating, I doubt story and gameplay are the reasons why many individuals picked up this game.

Improved graphics on re-hashed gameplay elements, I give Shantae: Half-Genie Hero 3.0 stars out of 5.

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