Shantae: Half Genie Hero (Wii U eShop)
After Shantae lost her magic in The Pirate's Curse and had to make do with standard upgrades - which wasn't a con - Half Genie Hero returns to the formula of belly-dancing and transformations to get the jobs done. There are now more dances than ever, but the cleaned up execution actually makes it a less annoying gameplay element than in the predecessors that originally released for GBC and DSiWare. So far, so good.
The major criticism I have for Half Genie Hero is that dungeons - which used to be a highlight in every previous game - are absent altogether. Instead the individual stages rely more than ever before on being replayed with new abilities. Admittedly, this still works, but it could and would have been better if dungeons had been offered too. Another negative point is that it's quite pricey to buy all abilities from the shop and thus requires a lot of money-farming on additional playthroughs; it's fine on the first playthrough because you visit each level more often, but once you know how to progress through the whole game, you'll make a lot less money during normal play.
Ultimately, The Pirate's Curse remains the best Shantae game, but that shouldn't stop you from getting Half Genie Hero.
|Controls||10||No complaints here. Belly-dancing and transformations
are faster than ever.
|Gameplay||Sidescrolling platformer that makes you revisit already completed
levels to unlock new sections and abilities.
|Story||The general silliness and many returning characters make the
Shantae universe more likeable than most other indie games.
|Single-player||The removal of dungeons stings and constitutes a step down
from The Pirate's Curse. What's left is still good though.
|Graphics||Beautifully drawn and animated HD graphics.
Flawless on a technical level.
|Sound||Good music, good sound effects.
The track with vocals is a matter of taste.
|Value||No strong feelings one way or the other when it comes
to price versus length.
|Replay Value||Hero mode with essential transformations unlocked.
Hard mode with notably higher difficulty.
|Score||7||This could have been Shantae's entry in the hall of greatness.
But no dungeons, no dice.