Shantae: Risky’s Revenge Director’s Cut is a HD port of the original 2010 DSi game. Scuttle Town is under attack by the infamous pirate Risky Boots. Shantae races against time to collect the three magic seals in order to thwart Risky’s plans to unlock the lamp’s full power. Like the other Shantae games, the story isn’t narratively engaging, but it is charming and quick witted. Come for the gameplay, stay for the laughs as it were.
Whether it’s by magic, or hair this half-genie hero has a few tricks up her weave. There’s a shop that can upgrade said spells and hair as well sell potions. Shantae also has the ability to transform into creatures, like a monkey, in order to reach new areas. The monkey, for example, can squeeze into tight places and cling to walls. These transformations also get new powers as the story progresses. It’s the standard for any Metroidvania experience, but it’s not without faults. This genre implements backtracking as a mechanic, but some games use it as a crutch. While there are warp points, the lack of environments makes going back and worth less exciting the billionth time around. It bogs down the momentum of an otherwise fast paced adventure.
The game looks great blown up in HD on a TV. Sure they still look like sprites, albeit toned, but they hold up thanks to bright, vibrant, and intuitive art direction. Music is killer, as always, fitting the Arabian motif pleasantly. It may be on the shorter side, but getting every hidden item is a challenging, yet rewarding experience for Metroidvania veterans.
Shantae: Risky’s Revenge Director’s Cut is still a great game five years later. The touched up sprites still look great especially compared to new, contemporary indie games out there. It’s fun and addictive, though players may start to feel a lack of enjoyment once they hit a roadblock. So it’s not without issues, but to those that missed the original, or the PC port, this is definitely worth a look.
Score: 4/5 Stars
Special Notes: The publisher provided a review copy. This article was originally published on July 6, 2015 via my Examiner account before the website shut down.