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Shantae: Risky's Revenge (Nintendo DSiWare) Review
Review by 
8.84/10 from 19 user ratings
I never owned a DSi. When Nintendo announced it, I thought the idea was good, but it was too pricey for me at the time. DSiWare was the one thing about the DSi that appealed to me, and I hated that I wasn't going to get to experience it. Enter the 3DS and the June 6 update, which included almost every DSiWare title available.

When the 3DS eShop went live, I immediately made out a wish-list of DSiWare games I wanted to buy. On the top of my list was Shantae: Risky's Revenge by WayForward. At 1200 points (or $11.99 plus tax in the eShop), it tops out as the most expensive game available on the service. Is it worth it? In short, absolutely.

Handheld platforming doesn't get much better than this.

I'm not familiar with the original Shantae (please Capcom/WayForward make it happen on the VC), but the story goes as such: Shantae's uncle, Mimic, finds an oil lamp encased in stone. Harmless enough, right? Well, Risky Boots, Shantae's nemesis, steals it. Risky knows that the lamp houses great power if combined with the three magic seals, as does her uncle. The only chance they have to save Sequin Land from Risky's scheme is to find the three seals before Risky Boots and destroy them.

The gameplay feels is very similar to Metroid, in that you traverse an overworld, collect power-ups that give you the ability to get to new areas and continue progressing. Shantae's power-ups are different though. By holding the X button, Shantae begins a belly dance and can transform into a monkey (for climbimg walls and jumping higher), an elephant (stomping and charging) or a mermaid (to swim) depending on when you release it. Note that you can't transform until you find these power-ups, though are essential to progressing so you won't miss them.

You can also buy various magic spells in Scuttle Town to give Shantae an advantage against Risky's crew. The spells range from fireballs to storm clouds to spinning balls. Some just cost money (dropped by enemies and in some treasure chests), but some require some case and Magic Jams, which are scattered throughout Sequin Land. Some are hard to find, and you may need to do a little backtracking to find them all, but it's worth the effort.

Controlling Shantae is easy and they are spot on. Move with the d-pad (I guess you can use the circle pad on the 3DS, but I didn't try), attack with the Y button, jump by pressing the B button, hold X to belly dance, and press the R button to use a magic spell. You can do a backwards dash by pressing the L button, which is helpful in evading some enemy's attacks. The A button is primarily used for scrolling text when talking to the people in Sequin Land or various other actions. Auto run is enabled by default, and you can toggle this on or off by pressing select. Other moves come into play as you progress, but these give you an idea of how the controls work.

Graphically, the game is gorgeous. The colorful graphics remind me a lot of a late-era Super Nintendo game. Shantae and her foes all animate very fluidly, and I never noticed a dip in the frame rate. The music is pleasant, and all of the sound effects are appropriate.

If I had one gripe about Shantae, it would be the map. Navigating in some areas can be a bit confusing, and the map isn't very helpful in some of those situations. It's a small gripe, but probably the only one I have.

Overall, Risky's Revenge is a fine platformer that isn't too long, but is an absolute joy to play while it lasts (in finding all items, it took me a hair under six hours). I highly recommend this one.

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Posted: 06/20/11, 19:56:41  - Edited by 
 on: 02/24/13, 22:44:52    
Why not sign up for a (free) account and create your own content?
Really? People who found Shantae underwhelming, can you expand on the reasons?

Posted by 
 on: 09/08/11, 17:59:27
I'm curious as well. Marsh, 'splain yourself.

Posted by 
 on: 09/08/11, 18:19:10
I'm with those guys. What's up, dude?

Posted by 
 on: 09/08/11, 18:44:46
Don't worry Marsh, I'm in your corner. All up in your corner, buddy.

I dunno. I bought and played through it less than a month ago, and can't remember a single part of the game that really jumped out at me. Other than the final boss with the endless health bar, I distinctly remember what little enthusiasm I had for the game draining steadily through that hour of whipping.

A couple of the townsfolk lines made me chuckle. The sprites were nice. The waists were anorexic. Other than that, it just seemed like a pretty average game.

Posted by 
 on: 09/09/11, 01:18:24  - Edited by 
 on: 09/09/11, 01:33:54
Okay, I've been following this series since the GBA days (still waiting for my chance to play the first game) and so all these years of praise built this game up in my mind to be amazing. Well, I've played Risky's Revenge and was hoping for a more polished/streamlined experience. The menu layout doesn't explain what anything is, the map can be confusing. Having random items traded, and random cave rocks you crawl into scattered about the land is weird and doesn't make sense to me. I just feel like there's a better way to tie all these ideas together. It feels more like a chore to play and I wish her basic moves had more variety. I guess this game was cheaper than most so I shouldn't complain. I still need to beat it but forgot what I was doing since the game doesn't give you any sort of direction to go on.

Posted by 
 on: 09/09/11, 02:58:06  - Edited by 
 on: 09/09/11, 03:00:03
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