Shantae: Half-Genie Hero - Ultimate Edition: Official Trailer
Who it Caters to
There aren’t many games out there that really resonate with you for a long time, but with us, Shantae Half-Genie Hero: Ultimate Edition for the Nintendo Switch is part of that exception. We’ve seen a massive influx of platform titles over the past several years, with many of them being very hit or miss in various areas. With Shantae, however, the overall polish and consistency remains the same, despite being a port over from the Wii U and other notable consoles at the time. Most notably, Ultimate Edition comes fully packed with all the DLC content that you had to purchase with the original, which means you’re getting a truly complete package for the Nintendo Switch. Shantae Half-Genie Hero caters to those who have a passion for challenges and find absolute enjoyment in the platform genre. It’s certainly a renowned genre, known for giving life to iconic faces like Mario, Kirby, and Donkey Kong just to name a few. From the early 80’s to what it has evolved into now, the platforming genre is a spectacle to behold because every new era brings forth a brand new element that continues to create an overwhelmingly exciting experience. So if you’re looking for over the top fun with enough content to keep you coming back for days on end, Shantae Half-Genie Hero: Ultimate Edition is right for you.
What to Expect
In Ultimate Edition, you’re gifted with an enormous amount of extra content separate from the actual main campaign mode, which is insane because you’re getting so much for the price you’re paying. You have Hero Mode, Hardcore Mode, Pirate Queen’s Quest, Friends to the End, Ninja Mode, Beach Mode, and finally, the Officer Mode. All of these are available right off the bat and so you’re free to venture off into whatever mode you desire. Friends to the End is the most recent and last DLC of Shantae Half-Genie Hero so once again, you’re getting the best bang for your buck. Every other mode mentioned provide their own unique challenge and see Shantae in her various outfits along with special abilities.
With Pirate Queen’s Quest, you actually get to play as the antagonist and see what she’s all made of in her own fun mode too! There’s literally hours upon hours of content in this little cartridge that you can take with you anywhere on the go, and boredom is certainly not going to be a part of that experience. Visually, you’ll be blown away by the incredible attention to detail on character animations along with the overall design and appeal of the title, plus the humor is sure to elicit a good laugh. As a port, you’d think that there would be some issues at the forefront, but we’ll let you know that we found very little problems that interfered with the gameplay, and it all felt seamless from start to finish. Now that you know what to expect, let’s dive deeper into just why Ultimate Edition is worth the purchase.
It’s quite evident that we had an absolute blast with Shantae Half-Genie Hero: Ultimate Edition, and to be quite honest we’re still having fun well after completing the main story. Much of the story revolves around Shantae of course, who’s been tasked to retrieve specific items so that she can help put an end to the evil that plans to wreak havoc on her world. With all of her special powers combined she sets off on her journey to ensure peace is restored to Scuttle Town. The DLC we mentioned earlier act as extensions to the overall story and are like “What-if” scenarios had Shantae taken those paths. It’s really awesome because you’re playing a game that feels like reading a continuous novel and you’re essentially in control of where things end up. It’s still very much a platformer at heart because it provides a nice little story to give you enough incentive to keep going, and find out more about Shantae’s life. It’s one of the rare occasions that a platformer does a great job of executing a story effectively, while still maintaining the integrity of the platforming challenge it’s notable for.
Every part of the game requires you to go out and search for specific items to help build the Dynamo for your uncle. Many of these items often lead to you discovering new abilities that help you obtain the next item that lies ahead. So, for example, in the early portion of the main story, you don’t really have much in terms of special powers, but as you scour and traverse through each stage thoroughly, you’ll find a plethora of them cleverly hidden in various areas. It kind of works in a process of “If A is obtained then B can open up” and it encourages you to backtrack in order to find other items that may be of use later on. Speaking of backtracking, in Shantae Half-Genie Hero, this perhaps plays the most integral role in the entire game because there are so many things you’ll overlook while playing, and there are times where you need those abilities to even reach them. We love that concept because it trains you to really pay close attention to your surroundings as you play, so that way you can take mental notes of where to return once you’ve obtained those special abilities.
Some abilities have similar attributes for example the Crab and the Mermaid. Both can swim underwater but what gives them each a distinctive trait is just ‘how’ they’re used. The crab ability allows you to jump high underwater and sort of glide as you traverse from platform to platform. You can also obtain a secondary ability that lets you chop down seaweed to obtain secret items, or to unlock new areas for further exploration. The Mermaid differs in that she can’t jump underwater but she can maneuver herself in ways the Crab cannot, for example getting over very high walls which the Crab cannot due to the limited height of the jump. So being able to flip back and forth between your abilities becomes more compulsory the deeper you explore the game. If you don’t want to work hard for your abilities and just have them readily available off the bat, that’s where the Hero Mode comes in.
It’s no different than the main campaign other than the fact that you retain all of the abilities, so perhaps this mode is for those who just want to play through the game without all the excessive grinding. We honestly love the exploration aspect because it really gives the game more depth, and it encourages you to keep a focused mind about where things are located. We often found ourselves flummoxed because we never took note of just where items were located, and so, a lot of time was wasted backtracking to the wrong areas. So one word of advice is first, speak to the locals regularly in town as they give you hints as to where certain things are located. You can also visit the Bath House in town to get a free hint should your brain decide to take a vacation.
Honey's Gameplay Consensus:
Overall, Shantae Half-Genie Hero: Ultimate Edition is truly the ultimate platformer experience. This is Shantae at her very best and you can clearly see that time and effort were put in to ensure that this game delivered on all accounts. Not only does the game immerse you with its captivating soundtrack and stunning visuals, but it’s depth and difficulty often provide a very stimulating ordeal that leaves you hungry for more each time. Once you’re done with the main story, all you’ll want to do is play the rest of the modes out and see just what they have to offer. We’ll let you dive into those modes for yourself but we’ll definitely say that you’ll come out of it all with a big smile because that’s just what Shantae does. There’s not one major flaw that comes to mind which is rare for a platformer since there tends to be some miscalculation in some area of the game. The bug where players could fly through an entire stage without having to deal with any enemies for speedrunning was patched out in this version, and so once again you’re getting a completely fresh package. All we ask is that you play it and enjoy it as much as we did, and leave your comments down below!
Incredibly stunning detail to character animations and level design.
Soundtrack for this game is brilliant.
Tons and tons of hours to be poured into the game if you’re into speedrunning, or a total completionist.
The ultimate Edition is well illustrated.
May be a bit tough for some who aren’t used to platformers.
Honey's Final Verdict:
Out of all the modes in Ultimate Edition we really enjoyed Ninja Mode because it plays totally different from the typical Shantae experience. You still get the bubbly and charming appeal of Shantae but she feels more badass in her Ninja outfit which is a plus. We still love her original outfit though! Be sure to follow us on Twitter to stay up to date on all the latest gaming news, reviews and more from Japan. Don’t forget to follow us also on Twitch to know when we go live with some awesome titles from awesome companies! Shoutouts to the team at WayForward for their spectacular job and XSEED Games for always showing us the love!
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Author: Rob "NualphaJPN" B.
A passionate fan of gaming, writing, journalism, anime, and philosophy. I've lived in Japan for many years and consider this place to be my permanent home. I love to travel around Japan and learn about the history and culture! Leave a comment if you enjoy my articles and watch me play on twitch.tv/honeysgaming ! Take care!