Retro Game Friday: Shantae

Michael Blaker
Game Industry News is running the best blog posts from people writing about the game industry. Articles here may originally appear on Michael's blog, Windborne's Story Eatery.
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This week for Retro Game Friday I’m covering a really obscure classic. It’s Shantae!

Plot Synopsis: A gang of pirates, the Tinkerbats, led by Risky Boots, attacks Scuttle Town and steals a prototype steam engine from Mimic, the town’s resident treasure hunter. Mimic tells Shantae, the guardian of Scuttle Town, that if Risky retrieves four magical “elemental stones”, she could power up the steam engine and create an unstoppable weapon out of it. Shantae travels across Sequin Land, determined to retrieve the steam engine and the elemental stones and stop Risky.

Plot: Look this isn’t a game that has an amazing plot, but it was fun to play.

Gameplay: Shantae was reminiscent of Banjo-Kazooie for me. Though not quite as good as Banjo-Kazooie, it allowed Shantae to transform into various forms like an Elephant or Monkey. This was a platformer through and through and while it wasn’t especially amazing, it was enough to gain a following, albeit a bit of a cult following. The game was obscured by the launch of the GameBoy Advance and since this was on the GameBoy Color it didn’t receive quite enough attention.

Art: The art is fully 2D, which is good because it’s aged pretty well since 2002.

Music: Don’t remember a whit, if I ever even listened to it. Remember that I played my portable games while traveled when I was younger so having the music on wasn’t really looked on kindly.

Overall: This was a fun game, if somewhat lacking in plot.

For those who like: Platformers, Transformations, Middle Eastern Mythologies, Great Gameplay, Good Artwork.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above.

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