Although Shantae has turn out to be a mainstay lately, it wasn’t too way back that this franchise was scarcely greater than a distinct segment curiosity. The unique Shantae was an indie sport in a time earlier than indie video games have been in vogue, and its launch on the very finish of the Recreation Boy Shade’s lifespan didn’t do it any favors in garnering a fanbase. It will be practically a decade earlier than Shantae can be given one other lease of life on the DSiWare service in Shantae: Dangerous’s Revenge, which has now been ported ahead to the Swap as a Director’s Lower. Ten years on, Dangerous’s Revenge is definitely starting to indicate its age—particularly in comparison with the later entries that are additionally accessible on the Swap—nevertheless it’s nonetheless a remarkably well-built expertise that captures the collection’ distinctive id effectively.
The story picks up with the annual Relic Hunter Expo, through which Shantae’s Uncle Mimic inadvertently finds an outdated magical lamp onstage earlier than the attendees. Shortly thereafter, Dangerous Boots arrives on the scene aboard her residing pirate ship and spirits the lamp away, whereas dropping some cryptic hints of her nefarious plans for it. Thus kicks off a tense race in opposition to time through which Shantae should discover and procure the three magic seals hidden throughout Sequin Land which may unlock the lamp’s energy, and she or he should do that earlier than Dangerous can get them and enact her eponymous revenge.
As has turn out to be the norm for this collection, the plot is hardly the main target, however that doesn’t essentially imply that it’s to be ignored both. Although the bigger beats of the story are about as rote as they will presumably get, it’s the personalities of the characters and the amusing interactions they’ve with one another that instills the world with a lot charisma. For instance, your ‘key’ to enter the primary dungeon just isn’t an precise key, however a tasty meal ready for the dungeon’s ultimate boss, who enables you to in as a result of he’s hungry. After he scarfs it down, he decides to stiff Shantae on the ‘invoice’ (the primary of the seals she’s searching for) earlier than working away to his chamber. It’s frequent moments like these which remind you that the plot seldom takes itself too significantly, however this kind of goofy levity is what provides the world and its characters their alluring edge.
Dangerous’s Revenge performs out like a typical Metroidvania, with you having an enormous, gated 2D map to discover which is dotted with upgrades, collectibles, and a handful of dungeons to navigate. Finishing dungeons and different goals will see Shantae receiving boosts to her well being and assaults, together with a handful of animal transformations which grant her entry to new areas. The monkey kind, for instance, provides her a stronger soar and lets her climb partitions, whereas the mermaid permits for larger underwater motion.
Upgrades are doled out moderately shortly, with you having the choice to purchase mainly all however the animal transformations at a store on the town. Given the relative ease of coping with enemies, nonetheless, the extra boons supplied up by the store can typically really feel a bit like overkill, stripping quite a lot of problem from fight which isn’t all that difficult to start with. Nonetheless, it’s powerful to be upset with the number of playstyles current in Dangerous’s Revenge, and WayForward did a superb job of increasing on the gameplay it had established with the primary Shantae.
In comparison with that debut launch, the extent design has additionally obtained fairly an improve, though this proves to be a double-edged sword. The world is extra intricate than earlier than and options loads of curiosities to reward completionists, however its further measurement is handicapped a bit by a bizarre map that doesn’t do a lot that will help you with remembering factors of curiosity for later. Worse but, there isn’t a map in any respect if you go into any of the dungeons, which may result in some moments of frustration if, say, you’re lacking a key to a door and haven’t any technique of understanding the place it may very well be or the place you haven’t checked but. It’s by no means too troublesome to seek out the best method once more, however such points are likely to take a number of the enjoyment out of exploration.
For essentially the most half, Dangerous’s Revenge is the sport you keep in mind from the DSi all these years again, however the Director’s Lower brings with it some welcome enhancements to offer this model that additional little bit of worth. For one factor, the quick journey system has obtained a much-needed repair, which makes it far simpler to zip from one finish of Sequin Land to the subsequent with minimal trouble. There’s additionally a brand new ‘Magic Mode’ which acts as a kind of New Recreation Plus whereby Shantae has enhanced magical skills, however takes extra injury. Neither of those new additions are precisely sport changers, however they do add some significant content material to assist spherical out a number of the rougher edges of the unique expertise.
When it comes to presentation, Dangerous’s Revenge is precisely the sport you keep in mind it being on DSi, which might be each a superb and unhealthy factor: good in that the sprite work and environmental design is legitimately wonderful and rife with element; unhealthy in that it doesn’t scale effectively to trendy HD shows. The default show with borders is okay, nevertheless it blows the picture up so you’ll be able to see each pixel in all its low-res glory. Stretching the picture or displaying within the unique decision are each further choices, however neither proves to be worthwhile for prolonged play. The show difficulty couldn’t actually be sidestepped with out completely remaking the sport’s visuals, so it’s powerful to fault the builders for happening the route that they’ve, however simply remember that Dangerous’s Revenge is quite clearly a sport made for a handheld in 2010.
As you will have gleaned from the evaluation to this point, maybe the best difficulty that Dangerous’s Revenge faces is that it hasn’t aged gracefully in comparison with its friends. It’s not that the core expertise right here has modified in any respect or grown worse, however the latter entries within the collection—that are additionally accessible on Swap—additional refined and improved upon many of the concepts that appeared right here, which set the bar that a lot greater. Going again to this earlier launch continues to be fulfilling, then, however the easier and extra rough-cut nature of the general expertise makes it harder to suggest over its brethren. The cheaper value definitely helps to offset this perceived imbalance in high quality, however simply remember earlier than taking the plunge that there are higher Shantae video games which you can additionally purchase to your Swap.
Shantae: Dangerous’s Revenge – Director’s Lower nonetheless holds up moderately effectively, providing up a mid-length Metroidvania expertise with loads of charming dialogue, secrets and techniques to uncover, and enemies to furiously whip with lengthy purple hair. That being mentioned, it’s additionally starting to indicate its age, with a bizarre map system and extra simplistic gameplay retaining it considerably held again previously. It is nonetheless a simple suggestion when you’re a fan of Shantae or are searching for an affordable entry into the franchise, however we’d additionally suggest that you simply first look into one of many different entries on Swap to see which is most best for you.