Shantae 1/2 Genie Hero is the 4th in a platforming series that I was slow to play, but quick to love. Made by Wayforward Games - who are obviously cool... brings us back to Scuttle Town as a sleepy Shantae hears a voice warning her of coming danger. Being the hero that she is, when that danger comes around she jumps right in to save the day.
Half genie, Full fun.
This entry into the series has a new HD graphics styling that looks great while having tight controls like games of the past. This allows you to hair-whip baddies as easily as Shantae wiggles her hips. Characters you find are steeped in equal parts charm and comedy. The music is also nothing to overlook as it saturates each location into a character of its own.
Speaking of the game mechanically... apart from the standard fair of running, jumping, and whipping - you have magic spells to use which can be unlocked from shops. Another component is discovering Shantae's "Genie Dances" which allow her to transform herself into different animal forms. These give her key abilities to access different parts of the level, akin to suits in Mario or relics in Castlevania. Well... except with more cute. LOTS OF CUTE.
OMG so cute!
As for the difficulty of the game, I'd say it ranges from easy to moderate - as some parts change formats into time-sensitive running or carefully timing jumps between emerging blocks ala Heat-Man. Some people might find this really hard, (yes I'm talking to you KEVIN) but with just a few tries you'll be on your way. Finding a few of the secret items will take the longest time if you're going for completion. Boss fights are a challenge but very fun. If anything, I wish there were more.
When it comes to available platforms, you can choose from many flavors! Coming out for PC, Xbox One, PS4, psVita, and even WiiU... gives you plenty of opportunities to pick up this adorable game. If you get a physical launch copy, it even comes with a Soundtrack CD which is totally worth listening to. I snagged it for psVita because I believe in WORLD PEACE.
Shantae for World Peace~ year 20xx
Playtime for the game I'd guess is about 10 hours for a first play through - provided you want to discover 100% of the items. My personal time was just over 14 hours, but I was particularly stuck finding a few of the secret items. I also spent plenty of time shaking it out in Shantae's Jug form around town. After you complete the game you can unlock a "new game plus" type option where you restart the game with all of her genie dances unlocked. Replay will be greatly extended in the future, since there is going to be a whopping 4 additional characters to play as! Also, its just so fun to play through... I half completed the game again while writing this up.
Shantae half genie hero fits right in with great platformer games that came before it. Cemented with solid mechanics, vibrant visuals, great music and likable characters... if you are a fan of the genre or of games at all, you should give this genie a ride.