So I recently played through Shantae 1/2 Genie Hero, big thanks to The Gaming Ground for hooking me up with this game, and I thought I’d review it here. So, what is Shantae: Half Genie Hero, you might ask? It’s a platformer that plays similar to the Megaman X, ZX and ZX Advent series. Run, jump and hair whip your way through six stages of various enemies in Shante’s newest adventure (or Shovel Knight for those of you who never played a Megaman X, ZX or ZX Advent game in your lives).

shantae 12 genie hero

What? You thought that hair was for show?

So, pirates attack Shantae’s home town, the mayor got fed up with Shante not dealing with them permanently and gets a replacement 1/2 genie to take over in her place. Fortunately, Shantae’s uncle is working on a device that will keep pirates from harming the people of Scuttle Town.  With another 1/2 genie taking care of the town, Shantae goes on a fetch quest to find the items to help finish her uncle’s dynamo to protect the town. And that’s a lot of what Shantae: 1/2 Genie Hero boils down to.

While the main game itself reminds me of the Megaman X, ZX and Advent series, after you complete a level, you can easily return to it, and, in fact, you have to if you want the good ending, or are a completionist. Thankfully, it’s not hard to get all the items. As it just requires some patience to have the right ability. Considering the amount of “fetching” going on and the required replays of levels to get everything, it ends up being more like Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia than anything else.

It’s not too big of an issue over-all, just something that I noticed. As for the gameplay, it’s very solid for a platformer, running, jumping and maneuvering feels super tight and there’s no input lag at all, save where it’s intentional, such as when you’re flying.

shantae 12 genie hero jump like crazy

Don’t fall in! It’ll take HOURS to dry your hair out!

Shantae, being a 1/2 genie, has magic powers, transformation abilities and other skills that she can get throughout the game to help her on her way. Thankfully transforming is just a simple press of the button and push in the direction of the dance you want to perform, and you change. It does take you out of the immersion somewhat, but it is a nice way to utilize transformation. It’s not really that difficult of a game. If you fall down a pit or hit spikes, you’re just booted back to the last door you came out of when you entered the room with a little life loss. Nevertheless, it´s still a lot easier than what Megaman goes through.

Most of the bosses are large and offer interesting puzzles to figure out (how to defeat them), not just “whip it good until it dies”.

shantae 12 genie hero risky boots

Risky doesn’t like it when people call her boat the P.O.O.P.T.O.O.T.

Though some bosses are a lot of fun for one reason or another, for example, the Mermaid Queen. As her boobs are as big as Shantae is :3

shantae 12 genie hero boobs

“After I free you, I’m taking you home and using your boobs as my new bed!”.

There’s lots of power ups that  you can buy throughout the game. A bikini outfit which cuts damage in half, constantly upgrade your bubble shield until it completely protects you from all harm, health and even an explosion spell. If you managed to get all 10 gallery keys, you don’t even need health items anymore, the only spells you need are health, level 3 bubble shield and explosion magic, congratulations, you’re now invincible when not transformed, so have fun cakewalking the game. Thankfully, that is very late in the game, so it doesn’t matter over-all.

Sadly enough though, the game has a ton of filler, which forces you to replay previous levels to find items to give to the right people so that you can advance the story. While it is true that you’re trying to help your uncle build a dynamo to help protect the port town, it feels a bit forced, like the game goes “okay, you go do the fetch quest while we try to figure out what happens next in the plot”.

shantae 12 genie hero good vs evil

You will meet quite a few old friends and enemies in “Shantae 1/2 Genie Hero”, and some new ones as well.

Without it though, the game would be way too short. Even if you 100% the game’s first playthrough, it will take less than eight hours to find and do everything. Graphically the game is gorgeous. All HD platformers should aspire to be as close to Shantae as possible in the fidelity department. Never any frame slowdown rates, very smooth while playing. The tiny platforms that some of the stages had, left me annoyed, along with the disappearing blocks, but still.

Furthermore, WHAT WAS THE DEAL WITH THAT TROPHY?! “Jump jump slide slide” ARRRRGH! Sorry, Megaman 8 flashbacks. You know, that horrible, horrible, horrible section? *Ahem* Anyway, 1/2 Genie Hero has a great foundation, lots of humor in the story, the graphics are amazing for a 2D platformer. My only real complaints are that the game turns into a glorified fetch quest, the fact that the animal transformations don’t come with their attacks built in and it just adds to the feeling of padding.

Nevertheless, all in all “Shantae: Half-Genie Hero” is a really fun Shantae title, and I would recommend it to anyone who loves adventure/platform games in general.

Pros:
+ Great art style
+ Fairly funny
+ Tight control

Cons:
– Becomes a glorified fetch quest
– Said fetch quest doesn’t always make sense why you’re collecting the items
– Very short game.

Gameplay: 4/5
Graphics: 4/5
Sound: 4/5
Controls: 5/5
Replay Value: 4/5

tgg grade 4.5 out of 5

Verdict: 4.5/5
WayForward´s Shantae: 1/2 Genie Hero is a fun game that may be on the short side, but it’s worth your time playing. Besides, Shantae’s voice actress (Cristina Vee) sings this awesome song. So, HIT IT!

Title: Shantae: Half-Genie Hero
Developer: WayForward Technologies
Format: PS4
Genre: Adventure/Platformer
Resolution: Standard
Release date: 2016-12-20
Difficulty: Normal
Spent time: 10 hours
Average grade internationally: 81:41% Gamerankings.com
PEGI age rating: 12
Price: 19.99$ USD via PSN

Credit:
Robin Ek – Editor

***Disclosure***
The review code was provided by Wayforward.

tgg author avatar Phil Weigel
Phil Weigel
The Gaming Ground
Twitter: @SilverScarCat

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