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Score: 60%
ESRB: Everyone
Publisher: Capcom
Developer: WayForward
Media: Cart/1
Players: 1
Genre: Miscellaneous

Graphics & Sound:

Considering the game is about a half-genie that hits things with her ponytail, Shantae definitely wasn't going to have super realistic graphics, but that's not to say they weren't good however. The graphics in Shantae are definitely bright, colorful, and fun to look at. The characters are large and well animated, and the use of color was excellent. The audio was definitely a nice plus in this game as well. The sound effects were crisp and natural, and the music was definitely creepy where necessary, but also bright and bouncy when appropriate. The Game Boy Advance enhancements are a double-edged sword, unfortunately. While it does make the picture look sharper and adds a few bells and whistles (stuff like scrolling backgrounds), the sound seems to suffer from some occasional static when you play it on the GBA.


While the gameplay definitely has a few interesting twists to it, this is still a 2-D platformer at heart; the basic idea is nothing new. You run around, hopping and jumping as you try to kill the various baddies without dying. There is also an exploration aspect to the game as you try to find various items that will make you more powerful. The biggest twist is the dancing. Dancing is mainly used for changing forms and warping around. Oh yes, did I mention the different forms? As you progress, you'll gain access to different forms. Each form has its own abilities and some are required to get to certain areas, but I'm sure you already assumed that. You can also buy new fighting techniques in Water Town that allow you to chain certain attack together. Unfortunately, most of these attacks send you flying off in a direction. I probably got hit more from doing attacks than anything else. Despite all these interesting things, the game can still get terribly repetitive. While much of the game is fun, the spaces of time when you are walking between two towns for the seventh or eighth time will tempt you to just put it down and never look back.


There is really nothing more than the usual pattern-memorizing challenge of most platform games. The two biggest factors that affect difficulty are the number of hearts you have found and how many potions you carry. The game can be pretty difficult until you find your first heart or two. One of the most annoying things is that when you perform one of your fighting techniques from Water Town, the collision detection is very poor. More often than not, you end up getting hurt rather than damaging an enemy.

Game Mechanics:

You got your basic platformer controls here. The digital pad moves you up, down, left, and right. Start brings you to your menu. The A button jumps, and the B button attacks/runs. The only thing of real interest in the controls department is the select button that brings you into Dance mode. Once in Dance mode, you press the various other buttons to perform certain dance moves. To perform once of the game's transformations or warps, you simply perform the correct dance moves in order. The way the game handles saving, however, is probably one of the biggest drawbacks. They could have easily made this one savable from anywhere, but they decided to make you use save points. This can get really frustrating when you are in one of those terribly boring points walking through an area for the tenth time and you just wanna stop playing. You not only simply can't take it and turn it off, but because you didn't save, you may not bother coming back.

While Shantae is definitely beautiful, quirky, and fun, there are a few gameplay elements that can make it a real chore just to stick with it.

-Alucard, GameVortex Communications
AKA Stephen Triche

Nintendo GameBoy Advance Super Ghouls 'N Ghosts Sony PlayStation 2 Rocket Power: Beach Bandits

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