Shantae: Risky’s Revenge is the second game in the Shantae series and the Director’s Cut version was recently re-released on Nintendo Switch, PC, and Xbox One from WayForward. They were kind enough to send me a copy of the game on the Nintendo Switch and it’s fun for the most part. You can play Shantae: Risky’s Revenge – Director’s Cut now on Nintendo Switch, PC, and Xbox One for $9.99.
An upgraded version of the second game in the Shantae series, Shantae: Risky’s Revenge – Director’s Cut once again puts players in control of Shantae, the Half-Genie heroine, who’s on a quest to thwart her archenemy, the dastardly lady pirate Risky Boots. Shantae’s mission will take her to a variety of environments (including deserts, forests, and undersea caverns) where she’ll learn numerous abilities, encounter outlandish NPCs, and confront the sinister Barons of Sequin Land.
Loading up the game, it feels like a Shantae game. I’ve only played the latest entry, Shantae and the Seven Sirens, but I felt very much at home playing the game. It’s a 2-D platformer with some old visuals. The graphics look like they were pulled from a Game Boy Advance (the game originally launched as DSiWare) in a 4:3 format. You can adjust things slightly to also be a 16:9 format, but then the game looks a little stretched in my opinion. In the 4:3 format, you can have either black bars on either side or have more interesting backgrounds fill the gaps. I prefer the latter. I was honestly kind of hoping for a less pixely look, but it’s not terrible and does have its own charm.
One really cool thing about the game is that it’s a 2D platformer, but WayForward was clever in their overworld by creating a fake 3D feel with areas having the potential to be layered. You can then move between the layers to create a forward and backward movement in addition to the traditional left and right and down and up movement. It’s a little thing that helps the game feel a lot bigger. Kudos to them on this design choice.
Probably my big complaint has to do with bosses. At the time of writing, I’ve only finished one dungeon and defeated one boss. The big problem is that there were no indications as to how damaged the boss was. The first several times I fought the boss it took forever and was extremely discouraging because I would hit them a lot, but nothing changed. Their sprite was the same, their tactics were the same, and there wasn’t a health bar to keep track. I never knew how close I was to winning until my final attempt that seemed to take a lot less time than some of my previous attempts.
Overall, if you like Shantae or 2D platformers, I would recommend picking up Risky’s Revenge. It’s pretty cheap, but is sure to be hours of fun.