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View Full Version : Shantae the Review!


TToB
06-27-2002, 01:03 PM
Shantae (http://www.ac-coredump.net/images/surprise/ShantaeTToB.jpg) puts you in control of the self appointed half Genie guardian of the seaside burg of Scuttle Town. Your job is to protect Scuttle Town and subsequently the neighboring towns that make up Sequin Land from the devious machinations of dread she-pirate Risky Boots (http://www.ac-coredump.net/images/surprise/RisqueKids.gif).

The game opens with Risky launching a surprise attack on your unsuspecting house early one morning. She's come to Scuttle Town, Tinkerbats in tow, to steal the relic hunter Mimic's latest find - A steam engine. The attack on your house should orient you with the rudimentary game play survival mechanism, RUNNING FOR YOUR LIFE!!!!

You won't save the steam engine. If you did, it would make for one short game.

So what to do now that Ms. Boots has the steam engine? Seek out the four magical relics that will provide infinite unnatural power for said steam engine. These relics are hidden in labyrinth, or dungeons, spread throughout Sequin Land.

The game structure is broken down into three basic sections.

- The towns, where you can buy items, save your game, restore your health at a Bath House (which are generally run by cute scantily clad ladies), earn extra money through erotic dance, gambling, or other means.

- The ring world, these are basic action levels between towns and labyrinths. Until you learn the Warp Dances, your primary means of transportation is huffing it on foot. You'll encounter monsters, find hidden items, money and health out in the ring world. There are also sections of the ring world that can only be reached or accessed once you obtain a new ability later in the game. Similar to Castlevania Symphony of the Night or the Metroid series.

- The labyrinths. These are the peril filled houses of the magic relics. Monsters, traps and puzzles are strewn throughout these levels. You'll also encounter real genies that have become trapped in these labyrinths by some method or other. Upon freeing them, you will learn how to shake your money-maker in a fashion that will transform you into an animal form. Sort of like the Wonder Twins, only not twins, and there's no need for some contrived water based plot element.

Finding the magical relics aren't as easy as walking up to them and grabbing them. No sir! The labyrinth also holds certain death for unwary players. You will have to battle against a boss to obtain the relic. Most of the bosses will require you to make use of the Animal Dance you've learned to avoid being dealt damage by said boss.

Your basic attack is the standing hair whip. You use Shantae's ample top knot to knock some sense into foes. You can also jump and crouch whilst whipping about your hair about like that scary bassist from Metallica, before he became all sensitive and in touch with his inner child.

To prevent split ends, you can purchase Fighter's Gear from the item shop in Water Town. There are four items, which function in pairs allowing you to modify these new attacks, and will not work unless you buy the controlling item first. The Fighter's Boot allows you to perform a Spin Kick. The Fighter's Sash allows you to perform a drill kick out of the spin kick. The Fighter's Cuff will allow you to unleash a devastating elbow dash to make Andy Bogard blush. The Fighter's Tiara will allow you to perform a lethal leaping pirouette out of the elbow dash.

Shake your money-maker, the return on this is good! (http://www.ac-coredump.net/images/surprise/TTOB022102.jpg)

Dancing for fun and profit. You can earn extra gems by going to the Scuttle Town dance parlor after dark. There are five dance classes of progressive difficulty. Dance well and the audience will shower you with money. There's a minimum success requirement to earn money in the dances. If you don't miss a beat, you'll get a bonus to your earnings.

Dance to survive! As mentioned earlier, you will learn Animal Dances. These allow you to take the form of a monkey with the ability to climb walls, an elephant with the power to smash obstacles, a spider with the ability to climb walls, and a harpy which will allow you to fly (and incidentally controls just like a Joust ostrich). These animal forms will allow you to reach places you could not reach before or travel without impediment. By default you will not be able to attack in most animal forms, so you will need to seek out the talismans hidden in the game which will enable you to defend yourself from attack whilst in animal form.

There are also Warp Dances which will allow you to transport yourself to the gates of a particular town in times of crisis.

There are also two hidden dances which are best lest to discovering yourself.

In addition to all that there are various power up items, with a one time usage that you can stock up on in the shops. Some of these items will be required to access some of the puzzles in the game, so stock up!

The game is made for the Gameboy Color, but I played on the Gameboy Advance. Doing such enhances the already stunning visuals of the game, and will allow you to find one of the two hidden dances mentioned above.

Graphically, Shantae is amazing! For a non-franchise title this game just reeks of quality. The range of expression Matt Bozon and company have imbued their characters with will astonish you. How can you so thoroughly express sadness, fear, doubt, shock, and joy on a character that's just a little under half an inch in height?! This is due partially to the vibrant anime influenced visual design of the characters. Allowing them to communicate in the common tongue of visual symbolism. Shantae, Risky Boots, Rotty Tops (http://www.ac-coredump.net/images/surprise/kiddyROTTY.gif), Sky, Mimic, Bolo, incidental characters, monsters, and bosses all have an amazing range of expression. If I recall the staff roll properly, all of this animation is the handiwork of a single person!

The environments are best described as lush. Forests, corn fields, pyramids, tombs and pirate ships to name a few. All are filled with vibrant colors and immersing background details. Some levels also make impressive use of lighting effects on your sprite, hiding in the shadows for example, or walking under an overhanging ledge in certain areas will cloak Shantae in shadows. There's also a neat steam effect later on in the game. Oh I forgot to mention that the time of day also changes in the game. During the day everything is brightly lit (gripes about the GBA screen aside) and after dark everything is cast in a bluish shadow. During the night the defensive abilities of the monsters rises, making dispensing them a bit more challenging.

There is a little visual glitch here and there, but good outweighs the bad by far. So far it makes me sick!!!

The control is spot on. There was never a time where I yelled in frustration because of a control problem. Any time I died it was due to my own indiscretion or lack of caution.

The music in the game also fits quite well. It's mostly upbeat Arabian Nights style tunes. It sets the mood. I would have liked some more variety in the Dance Parlor music, but we're talking about a game designed for the Gameboy Color, so of course the audio selection will be somewhat limited. There is also an odd transition at times when you interrupt the stage music and enter dance mode, when the music switches. It sometimes misses it a beat. It's nothing terribly distracting, but a pain in a pinch.

Hard core game enthusiasts may breeze through this game in a few hours. It's really not overly difficult. The puzzles are logical and fun to solve, take note other developers. The enemies and bosses are pattern based just like "the good old days". A pinch of caution will get you through this game without a continue.

There will be no arbitrary numbers assigned to this game. I'll simply suggest you run out and secure yourself a copy now. This is one of the best games on the Gameboy Color and may suffer an undeserving fate due to it's parent platform and the paring back of Gameboy Color software at most brick and mortar retailers. Go to your game store and demand Shantae!

It's inspired me to draw lots and lots of hentai and non-H fan art, with more in the chamber. Which is the highest compliment I can rightly give a game. :p

There is plenty of room left for a sequel and I do hope to enjoy this half-genies company more often in the future. I would like more use of the recreational dances. A similar graphic styling. I feel that more color depth or detail would detract greatly from the visual elegance of the game. I'd also like to see some of the more abusable aspects of the game toned down, padding out your extra women through 1up abuse for example. ;)

Why are you still here? GO BUY SHANTAE, FOO!!!! ;)

Vicviper
06-27-2002, 02:41 PM
Wow! That is some review. It almost makes me want to look into this GB game.

TToB
06-27-2002, 07:15 PM
Excellent! I hope you'll enjoy it.

I'm thinking of picking up Wario GBA next.

Kid0_oIcarus
06-28-2002, 11:35 AM
I liked the pictures. I thought they were cute.

But this be a GB, game you say?

Eh. I don't like how they stick out of the GBA- looking all weird and lame.

jack123
03-10-2010, 12:28 AM
before involving in make money from home ad, learn about the company behind the site reviews.
If the company behind the website request you to tell them your bank info so you ought to think more.
A lawful paid survey must not require bank information.

Alucard
03-10-2010, 12:58 AM
oh wow

Sinful Sam
03-10-2010, 01:20 AM
indeed. :8):

zechin
03-10-2010, 01:50 AM
what the.

Seraph
03-10-2010, 11:01 AM
Shantae sounds like a really good game that went under the radar when it was released.

Some day when I own a DSi I will get the sequel coming out.

Beam
03-10-2010, 04:20 PM
who dug this up???

Sinful Sam
03-10-2010, 09:14 PM
Some noob fag

Vicviper
03-10-2010, 11:07 PM
8 years later and I still don't own Shantae. I did hear it was a good game from other sources but still never bit.