Reviews

Shantae Risky’s Revenge Director’s Cut PS4 Review: Shake, Senora!


Shantae: Risky’s Revenge was one of the best reasons to buy Nintendo’s DSi system half a decade ago. Now, its available on a larger amount of platforms as Way Forward has expanded outside of developing for Nintendo handhelds exclusively. Risky’s Revenge has landed on the PS4 for the price of $9.99 and if you’re itching for a Metroid-like experience with a lot of charm, then Shantae could be a great game to kill time between other releases.

That isn’t to say that Shantae can’t pull you away from the Bloodbornes and Arkham Knights of the world, its a worth while experience with little to complain about.

Players control Shantae, a belly-dancing half-genie who can transform into different animals by belly-dancing. Its an hilariously silly concept that will draw fans in just by how odd it is. The overall game is a mix of Metroid like exploration and platforming. While you start out with little health, Risky’s Revenge is far from a difficult game. There will be some moments where you get your genie butt handed to you but that will be because you’re learning the attack patterns of new enemies, of which there is a good variety.

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Sometimes you may find yourself lost. The game does drop hints as to what you should do next via NPC dialogue but it isn’t always clear where you should go. Need to buy an item from an NPC? Another NPC will gladly tell you to visit this character, they just won’t tell you where to go in great detail. This isn’t a huge hurdle, just a minor gripe that doesn’t happen often.

Visually, the game looks just like it did on the DSi, blown up to run in glorious 1080p on your TV. You can stretch the game out to fit the whole screen or put borders on it, the way I liked playing it. The art style is top notch, one of the reasons why Way Forward is so loved by fans. Character art in dialogue is particularly nice as a break from the rest of the pixel-based art.

The music is a delight as well. There are several noteworthy tunes (I’m fond of the tune that plays when you’re at a shop) that will stick with you after your time with the game is done. This isn’t a surprise either because of Way Forward’s pedigree.

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That appears to be the theme with this review I’m writing. Way Forward displays all of their strengths in Risky’s Revenge. Their talent for crafting 2D adventures, wonderful art and fantastic music come together to form an inspiring package for modern indie developers. Way Forward has been pushing out games with solid gameplay for over a decade but that isn’t what makes their titles special, at least not that alone. Its the overall package, the extra polish of personality and one-of-a-kindness that makes Shantae, and Way Forward’s games as a whole, so very special.

Final Thoughts

Shantae Risky's Revenge is a solid buy for fans of Metroid-vania games. While it doesn't offer a whole lot over the original version aside from 1080p and trophies, you'd be hard pressed to find a better adventure for $10 or less on PSN. Review copy provided by Way Forward.

Overall Score 85%