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Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse Review (Nintendo Switch)

Everyone’s favourite scantily-dressed, ass-kicking genie returns in this Nintendo Switch re-release of a classic action platformer. We’ve fallen in love all over again with Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse

Switch owners are getting a double dose of Shantae love in 2018. As well as Half Genie Hero, which lands in April, the purple-haired protagonist is also hitting that small screen in a fresh release of Pirate’s Curse.

This game was originally made for Nintendo’s 3DS console (as well as the Wii U), so a port to the Switch seems perfectly logical. We’re certainly pleased to see Pirate’s Curse relaunched, as it’s probably the strongest entry in the series.

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Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse: Silly shenanigans

To even attempt to explain this game’s basic plot would probably result in a flurry of raised eyebrows. Shantae is living a simple life as a human, when her old arch-nemesis Risky Boots pops up and captures her in a rather bizarre bathtub trap. Turns out that Risky’s troops are being turned into (even more) hideous creatures, by the dark magic of the Pirate Master. And so Shantae and Risky Boots must team up and tour various islands, in search of answers.

The story is of course completely tongue-in-cheek, as series fans will already know. For instance, the first boss fight against Ammo Baron ends prematurely when it turns out his evil deeds are actually perfectly legal. You see, the town he happens to be tearing apart now belongs to him, after the mayor sold it to satisfy his sugar habit. The silly sod.

Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse: Genie-us gameplay

As well as plenty of snort-worthy one-liners, Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse serves up some challenging yet satisfying platforming action. Each island offers unique landscapes and enemies to battle through. You’ll also encounter some brain teasers on occasion, which usually require a bit of exploration and NPC interaction to figure out.

As you progress, you’ll upgrade your abilities and develop new skills. These can help you to reach previously inaccessible areas, which means Pirate’s Curse often has the ‘Metroidvania’ tag thrown at it. There are certainly plenty of gameplay comparisons with those classic titles, not to mention other Switch games such as Steamworld Dig. However, Shantae offers a cartoony vibe that’s closer to the Metal Slug titles, as well as that progressive open world exploration.

This port also includes the ‘Shantae Nab’ mini-game. This is a strangely addictive retro-style arcade game, which can boost your coffers. All you have to do is leap between two trees to grab the floating coins in between. You’ll have to evade the enemies however, while a single miss means game over. We managed a high score of 61, so try beating that one.

Action fans should definitely pick up Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse for Nintendo Switch. This fun-packed platformer delivers a lot of enjoyment, not to mention some serious belly laughs.

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