Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse (PS4) Review

No genies included.

How many Shantae games are out there now? Three? Four? A decent amount for sure. Yet how many people would know what Shantae is if I approached them on the street? Sadly, probably not a ton. For whatever reason, the franchise has never seemed to gain mass appeal. That said, it’s great to see WayForward continuing the franchise, because they offer a lot of fun, heart and great retro inspired gameplay. The PS4 version is no slouch either.

Having a curse cast upon your land isn’t an everyday thing, but when Shantae knows what she is up against, now being human as well… she also knows she needs help from her arch nemesis Risky Boots. It’s then up to the duo to stop the impending doom, and provides players with more reasons than ever to go on another 2d adventure (as if that wasn’t enough of a reason).


MSRP: $14.99
Price I’d Pay: $14.99
Multiplayer: N/A
How long to beat: 7+ hours

The core gameplay in Shantae remains as it always has, a beautiful platforming game that has lots of exploration and fighting. It is heavily inspired and reminiscent of The Legend of Zelda 2. The same style of world exploration, which leads to dungeons, and big bosses. It of course also feels like those other two games Metroid something and vania yada, yada… but I’m sure players have heard that term a ton, so I’ll spare its reference any further.

The narrative is light hearted, silly, and humorous at times with various characters they run into. The world is vibrant and colorful. The soundtrack is fantastic and upbeat. Whenever a game such as this channels back to the best of what the Super Nintendo had to offer, I can’t complain. It’s both nostalgic and welcome to see these games released, even in this day of huge sprawling photo realistic sprawling adventures.

There ares a few issues with the game, but they will definitely will apply to people differently. For one, it’s a bit easy to get lost or confused on which way to go or how to proceed. It’s not a sticking point for me, but I can see it causing some frustration when players just want to make progress instead of backtracking or losing their way. Now that Shantae is human, she has lost some of her cool abilities from the previous game. They do a good job of trying to give her other elements, but it feels a bit lacking in comparison. Also boss battles are great, but sometimes too easy, especially if items are used to replenish health quickly.


Shantae is a classic game in the right senses. It’s got a decent challenge, it’s fun, and seeing as it’s on almost every console now, there is no excuse not to try it. Players that grew up during the peak of this genre can surely appreciate what Shantae has to offer, and newcomers that have taken a liking to it need to give Shantae a go, it’s one of the better games the genre has to offer in today’s market.

My favorite moment: The banter and teamwork of Shantae and Risky Boots. They obviously don’t like each other, but… what’s good for the better cause as they say.

Review copy of game provided by publisher.

  • Great bosses
  • Platforming
  • Dungeons
  • Ease of getting lost
Written by
Justin is a long time passionate fan of games, not gaming drama. He loves anything horror related, archaeology inspired adventures, RPG goodness, Dr Pepper, and of course his family. When it comes to crunch time, he is a beast, yet rabies free we promise.