By Jakejames Lugo → Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse is the third game of the Shantae series developed by Wayforward Technologies. Originally made for the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U, Pirate’s Curse follows the heroine Shantae, a playful genie who must team up with her nemesis Risky Boots and save the land from the evil Pirate Master. What makes Shantae’s new adventure a joyful experience is the clever humor in the writing and the solid controls for this action platformer. Even though this port to the Xbox One does have some issues that can be annoying, Pirate’s Curse is still a great game with a very likeable heroine at the forefront.
Solid Controls and Visuals
The controls are the best part of Pirate’s Curse, as they are responsive and feel good in difficult platforming sections. New abilities you obtain get mapped to various buttons on the controller, but never feel too overwhelming or get in the way of your movement and jumping. While getting around a large pool of quicksand in one of the game’s levels, I successfully glided through the air and fought my way through a large group of enemies that patrolled the area with ease. Pirate’s Curse does give you many instances where you obtain new things to open up new areas you can explore, but the focus still remains on the platforming through various sections of the level.
On the Xbox One, Pirate’s Curse does look very good. The designs of the backgrounds and characters look colorful and pop out in many interesting and fun ways. However, even though the style is inspired by classic 16-Bit styled games, there is a lack of any options for filters to smooth out or adjust the visuals on screen. This doesn’t completely ruin the experience when playing through Pirate’s Curse, but it does end up noticeable in some sections of the game where the pixilation will stand out from the great looking backgrounds. One area had Shantae hiding from guards in an ancient Egyptian style palace, where every time she enters a dark area you can notice some floating pixel.
Save… Save… SAVE!
The one big annoyance in Pirate’s Curse comes from the limited amount of save points and opportunities. Unlike many other games of the same genre, Pirate’s Curse doesn’t have a lot of places to save your game, nor does it try to remind you about doing so. After boss fights happen, the game just continues on and doesn’t save right after, nor does it offer hints in the dialogue to encourage players to save their game. Meaning if you somehow lose all your health in the next section without reaching a save point, you will be brought all the way back to your previous save file, which could be a long time before the boss you defeated. This can be frustrating especially when save points are so spread out within the levels, meaning you must remember to save at the main hub frequently after every boss fight or whenever you find a save point on the map.
The Final Say-so → Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse on Xbox One is a faithful port from its previous iterations on the Nintendo Wii U and 3DS. The game is great with its witty dialogue and fun sense of humor, despite having a few annoying flaws. The controls are solid and make the platforming a comfortable, yet challenging experience. If you never picked up any of Shantae’s adventures on previous platforms and want a new series to get into, then pick up Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse for your Xbox One game library.
Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse was reviewed on Xbox One with code from Wayforward