User Score
8.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 134 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 10 out of 134
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  1. Oct 27, 2014
    10
    Quite possibly the most fun I have had in a Downloadable title in my entire life. The game looks great, the animations are smooth as buttah', the music is good, the gameplay is fun. 60fps and it never dropped for me once.

    Quite possibly my favorite thing about this title is how likable and interesting the characters are in this game and often times how funny the game is. It has a way
    Quite possibly the most fun I have had in a Downloadable title in my entire life. The game looks great, the animations are smooth as buttah', the music is good, the gameplay is fun. 60fps and it never dropped for me once.

    Quite possibly my favorite thing about this title is how likable and interesting the characters are in this game and often times how funny the game is. It has a way of playing with your expectations in a way that will make all but the most soulless person chuckle.

    Also the 3D effects look fantastic and really add a lot to the experience of this game, something that you really have to see to fully appreciate.
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  2. Nov 9, 2014
    10
    An amazingly engaging and entertaining metroidvania game that proves that genre can still thrive. The presentation is amazingly smooth, colorful, and fluid with tons of unique animations and detailed sprites and character drawings in cutscenes. There is also some really impressive ( and somewhat humorous) use of stereoscopic 3d. The music is by Jake Kaufman, so naturally it's incrediblyAn amazingly engaging and entertaining metroidvania game that proves that genre can still thrive. The presentation is amazingly smooth, colorful, and fluid with tons of unique animations and detailed sprites and character drawings in cutscenes. There is also some really impressive ( and somewhat humorous) use of stereoscopic 3d. The music is by Jake Kaufman, so naturally it's incredibly atmospheric and catchy, with funny song names like "Rave in the Grave" (Rottytopps's theme) and "DO U EVEN WHIP" (true ending scene music). Speaking of which, this game's writing can be downright hilarious at times! All the characters are funny, there are some very funny references to things like he-man (bran-son) and some fourth wall breaking sprinkled in. Apart from that, the game's story actually feels like it evolves and progresses a lot, with some very touching and plot heavy moments that really feel substantial, and an overall theme that the game makes apparent at the end that makes you really think about the whole adventure.The game never takes itself too seriously, except for when it needs to, and it nails both. The gameplay is nice and fast paced. The combat might feel slow at first, but you'll be able to buy upgrades to increase your attack speed and power. You can also purchase some "advanced fighters moves" which can help avoid enemies, reduce knock back, and perform a super kick move to do more damage.The trademark "hair whip" that Shantae is known for feels incredibly satisfying, and would even make the likes of Willow Smith impressed! On top of that, there's also an Rpg number damage system that displays how much damage enemies take in numbers above their heads, which really helps in emphasizing the power of some items or damage boosters, and let's you know which way is the most efficient for killing baddies. In addition, the combat and exploration is spiced up with pirate themed items that Shantae gathers on her quest, which really help in making for great new scenarios in exploration, puzzles, and combat. I won't spoil what they are, but they're all fun to use and can be upgraded a lot as well, and keep the exploration and backtracking fresh while still offering usefulness in combat. On to the next bit, there is a bit of backtracking in this game, but I never felt it got entierly too tedious. The way it works is that Risky Boots is docked at the beggining of each island, each having one dungeon and a set number of collectibles and a theme. The islands all felt unique, and the collectibles were very well hidden. The collectibles did also require some backtracking to acquire, but the best way to go about it is to just explore every area to the fullest with every item you have when the game needs you to backtrack to progress, which is very often. The backtracking itself didn't really bother me since your items later on make it much easier to travel and traverse, as well as explore.Some areas were complete slogs to travel through again, but then you can just use a pirate flare to teleport back to Risky's boat. Finally, in terms of length, this game is well worth $20. There are 32 heart squids ( think zelda heart pieces, but squids) and 20 Cacklebats (plot devices that give you a much better ending) to find in the entire game, with 3 squids in each dungeon and however many Cacklebats on an island. The game will tell you how many you have on the island select screen. The time it took me to 100% complete the game was 10 and 1/2 hours, which and i enjoyed every moment. The game is definitely worth $20, and well worth completing. There is also and additional "pirate mode" once you beat the game, which lets you replay the game with all of the gear unlocked from the start and challenges you to try to speed run the game in under two hours, or complete it in the fastest time. I have yet to try this mode, but I can definitely see how it can add a lot of replay value to an already great game. The few nitpicky I have with this game is that there is some knock back, which gets very annoying when you get knocked off a screen or chain. Thankfully, you can purchase the recover move to recover from knock back slightly. The item system is also very unintuitive, since you have to double tap the bottom screen to heal, and you have to wait to fully recover. These are just small annoyances on an incredibly solid game. In conclusion, Shantae and the Pirate's curse is and amazingly charming and engaging game that knows exactly what it wants to be, and has an incredible amount of fun with it. If you're a fan of metroidvania games, zelda games, or even just 2d platformer games in general, don't let this one fly under your radar and make this a must buy for this year. Expand
  3. Nov 27, 2014
    10
    Very polished and colorful, the art style is great and the game-play is polished and fun there are a lot of fun collectible items and the length of the game is defiantly justified by the price tag and i really have nothing bad to say about this game.
  4. Apr 8, 2015
    10
    There are people on the world who believes Guacamelee is a great metroid/castlevania game. I guess they haven't play Shantae yet. This game NAILS everything. Art, characters, gameplay, story, variety, fun powerups, bosses, etc... get it!
  5. Dec 20, 2014
    10
    It's a beautifully animated game with excellent game play, Great dialogue, memorable characters, power ups that make you feel really powered-up, decent replay value for what it is, and the potential to introduce you to a great franchise. Fans of the previous titles will gravitate to this game, while still being open to newcomers to the series. Though not perfect, it kind of lacks in theIt's a beautifully animated game with excellent game play, Great dialogue, memorable characters, power ups that make you feel really powered-up, decent replay value for what it is, and the potential to introduce you to a great franchise. Fans of the previous titles will gravitate to this game, while still being open to newcomers to the series. Though not perfect, it kind of lacks in the boss battle depart and there is a rather size-able, though short lived, difficulty spike near the middle of the game. Though the stuff it does right it does exceptionally well. I have owned many Nintendo Eshop games, but if this one is not publicly remembered as one of it's best, than I don't know which one would Expand
  6. Dec 23, 2017
    9
    This was my first shantae game, and oh boy i got hooked. The gameplay, mechanics "upgrades", everything feels really great.

    This is a game worth playing because of the mechanics and the characters, the story feels like something they had to put to make the game, but is not bad by any means.

    i hope they keep the shantae games coming.
  7. Mar 29, 2015
    9
    Steeldude
    Mar 29, 2015
    9 In my opinion, the best game in the Shantae trilogy. - It is considerably longer than Risky's Revenge. - The world is larger and split into different islands so that it's easier to navigate through the Sequin Land. Each island is completely different, so get ready for multiple new adventures. - Instead of transformation dances, Shantae uses pirate gear. It
    Steeldude
    Mar 29, 2015
    9
    In my opinion, the best game in the Shantae trilogy.

    - It is considerably longer than Risky's Revenge.
    - The world is larger and split into different islands so that it's easier to navigate through the Sequin Land. Each island is completely different, so get ready for multiple new adventures.
    - Instead of transformation dances, Shantae uses pirate gear. It is a great change, as you always discover new things and can often return to places you have previously visited to find previously unreachable collectibles. You can even buy upgrades for the gear in the item shop.
    - Scuttle Town serves as a hub in this game and during your adventure things in the town will change depending on the progression of the story. So, it is always interesting to return to the place and talk to new people or get new items and such.
    - There are 7 dungeons in total (counting the final one and the bonus hidden one), the most in any of the Shantae games. The design is pretty good as well and the boss encounters are fun.
    - There are tons of references to the first game and Risky's Revenge, so if you have played the previous title, you will enjoy the story in this game so much more.
    - There are two endings to the game, depending on how many Cacklebats you defeat.
    - The speedrun options are still in the game.
    - The 3D looks great, especially the character models.

    Probably the best platform game I've played on the 3DS and a must play.
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  8. Jun 13, 2021
    9
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I highly recommended this game
    First, this game completely in pixel but pixel in 3ds always make different than any other 3d game in 3ds (pixel makes this game perfectly beautiful with light colour tone that will relax you after work so much)
    Secondly, this is a zelda-like game so anyone who want to try zelda 2d.... This is the best series
    This is perfect but i give 9 because the last map..... Its just tooooo hard. From the start to this map, this game Relatively easy so anyone who thinks this game is easy will cry at this map
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  9. Dec 14, 2016
    10
    This is the definitive way to play Shantae.

    Three reasons:

    #1 you can play it on the go
    #2 you get a physical copy
    #3 the artist added a 3D layer to all the bewbs ;)
  10. Nov 15, 2015
    8
    For a game of its caliber, it's very well done. Great Music, Art, and likable characters. My only problem with this game is that it's short, and there's not a lot of incentive to come back to it once you're done done with. If you like platformers, it's fun while it lasts.
  11. Dec 18, 2018
    8
    This game has it all! Tight game design, charming characters, a fully realized world, and tough but fair game design that can be made easier via hording healing items. My biggest issue is how the game expects you to notice and remember every tiny detail if you want a chance at finding the next dungeon. This can provide challenge to those who like it, or be opted out of simply by lookingThis game has it all! Tight game design, charming characters, a fully realized world, and tough but fair game design that can be made easier via hording healing items. My biggest issue is how the game expects you to notice and remember every tiny detail if you want a chance at finding the next dungeon. This can provide challenge to those who like it, or be opted out of simply by looking up a walk through. The dungeon design is varied, with key items in each dungeon like a cross between a metroidvania and a Zelda Clone. The bosses provide a fun challenge, and require pattern recognition and reflexes to beat. The end dungeon is themed much like Ganon's Castle, and requires precision platforming to navigate. Despite the difficulty, your large inventory of healing items gives you enough wiggle room to trivialize progression; just the way I like it. On top of that, there are plenty of collectibles to make you stronger, and obtaining them can be trivialized via a good guide.

    That about covers my review of this game; but then I made the same mistake I made when I purchased Morrowind. I loved the game, wanted the rest of the narrative, and assumed the series still held up. Since Metacritic does not have a page for the Gameboy Color game, I'll add my review for that onto here.

    The original Shantae takes me back to a time before good game design, when I would start Super Mario Land from the beginning over and over again, and think it was acceptable. the Gameboy Color game includes confusing stages, confusing enemy A.I, and tons of cheap deaths. I hope old Shantae games get remakes like Ocarina of Time, Return of Samus, or Yakuza did, but until then, all we can do is move forward.
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  12. May 10, 2020
    8
    Since many people call Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse the pinnacle of the franchise I decided to give it a shot and it didn’t disappoint. It isn’t the metroidvania with the deepest story, but more like a lighthearted adventure with an absolute killer soundtrack, good art style and lots of humour.

    Metroidvanias are usually known for being rather difficult, but this one felt a bit more
    Since many people call Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse the pinnacle of the franchise I decided to give it a shot and it didn’t disappoint. It isn’t the metroidvania with the deepest story, but more like a lighthearted adventure with an absolute killer soundtrack, good art style and lots of humour.

    Metroidvanias are usually known for being rather difficult, but this one felt a bit more forgiving. Since you have always access to a variety of items to heal yourself, you probably won’t have a difficult time going through this game. I really appreciated that, since I would probably have felt much more frustration otherwise.

    The arguably most important aspect of a metroidvania is the level design. While the structure of the levels and placement of the collectibles are mostly good, some parts felt too packed with enemies to the point it was getting annoying. Especially in the 4th area you have barely any breathing room, since enemies come out of nowhere and constantly respawn. It definitely has some balancing issues, but not to the point I wanted to stop playing. Otherwise the level structure is well-made, since the more skills you obtain the easier it gets to traverse them.

    Another highlight has probably been the dungeons. Since they are much more puzzle-orientated than the rest of the game, they ensured a welcome change of pace. And on top of that, the bossfights are also great.

    The characters are charming, quirky and have very “distinct” designs. Sadly, I have noticed some typographical errors, which is a minor complaint, but it still bothered me a bit. Another thing I didn’t like was the map, since it only displays the shape of the area and not much else. I would have really liked to be able to mark spots on it.

    At the end, Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse is a solid metroidvania with some flaws. If you can look past the balancing issues, you should give it a try.
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  13. Sep 16, 2020
    10
    Diversão que não tinha em jogos do genero desde o SNES. Não tem erro, só comprar e jogar.
  14. Sep 30, 2020
    8
    Firstly I really want to praise the 3DS effects of this game. There is so much depth in character portraits during dialogs and there is also a lot of depth in the game itself. The music and voice-acting weren't that amazing but the incredible visual effects make for it.

    Gameplay-wise this play like a gem. The combat animations are smooth, there are a few challenging enemies and bosses
    Firstly I really want to praise the 3DS effects of this game. There is so much depth in character portraits during dialogs and there is also a lot of depth in the game itself. The music and voice-acting weren't that amazing but the incredible visual effects make for it.

    Gameplay-wise this play like a gem. The combat animations are smooth, there are a few challenging enemies and bosses but overall the game is accessible for everyone. It doesn't require an absurd amount of skill but there are many cool puzzles involving all the powers you can acquire in the game and you also have to be smart during boss fights.

    Overall, Shantae and the Pirate's Curse offers a linear narrative with a lot of puns and good comedy, sexy pirates and gals, and a vibrant world with many secrets and collectibles to find. Must-play platformer.
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  15. Oct 2, 2020
    9
    The definite version of one of the best Shantae games, thanks to the exclusive optional 3D option. Highly recommended for all 3DS owners.
  16. Jul 8, 2021
    0
    Didn't enjoy it, not recommending. Levels are boring and story is very meh. Avoid at all cost.
  17. Oct 22, 2021
    9
    Gênero plataforma do mesmo nível de Shovel Knight. Recomendo esse game a qualquer um que esteja procurando algum plataforma para jogar. Está  na minha lista dos melhores plataformas que já joguei. A desenvolvedora, Wayfoward é  totalmente confiável. Já  joguei vários jogos dessa desenvolvedora, todos nesse estilo plataforma e com alta qualidade. Trilha sonora nota 10. Musica árabe  comGênero plataforma do mesmo nível de Shovel Knight. Recomendo esse game a qualquer um que esteja procurando algum plataforma para jogar. Está  na minha lista dos melhores plataformas que já joguei. A desenvolvedora, Wayfoward é  totalmente confiável. Já  joguei vários jogos dessa desenvolvedora, todos nesse estilo plataforma e com alta qualidade. Trilha sonora nota 10. Musica árabe  com eletrônico. Gráficos 2D nota 10, ficam melhores ainda com o 3D do 3DS. Gameplay nota 10, porém nada inovador, segue o clássico de sempre. A história nunca foi o foco desses jogos, não é  lá grandes coisas, mas cumpre o propósito. Duração ótima para quem segue rotina de jogo de 1-2 hora(s) por dia. 12 horas. Expand
Metascore
82

Generally favorable reviews - based on 18 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 18
  2. Negative: 0 out of 18
  1. Oct 19, 2016
    83
    The best retro throwbacks rise above their influences to become something endearing of their own accord. Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse does just that, with quality and production values that rival many AAA releases. The franchise clearly has a lot of heart, and the developers at WayForward have established a bright world filled with fun and interesting characters.
  2. Jun 22, 2015
    87
    It's a great experience, one that you won't regret getting into.
  3. Apr 8, 2015
    80
    Shantae and the Pirate's Curse is a testament to the way platform games were made back in the days of GameBoy, with a lot of attention to details and pixel perfect jumps:in 2015 this is still the way to go for 2d games, no matter the platform and the budget.