User Score
7.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 106 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 74 out of 106
  2. Negative: 15 out of 106
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  1. Feb 23, 2017
    6
    Featuring tight controls, neat level design, gorgeous visuals, and funny writing, Half Genie Hero has alot to love. However tedious backtracking, an distractingly uninteresting story, and a gimmicky and underwhelming transformation mechanic make this a hard game to recommend. Shantae fans will undoubtedly find plenty to enjoy here but most others would be better off playing the previousFeaturing tight controls, neat level design, gorgeous visuals, and funny writing, Half Genie Hero has alot to love. However tedious backtracking, an distractingly uninteresting story, and a gimmicky and underwhelming transformation mechanic make this a hard game to recommend. Shantae fans will undoubtedly find plenty to enjoy here but most others would be better off playing the previous title "Shantae & the Pirate's Curse" or "Shovel Knight" over this game Expand
  2. Dec 20, 2016
    6
    Shantae Half Genie Hero
    Shampoo simulator.
    The game starts with a cryptic message from the genie realm. There’s a dark force wanting to use the genie magic for evil. And naturally it’s up to you, Shantae to save the day. This is a metroidvania styled 2d platformer… But unfortunately the emphasis is on the metroidvania part and not the platforming this was my first Shantae game and
    Shantae Half Genie Hero
    Shampoo simulator.
    The game starts with a cryptic message from the genie realm.
    There’s a dark force wanting to use the genie magic for evil.
    And naturally it’s up to you, Shantae to save the day.
    This is a metroidvania styled 2d platformer…
    But unfortunately the emphasis is on the metroidvania part and not the platforming
    this was my first Shantae game and it immediately made a great impression…
    The game doesn’t take itself seriously it all…
    It’s hilarious...
    I was laughing throughout my journey
    You’re first tasked with going to save this village being attacked by pirates and it’s a fairly enjoyable experience.. A great tutorial level...
    Learning your willow smith styled combat whipping your hair back and forth, collecting gems along your way to spend at shops for new attacks like fireballs... and taking out your first boss…
    Then you get back to town with the stolen blueprints.. Your uncle works on this machine to stop this dark force and in the meantime you go help the town’s people…
    Don’t let the colorful, happy first level fool you…
    This is when the game really starts...
    This is a fetch quest trade Item a for item b and then item b for item c and item c for item you get the point…
    You trade items for other items you need to progress through the story and build this machine…
    The search for these items will take you to different levels in the world…
    and sadly there are only 6.. yet reaching the end is going to take you around 7 hours…
    Because this game forces a rinse and repeat gameplay loop…
    There’s an insane difficulty spike from level one to level 2.. Its brutal…
    Explore these levels for new upgrades and new magic forms to reach new areas of the other levels…
    The game relies on this to offer any bit of substance…
    It wants the player to revisit each of the 6 levels numerous times and it isn’t as simple as waiting until you hit a hard boss or level and going to explore for something to help you…
    No, the items requested in these trade deals are in a level you already beat in an area previously inaccessible… but is now accessible thanks to your new transformation
    its basically get ability in level 1 to reach an ability in level 2
    Use level 2s ability to reach an ability in level 1 to get to an ability in level 3 that you need to get to an item in level 2…
    Its constant back and forth between the same 4 levels.
    None of which are fun to re explore…
    And only 1 being fun the first time... that being level 1 with the pirates…
    That isn’t to take away from the gameplay though... its fun…
    There’s a variety of forms shantae can switch into like a monkey to climb walls, and a mermaid to swim under water…. And there are a handful of moments where you have to switch through these forms platforming and attacking…
    These are the best moments in the game…
    But getting from checkpoint to checkpoint isn’t so fun….
    the checkpoints are extremely inconsistent and frustrating…
    Their placements make 0 sense.
    There are very challenging moments in this game with no checkpoints in sight that if you slip up once you’re going to have to redo.. While the simplest and shortest platforming sections will be sandwiched in between 2…
    I’d much rather have a shovel knight system where the checkpoint is placed randomly in level rather than when you exit an area…
    Especially in the volcano level
    there’s an extremely cheap spot in that level that will definitely test your patience as it seems illogical to the games mechanics and feels like something you’ll need to get lucky with to pass
    Shantae the half Genie heroes is a charming game, it’s an addictive and fun game…
    But it’s a shallow experience padded with forced replays.
    I Give Shantae Half Genie Hero
    a 6.5/10
    Expand
  3. Jan 1, 2017
    5
    very disappointed, worts shantae game to date. Its clear thatthe transiction to 3d build lacked the polish of the 2d titles and it feels like a totally different team was in charge of it. It looks like those poor infie titles so badly put toguether that even simple things as screen changing feels disconected. The save system is a joke. The standing animation kf the main character isvery disappointed, worts shantae game to date. Its clear thatthe transiction to 3d build lacked the polish of the 2d titles and it feels like a totally different team was in charge of it. It looks like those poor infie titles so badly put toguether that even simple things as screen changing feels disconected. The save system is a joke. The standing animation kf the main character is totally overdone and level design is a huge letdown... Expand
  4. Nov 9, 2020
    6
    A decent platformer with some metroidvania elements.

    I don't really like platformers and only somewhat like metroidvania games, but was pleasantly surprised by this one, mainly due to its wacky writing, art style, and relatively unique character transformation mechanics. This review will be short, so I'll only cover a few things that stood out to me. As far as
    A decent platformer with some metroidvania elements.

    I don't really like platformers and only somewhat like metroidvania games, but was pleasantly surprised by this one, mainly due to its wacky writing, art style, and relatively unique character transformation mechanics.

    This review will be short, so I'll only cover a few things that stood out to me.

    As far as Japanese/anime-inspired games made by western studios go, this is the only one I've played that I could easily mistake as being fully Japanese-created. If there weren't western studio logos at the start of the game, I wouldn't have known any better. The art, animations, themes, and even some of the writing just feels Japanese. And that's a good thing. The game hits all of the high Japanese design points while also pulling in some fresh ideas from a western perspective.

    Though the game is short and limited in scope. I did not buy the DLC, but might in the future if there's some sort of "complete" edition.

    The writing is wacky, though not consistently so. The first two bosses and sections are quite good, with the 2nd being better than the 1st, but then it goes downhill from there with the game settling into a sort of norm and no longer surprising me with witty lines, crazy scenarios, or wild boss fights.

    The metroidvania aspects are relatively unique, but are a bit condensed since there's only 5 levels in the game. As you learn new transformation abilities, you'll go back to previously-cleared levels to unlock hearts, magic, or new abilities.

    The transformation abilities are good and fun, but are normally limited to unlocking only a couple of puzzles each. Turning into an elephant to bash blocks, a spider to walk on ceilings, a mouse to get through tiny mazes was fun, but there's only so many times you can do similar puzzles using those forms before you become tired of it, which is probably why they weren't overused.

    After you complete the short main game, there's not much to do unless you buy the DLC. The pajama mode seemed interesting, but I got tired of it quick after I realized I was just going through the same levels again with some overpowered abilities.

    Decent game that I wish it were longer. Though I might be expecting too much from the platforming genre.
    Expand
  5. Sep 16, 2018
    7
    I liked it. I think it is a bit over-hyped. Pros: beautiful colorful graphics, catchy music and tight controls. Basic metriodvania goodness if you like backtracking....which leads me to the cons. 6 levels...4 of them you will be visiting a dozen times....so be aware of it. I think the dance option selection is unnecessarily tedious. I bought everything in the store 3 levels into theI liked it. I think it is a bit over-hyped. Pros: beautiful colorful graphics, catchy music and tight controls. Basic metriodvania goodness if you like backtracking....which leads me to the cons. 6 levels...4 of them you will be visiting a dozen times....so be aware of it. I think the dance option selection is unnecessarily tedious. I bought everything in the store 3 levels into the game....which seemed kind of lame. It is easy to max your gems at 999 and not be able to spend it on anything. Some frustrating parts in a few levels that made me want to chuck the controller....but non-the-less i finish it in 8 hours with 97% completion. I recommend you download it when it is on sale...otherwise there are better games to be played. Game on! Expand
Metascore
81

Generally favorable reviews - based on 28 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 27 out of 28
  2. Negative: 0 out of 28
  1. Apr 25, 2017
    80
    Shantae: Half-Genie Hero is an excellent 2D platformer that doesn’t take itself too seriously. The humor is quirky, the gameplay is great, and it expertly crafts a retro-style game into a glossy and new coat of paint. Even so, it didn’t seem to provide the same sense of awe that Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse provided in the not-so-distant past of 2014. This is not to say that Half-Genie Hero missed the mark; it’s just different from what you would expect out of the series. Fortunately, that’s one of the best features about the series as a whole. Each game feels unique, bringing a whole new taste to the table every time. This is what always brings me back to Shantae, and it’s what makes Half-Genie Hero all the more enjoyable. Ultimately, Shantae: Half-Genie Hero manages to create a sense of old-school bliss in the modern era where there proves to be little success, and it’s wonderful.
  2. games(TM)
    Mar 9, 2017
    80
    A delightful surprise that'll warm your heart. [Issue#184, p.81]
  3. Games Master UK
    Feb 18, 2017
    77
    A beautiful HD realisation of a very likeable world that's lovely to revisit. Both fun and funny. [Feb 2017, p.73]