Shantae: Half-Genie Hero Image
Metascore
82

Generally favorable reviews - based on 7 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 65 Ratings

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  • Summary: Shantae is roused from a deep sleep, suddenly alert. She plunges into the moonlit forest in search of answers. In nearby Scuttle Town she discovers a mysterious trapdoor, and beyond that, a luminous subterranean cavern. A familiar voice calls out, drawing Shantae to a beautiful fountain.Shantae is roused from a deep sleep, suddenly alert. She plunges into the moonlit forest in search of answers. In nearby Scuttle Town she discovers a mysterious trapdoor, and beyond that, a luminous subterranean cavern. A familiar voice calls out, drawing Shantae to a beautiful fountain. Touching its waters she is immediately spirited away to the fabled Genie Realm. At her feet a magical seal swells as some powerful evil seeks escape. The chamber trembles with a deep, bellowing roar and everything goes white. Shantae sits upright, back in her bed. Was it just a dream? Or a vision of things to come? Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 7
  2. Negative: 0 out of 7
  1. 90
    Although the main game is short – there’s a prize for beating it in under four hours – there’s a speedrun mode and an even harder difficulty that both offer some interesting looking concept art. I did a slow run, getting everything I could that didn’t involve replaying stages for money, and want to go back and give the speedrun option a try down the road. The transformations are a blast to use, and there were a lot of “Wait a minute...” moments when I unlocked things like the crab claws and the bat form. Shantae also looks fantastic, and the music nails the atmosphere of the various stages.
  2. Jun 16, 2017
    90
    All told, Shantae: Half-Genie Hero has never been better; the enhanced versatility of the Switch lends the game a new sort of appeal and convenience that wasn’t there before, and the first DLC expansion is due out this summer. This is a charming, colourful, and sometimes challenging Metroidvania that will no doubt prove to be a memorable addition to your collection.
  3. Aug 4, 2017
    83
    The positives in Shantae: Half-Genie Hero ultimately more than outweigh the negatives. Again, you'll probably like the game much more if you're going in as a Shantae fan to begin with, but this game is enjoyably pleasant enough that that's by no means a prerequisite.
  4. Jun 19, 2017
    80
    Whilst it starts off somewhat slow, Shantae: Half-Genie Hero quickly kicks into top gear and stays there right until the end, making for one of the most engrossing 2D platform adventures of recent times. A few unnecessary special abilities may have been tacked on, but the balance for the essential ones is spot on. Also, it may suffer from being too easy on the standard difficulty setting, but there is a harder setting for veterans to tackle, as well as plenty of reasons to revisit the different levels included, with a Metroid-esque feel to proceedings at times.
  5. Sep 19, 2017
    80
    A bright, sharp 2D platformer that's brimming with diversions and exciting set pieces.
  6. Jun 14, 2017
    70
    Shantae: Half-Genie Hero is a beautiful, fun platformer that is a welcome addition to the Switch's library. A little on the short side, the game does suffer from being too easy in its "normal" game mode. Still, if 2D platformers are your thing, you can't go wrong with Half-Genie Hero, the titular belly-dancer will certainly have you tapping your feet to the beat - just make sure you play in Hard Core Mode if you like a challenge!
  7. Aug 9, 2017
    70
    Shantae: Half-Genie Hero brings the series to the Nintendo Switch and it certainly is a fine specimen that makes use of its marvelous visuals and sound to bring a fun action platformer experience to Nintendo's new console. While some elements need a bit of polishing, such as the control precision in key moments and the overall level design, this is a game that opens good prospects for the Shantae series.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 13
  2. Negative: 3 out of 13
  1. Aug 10, 2017
    10
    Wonderful music, appealing levels, simple, enjoyable story, good gameplay, and fair amount of hidden treasures make this game a great choiceWonderful music, appealing levels, simple, enjoyable story, good gameplay, and fair amount of hidden treasures make this game a great choice not only for fans of platformers. Expand
  2. Feb 24, 2018
    10
    Shantae: Half-Genie Hero was an amazing game for me to play. I definitely recommend it for any gamers who enjoy platformers. The soundtrackShantae: Half-Genie Hero was an amazing game for me to play. I definitely recommend it for any gamers who enjoy platformers. The soundtrack was amazing, and it was suitable for every single stage (if that's what you call it). The graphics were great, too, and the fact that it's for almost every console and everyone will be able to enjoy it. My favorite characters tbh are either Shantae, Bolo, or Rottytops. Or Twitch & Vinegar. The levels were very appealing! (Hope this helps.) Expand
  3. Jul 18, 2018
    10
    Das Spiel ist vom Anfang bis zum Ende liebe voll zusammen gestellt.

    Grafik: 2.5D Welt mit 2D Handgezeichneten Charakter 10/10 Musik: Up
    Das Spiel ist vom Anfang bis zum Ende liebe voll zusammen gestellt.

    Grafik: 2.5D Welt mit 2D Handgezeichneten Charakter 10/10

    Musik: Up Beat und passt zum Spiel 10/10

    Gameplay: Hatte jederzeit volle Kontrolle über Shantae und co.

    Für Metroidvania Fans ein muss
    Expand
  4. Jan 24, 2019
    8
    A pretty and funny indie game, with a nice level design and a moderate to easy difficulty. It worth a try.
  5. Jul 31, 2017
    8
    Fun little metroidvania/sidescoller hybrid. You'll get about 6 or 7 hours of platforming, collectable hunting and backtracking out of this,Fun little metroidvania/sidescoller hybrid. You'll get about 6 or 7 hours of platforming, collectable hunting and backtracking out of this, and that's 100% completion with every collectable. I'd say play at the harder difficulty, normal was pretty easy. Half Genie Hero is a little more streamlined and linear than previous Shantae entries, with a hub world and the ability to fly to each area whenever you want. All you unlock after completing the game is hero mode which just gives you all of your abilities at the start of the game, so I don't see much replay value or longevity here.

    I'd give this a light recommendation seeing as there's not really anything like this on the switch just yet. I had no performance issues or long loading times at all and the game looks great on the switch.
    Expand
  6. Aug 21, 2017
    6
    Half-Genie Hero is a solid game. The presentation is great. But, the difficulty is SERIOUSLY inconsistent.

    I played it on Hardcore Mode. I
    Half-Genie Hero is a solid game. The presentation is great. But, the difficulty is SERIOUSLY inconsistent.

    I played it on Hardcore Mode. I never bother playing games on "normal" difficulty. It infuriates me when you have to beat a game before it becomes challenging. Thankfully, Shantae gives you the option right off the bat. The easy way, or the hard way...

    At first, I was pleasantly surprised that the hard way was ACTUALLY hard. The first couple of levels / bosses were difficult. Like Donkey Kong Country difficult. (Even with full health, you die when you get hit by some enemies.)

    Unfortunately, it gets considerably easier as you go along. By the end of the game, you have 14 times the health as when you started... This wouldn't be an issue, if the enemies were 14 times as powerful... But, they're not. In fact: you have to backtrack through the first couple of levels, repeatedly. So, eventually, you have to fight through the same enemies with 14 times the health you had originally... Obviously, this makes no sense... (And, there's too much backtracking.)

    They should remix the levels and/or level-up the enemies.

    It's boring having to backtrack in games, but it is especially boring when the game is so easy (even on "hardcore" mode) that you don't have to try at all... I can't imagine how easy it is on normal mode. There is nothing remotely hardcore about it.

    Another thing that bothers me slightly is the anti-feminist tone.

    You play as an anorexic-looking, bikini-clad girl... It should be called Shantae: Half-Naked Hero. One of the bosses refers to you as a "hot tamale" (translation - hot piece of ass). You attack by whipping people with your hair... To upgrade your attacks, you buy shampoo and silky cream for your hair.

    I'm not a prude, but I can't help but think this is in bad taste. Don't get me wrong. It suits the game, somewhat, given the Arabian theme... And, I like boobs... But, it goes too far. The young female characters are all impossibly thin. Their features are more exaggerated than typical anime characters.

    I get it's a joke in Shantae... She refers to her hair as "my split ends of justice"... But, really, I think the humor is justification for negatively portraying women and profiting through the promotion of impossible physical standards.

    They had an opportunity to make a video-game character girls could look up to. But, instead, they (like everybody else) chose to pander to the expectation that women are vain bimbos.

    ...

    Having said all that, there are some things about the game I really like.

    You can transform into eight different animal versions of Shantae, each with different abilities... Some of them can swim under water. Others can climb on walls and ceilings. The elephant Shantae can smash through big blocks to reveal previously unexplored areas. And so on, and so forth.

    This is similar to Wonder Boy: The Dragon's Trap. But, it's much better IMO... I really like using the various animals to find secret areas. It's well done and, most importantly, it's fun.

    Some of the bosses are really well designed. But, some of them are bloody awful... Most of the levels are great. But the magic carpet level is absolute garbage. (And, there's only five or six levels... So, that sucks.)

    Having to interact with the NPC characters in town is dull... At one point, you get a salted caramel. It is described as candy for dogs. So, logically, you'd give it to a dog (or a dog-owner). Right? Wrong. You give it to a little girl and she gives you some bird seeds. Then you have to give the bird seeds to a guy with a sick bird and he gives you something else... This is really tiresome. There's no puzzle solving required. No skill. You just have to work out what you're supposed to do... It's mind-numbingly boring. But, at least, this NPC/trading nonsense is a very small part of the game.

    Overall, this is a good platformer. Visually, it is perhaps the most polished indy game I've ever seen. But, it's just too easy (for me) to be engaging.

    Hardcore mode is badly designed... The game shouldn't get easier as it goes along. It should get harder, if anything... This is a problem with lots of games. RPGs, in particular, get way too easy as your character continues to level up. But, Shantae isn't an RPG... You don't level up. There aren't endless items. It isn't open world. So, there's no excuse.

    Strangely, the final level is actually difficult. I would say this game suits VERY young children, but the huge spike in difficulty at the end ensures young / inexperienced players won't be able to finish it... There are two bosses to defeat at the end and you have to hit the sub-boss hundreds of times before getting to the sub-sub boss which is easy. The final boss is hard. None of them are well designed.

    Apparently, this is one of the worst Shantae games.
    So, maybe I should try a different one?

    Like the protagonist, this game is pretty.
    But, looks can be deceiving.
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  7. Nov 26, 2017
    0
    DO NOT BE FOOLED by the positive things you hear about this series, this game is an absolute smelly trash heap of a **** game. It starts outDO NOT BE FOOLED by the positive things you hear about this series, this game is an absolute smelly trash heap of a **** game. It starts out somewhat promising albeit very easy but with okay platformer mechanics, but the game IMMEDIATELY makes you backtrack to levels you have already been to, and not in a fun way like how in Metroid you backtrack because you get something new and cool to use and find more stuff in a previous area, no, they just tell you where to backtrack to and force you to go there and collect more ****
    The game is pretty much 95% backtracking which would be okay if the levels were fun enough to play again, but they are not at all satisfying to go back to over and over again, especially if you're not sure what they are having you backtrack to find. It all just becomes infuriating and boring, I recommend you do not waste your money on this piece of **** game unless you enjoy hating yourself and everything around you. Got about 2 hours out of it before it became unplayable.
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