The Shantae series has been a strong platformer over the years, with the latest entry, Shantae 1/2 Genie Hero continuing the tradition. The developer WayForward has earned a reputation of being an expert designer of fun platformers. In the latest entry, Shantae acquires a variety of animal forms which can be used to progress through the game’s many stages.
The game starts off with a colorful story involving Shantae who’s fast asleep in her house. She’s awakened by a noise which eventually reveals that an agent of darkness will strike and bring about a great dance. This of course is no good for the world, and can only be stopped by our favorite 1/2 genie hero Shantae. The many dialogues in the game are well thought through and brim with charming characters. While graphics are definitely colorful and vibrant, so are the characters and the story as it unfolds.
As far as graphics go in Shatae 1/2 Genie Hero you’d be hard pressed to find a better example of 2D animation in a game. Many different environments populate the game, from a burning city’s town square to a factory that cans mermaids (hopefully still dolphin safe:-). Many of the levels seemed designed just as tall as they are wide, providing many different areas to explore. Along with great level design is the well crafted character art. For some parents there might be a concern with some of the character art styles. Some characters sport clothing that can be a little racy at times – possible parent discretion advised.
Everything in Shantae 1/2 Genie Hero contains all the hallmarks of good game design. Simple things like selecting the next level from the world map or running around the game’s main city are made special with amazing presentation and fun music.
Everything in Shantae 1/2 Genie Hero contains all the hallmarks of good game design.
The Wii U version of Shantae Half-Genie Hero supports both the Wii U Pro Controller and the Wii U GamePad. The buttons are mapped nicely, and don’t take that long to figure it out. Shantae can perform a basic jump in her genie form, which operates tightly like a good platformer should. Besides her genie form you can acquire different dances which transform Shantae into a variety of animal forms. All of these animal forms offer different abilities that help unlock or access areas unobtainable to Shantae in her genie form. For example, as a monkey Shantae can jump extra high and climb walls, or as a crab can move underwater.
Many of the levels are designed to be played more than once. It becomes clear after playing for just a little bit that many of the games secrets cannot be found until re-visiting completed stages with newly gained animal powers. Many of the stages make use of one or more of Shantae’s abilities. Shantae 1/2 Genie Hero sports a decent main story, which for seasoned players can take anywhere from 4 – 10 hours to complete. This can be longer depending on how many of the secret locations and secret levels you spend time discovering. There is a second mode that becomes unlocked after you beat the main game. Without spoiling anything I will say it does provide additional replay value like the main story. Shantae 1/2 Genie Hero has a special Art Gallery in the main city. Here players can unlock special concept art for the game, along with other secrets.
In conclusion I could easily recommend Shantae 1/2 Genie Hero for the Wii U to my friends and family. The amazing quality of the 2D graphics, music/sound, level design along with charming and interesting characters make this a sure win for the Wii U. WayForward has proven once again that Shantae is a great platforming series.
Shantae 1/2 Genie Hero Wii U Review Score
Gameplay : 8.6 / 10
Graphics : 9 / 10
Music & Sound : 7.8 / 10
Replay Value : 8.8 / 10
Final Review Score : 8.5 / 10
What our Let’s Play Shantae 1/2 Genie Hero for Wii U