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One of the Greatest Games You've Never Heard Of
Posted on Tuesday, September 24 2013 @ 23:14:07 PST

This member blog post was promoted to the GameRevolution homepage.
*Shantae: Half-Genie Hero
[Originally posted on Tuesday September 17 2013]

Meet Shantae.

Shantae was the heroine of the appropriately named Shantae, the Gameboy Color's swan song. The game came out in 2002 (just when everyone was throwing out their GBCs and picking up GBAs), and garnered almost no attention.

And that's a real shame, because Shantae is a fine game. In fact, it's become something of a cult classic. Made in the same tradition as Metroid and certain Castlevania titles, the goal is to explore the landscape, finding power upgrades and fighting the occasional boss. And the artwork in the game is really quite amazing. It looks like it could be an early GBA game instead of a GBC game. The soundtrack is similarly amazing and is legally available for download completely free from the composer's website.

The story reads like something out of the Wizard of Oz. Shantae is the guardian genie of Scuttle Town, in the country of Sequin Land. One day, the notorious pirate Risky Boots attacks Scuttle Town to steal an invention from the resident geeky old man. Concerned that Risky's theft could be used to destroy all of Sequin Land, Shantae runs off to save the day using her trusty hair whip and belly dancing.

So yeah, let's check off the boxes. Cute, sexy genies fighting cute, sexy pirates? Check. Cute, sexy genies fighting cute, sexy pirates *WHILE BELLY-DANCING*? Check. Well-made action sequences? Check. Amazing graphics? Check. Terrific sound track? Check. An actual plot-line? Check. About the only downside is the complete lack of an in-game map, but that's not too big of a hurdle to clear.

So now you want to play Shantae, right? Well, good luck finding the GBC cartridge, because they're collector's items now. Fortunately, Shantae was recently released as a Virtual Console title on the Nintendo 3DS eShop, so the game is no longer so far out of reach.

You might be wondering why such an old and obscure game has been re-released on 3DS all of a sudden. The reason, quite simply, is that two new Shantae games are going to be released pretty soon. The first sequel, Shantae: Risky's Revenge, was released as DSi-ware back in October of 2010, and on iOS shortly afterward, making it available to DSi, 3DS, and iPad owners. The next sequel, Shantae and the Pirate's Curse, is under development now and is scheduled for release on the Nintendo 3DS this coming winter. And finally, on Kickstarter, you can find Shantae: Half-Genie Hero, at the time of this post about $80,000 away from its $400,000 goal. If it gets funded, Half-Genie Hero is slated to release sometime in 2014 on pretty much every major platform, including PC via Steam, the Wii U, the PS3/4/Vita, and the Xbox 360/One.

Interestingly enough, Inti Creates, one of the development companies slated to work on the much lauded Mighty No. 9, is also going to be working on Half-Genie Hero (if it gets funded, of course).

The opinions expressed here does not necessarily reflect the views of Game Revolution, but we believe it's worthy of being featured on our site. This article has been lightly edited for grammar and image inclusion. You can find more Vox Pop articles here. ~Ed. Nick Tan
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