WayForward has revealed the official title for Shantae 5, the latest game in its colorful Metroidvania series. Shantae and the Seven Sirens will launch on Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One, PC, and Apple Arcade, though no release date has been announced.
WayForward revealed the news in a post on its website. Shantae and the Seven Sirens brings the titular hero to a new tropical island setting. There, players will meet other magical Half-Genie allies, and they’ll have to use Shantae’s dance and transformation abilities to explore the game’s world and uncover secrets. These transformations include “a newt and other aquatic forms” (note: as amphibians, newts are only semi-aquatic), and players will encounter returning characters like Rottytops, Sky, Bolo, and recurring antagonist Risky Boots. Shantae and the Seven Sirens will also include collectibles called “monster cards” and various minigames.
Along with these in-game features, Shantae and the Seven Sirens will feature 4K visuals and “TV-style” animated cutscenes. WayForward previously revealed that the animation studio behind anime series Kill la Kill, Studio Trigger, would produce the opening cutscene for the game. The developer released the opening shortly after the announcement, and it’s definitely got that “Saturday morning cartoon” feel. WayForward shared on Twitter that only the opening is animated by Studio Trigger, so the rest of the game’s cutscenes could end up being produced in a different style. The studio also tweeted that voice work (like that in the opening) would be used occasionally throughout the game, presumably in the TV-like cutscenes.
The Shantae series began with the 2002 GameBoy Color game Shantae. The series traditionally followed a metroidvania game design style with pixel-art graphics, but that changed with 2016’s Shantae: Half-Genie Hero. Half-Genie Hero was the series’ first fully HD game, replacing the pixel art for hand-drawn animation. The game stepped away from the Metroidvania genre, however, instead leaning on more basic, linear, side-scroller design. WayForward described the world of Shantae and the Seven Sirens, on the other hand, as “nonlinear” and “interconnected.” The developer said players will be able to visit towns and “overcome treacherous labyrinths,” so it certainly sounds like the new title could be returning to the series’ exploratory roots.