Posted June 24, 2016 by Joseph Rositano in Feature

E3 2016: Shantae: Half-Genie Hero Preview

Transcribed from notes taken by Andrew Cathie.

Over the last few years Kickstarter has been a proven format to fund video games. Some are original ideas from indie devs, while others come from established names looking to fund existing franchises. WayForward’s Shantae: Half-Genie Hero falls into the latter category, with the franchise having originated on the GameBoy Color in 2010. The game was originally slated for release in 2014 but because of the campaign’s huge success, several stretch goals were reached prompting for a delay so that everything could be implemented. At E3 2016 we were able to get some hands-on time with title.

The demo opened with protagonist, Shantae, rushing to Scuttle Town to thwart an attack by pirates. The game is an old school 2.5D platformer, featuring many genre staples such as disappearing platforms, timed jump challenges, swimming and climbing ropes. Shantae also has a melee hair whip attack and magic abilities to fight enemies. In the demo we were able to shoot fireballs and summon a reflector shield that stopped a single hit from an enemy.

Shantae Half Genie Hero

One of the interesting mechanics is Shantae’s ability to transform into creatures by dancing. The demo featured spider and monkey transformations. The spider can use its web to reach platforms above it and walk on roofs, while the monkey can jump greater distances, is more nimble and can stick to walls. As we played through we discovered a Spider Venom upgrade which let the spider spit venom at enemies. We also discovered a Monkey Bullet upgrade, which unlocks a dash attack for the monkey.

At the end of the demo we were treated to a boss battle with Risky Boots, leader of the pirates. Risky battled us using her pirate ship, and we had to dodge its attacks. Between rounds we had to trigger explosive barrels to appear by using a switch, and then fling them at the ship so that it would become stunned and open to attack.

Overall the presentation was awesome. The animation is smooth, crisp and has a chibi anime vibe. Controls were also tight and precise, which is important for a platformer of this nature.

Our time with Shantae: Half-Genie Hero was fairly brief, but we liked what we saw and it’s shaping up to be a sleeper hit among old school platformer fans. The game is slated to arrive this September on PS3, PS4, PS Vita, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Wii U and PC.

Joseph Rositano

While Joseph's main hobby has always centered around video games, he's also taken an interest in movies, musicals and traveling around the world. No one quite knows what Joseph's true motivations are, but rest assured he is always planning his next grand adventure!


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