Tag Archives: Matt Bozon

Shantae: 1/2 Genie Hero – Beyond the Pixel

When I was growing up with computers and consoles in the early days of gaming, my dream of “what graphics will be like in the future” was not one of photorealism.

Okay, I’ll admit, attempts at photorealism — particularly in games that tackled this challenge early on, such as flight simulators — impressed me a great deal. But what I really, really wanted more than anything was that elusive thing: a game that truly looked like a cartoon; a true interactive animated movie.

Today, I have that. And it’s wonderful.

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Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse: What a Lovely Day to Have a Curse

There’s something really satisfying about the title “Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse”. It sounds like the sort of thing I’d have had on my bookshelf as a kid — part of a series I’d have almost certainly wanted to collect an entire set of. Remember books? They were pretty all right.

Anyway, Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse is the third installment in the Shantae series, marking a few fundamental shake-ups to the game structure we’ve come to expect by this point, an interesting new narrative, absolutely beautiful pixel art and some of Jake Kaufman’s finest soundtrack work.

Oh, and it’s also one of the slickest, most satisfying titles in the series in terms of gameplay, too. If you only play one Shantae game, play this one… although I hope I’ve made it abundantly clear by now that you should probably actually play all of them. In order. One after the other. As soon as possible.

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Waifu Wednesday: Rottytops

I’m not sure what it is about characters that… aren’t quite human, but there’s something incredibly appealing about them.

I’m not the only person to feel this way, either, as evidenced by the popularity of everything from catgirls (a relatively tame variant on humanity) to the full-on monstergirls found in something like the Monster Musume anime and its ilk.

Zombies aren’t traditionally something thought of as particularly sexy… but there have been a few successful attempts to combine physical attractiveness with rotting flesh over the years. One of these can be found in the Shantae series in the form of Rottytops, a recurring character who has been present since the first game.

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Shantae: Risky’s Revenge – Jumping Generations

An interesting aspect of the Shantae series is how its presentation and execution has evolved over time.

While the first game, being released in the twilight years of the 8-bit Game Boy Color, represented the diminutive handheld being pushed to its absolute limits, the two subsequent installments in particular made a specific effort to be “modern retro” titles — games that emulated experiences from systems of the past while providing modern-day conveniences.

Risky’s Revenge, which we’re concerned with today, very much has its sights set on the 16-bit era. And it explores this concept with a clear knowledge and understanding of not only the classic 16-bit consoles, but also the earlier 16-bit home computers.

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Shantae: You Stay

The Shantae series as a whole is a wonderful symbol of endurance, and of holding on to the things you believe in.

I’m not talking about the narratives of the games themselves — though for sure this theme certainly makes an appearance numerous times throughout Shantae’s career to date — but rather the fact that series creator Matt Bozon and the team at WayForward have always believed in the quality of these games, even during difficult times.

It’s gratifying to see that, at the time of writing, the Shantae series as a whole is finally coming to see some mainstream acceptance and appreciation with its latest installment 1/2 Genie Hero. But this doesn’t mean the earlier games aren’t worth checking out. Quite the opposite, in fact… so let’s go right back to the beginning.

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Waifu Wednesday: Shantae

With the recent announcement of a release date for Shantae: 1/2 Genie Hero’s physical Ultimate Edition, I thought it was high time we showed the girl herself some love.

She’s been the star of four separate games to date, as well as making guest appearances in a number of other titles such as Blaster Master Zero.

I’ve actually earmarked June of 2018 to explore the Shantae series as a whole, so we’ll talk more about her in detail then, but in the meantime let’s contemplate the majesty of this belly-dancing half-genie and why she’s so appealing.

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