Like its predecessor, Shantae: Risky's Revenge is a 2D platformer that mixes action, magic, and exploration. Its vivid animations, rich soundtrack, and sense of humor also make it one of the best DSiWare offerings available.
ESRB Rating: E10+
1200 Nintendo Points
THE BASICS: A Half-Genie in a Whole Lot of Trouble
Shantae: Risky's Revenge is an action game infused with a smattering of exploration. As the half-genie progresses in her quest, she scales tall heights and slithers into small caverns to pick up health increases and "Magic Jams" that grant her access to devastating spell components. She can even upgrade her main means of offense--her plucky purple ponytail.
Shantae's trademark trait is her inborn ability to change her shape. As Shantae unlocks specific transformations, more of Sequin Land becomes explorable. Becoming a monkey, for instance, helps her run faster, jump higher, and squeeze into tight crevices. Moreover, each of Shantae's animal alter-egos has an upgrade that can be uncovered for additional powers.
When Shantae gets stuck, she can retreat to Scuttle Town to pick up wisdom from the townspeople and her friends.
The Game has a Sense of Humor -- Pretty much every character in Shantae: Risky's Revenge says something that is guaranteed to make you smile. It's a nice change of pace when you actually want to talk to the characters living in town instead of skipping over the usual drivel dealing with monsters and melodrama.
The Gameplay is Deep -- The platforming in Shantae: Risky's Revenge changes according to Shantae's transformations. Having some trouble with the tricky jumps in one section? Try turning into a monkey and then laugh in the face of gravity.
It Boasts a Great Soundtrack -- Make sure you turn up the volume for percussive Arabian themes mixed with the rustling sounds of dark forests and deserts. Pay particular attention to the frogs and crickets that populate the game's dungeons and caverns.
The Map is Inadequate -- Shantae can buy a map at the start of her adventure, but it's not very good. It gives a vague overview of Sequin Land instead of identifying Shantae's exact location. Given that a lot of navigation is done through underground corridors--which aren't mapped at all--prepare to feel a little lost once in a while. Especially when the game gives little indication of where Shantae is supposed to go next.