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Shantae 5 (Coming 2019)

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I played Half Genie Hero when it came out on Switch. Great art and music aside, the game was tosh. It was full of linear levels that didn't encourage exploration, but exploration was still mandatory to progress demand that you backtracked through entire stages to collect single items all the time. The transformations favoured quantity over quality too, with most being so context specific that it was a detriment to ever use them outside of the one specific obstacle designed for them. Many felt redundant because they served the same purpose as another, with an arbitrary limitation. My memory is hazy right now, but was there any point to having both a crab and a mermaid transformation for water exploration? The game felt bloated, which is impressive in a bad way because it was still only a few hours long.  It's not very often that a game can be so nice artistically but so generic, bland and boring to actually sit down and play through. It wasn't fun at all.

From what others have told me, the previous games managed to be much better as Metroidvanias, with fewer/different  power ups and transformations and levels that were a lot more expensive. The only other entry I've tried is Pirates Curse. But that was on iPhone and I quickly realised that it wasn't suitable for a mobile device at all, so I don't count it. So I've got other games in the series to experience, and will be watching how this pans out.

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I played the original three games, but I never got around to Half-Genie Hero; I don't remember why, but I think there might have been various indications that it was a bit of a mess, possibly as a result of its Kickstarter-based development.  I'll judge this one on its own merits before I decide whether to buy, but I remember finding Pirate's Curse to be more linear than I expected, not quite a Metroidvania the way people think of the series as being.

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1 hour ago, Blue Blood said:

I played Half Genie Hero when it came out on Switch. Great art and music aside, the game was tosh. It was full of linear levels that didn't encourage exploration, but exploration was still mandatory to progress demand that you backtracked through entire stages to collect single items all the time. The transformations favoured quantity over quality too, with most being so context specific that it was a detriment to ever use them outside of the one specific obstacle designed for them. Many felt redundant because they served the same purpose as another, with an arbitrary limitation. My memory is hazy right now, but was there any point to having both a crab and a mermaid transformation for water exploration? The game felt bloated, which is impressive in a bad way because it was still only a few hours long.  It's not very often that a game can be so nice artistically but so generic, bland and boring to actually sit down and play through. It wasn't fun at all.

From what others have told me, the previous games managed to be much better as Metroidvanias, with fewer/different  power ups and transformations and levels that were a lot more expensive. The only other entry I've tried is Pirates Curse. But that was on iPhone and I quickly realised that it wasn't suitable for a mobile device at all, so I don't count it. So I've got other games in the series to experience, and will be watching how this pans out.

As a fan of the series since the DSiware game, don't let 1/2 Genie Hero put you off the series. Pirates Curse (available on all modern platforms as well as 3DS) was a masterwork of a game and a title I could easily recommend to just about anyone. 1/2 Genie Hero was a massive disappointment in every area except music, and only the massive amount of free DLC I received as a backer makes me hesitate from writing off the game completely.

1 hour ago, JosepHenry said:

From the small clip we got we can see it uses the HGH engine, but no 2.5D, it seems to be a dungeon like PC, so it is a metroidvania. Just how I wanted.

Exactly what I wanted to see and hear!

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1 hour ago, JosepHenry said:

From the small clip we got we can see it uses the HGH engine, but no 2.5D, it seems to be a dungeon like PC, so it is a metroidvania. Just how I wanted.

Where did this clip come from?

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Shantae 5 is the game I am hyped most for this year to play! Pirare's Curse was my first game in the series and I adored every single last bit of it! I love the characters and the cartoon TV series style to the stories it has!

The gameplay in Pirare's Curse was great fun as well... however I understand it is not the standard for Shantae because she was using Risky's gear instead of her own powers in Pirate's Curse... Which by the time I got to Half Genie Hero I sadly had a hard time enjoying Shantae's normal transformation abilities over the pirate gear from the last game... I haven't beaten HGH yet at the time of writing this... Thinking I might skip Shantae's main storymode for now on HGH and move on to the Risky storymode who I read plays a lot like the Pirate's Curse game... and the fact I just love Risky as a character a lot too helps. Some of the other alternate modes on HGH sound fun too such as the Ninja and Beach mode which I still need to try out.

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Yeah I was also a little let-down by HGH despite all the hype and being a backer on it.  The big issue was it's length, it had less stages than any of it's predecessors, and it felt as the game went on the stages got more and more rushed feeling.  The linear-game structure of the stages didn't gel with Shantae gameplay at all, and a lot of the platforming segments just felt a bit on the generic side without any particular creative ideas or satisfying movement.  It was such a step-down from Pirate's Curse and I HATE that PC's gameplay was so heavily tied to it's thematics because it was such an improvement.  Going back to transformation dances was a significant step down and just simply not as fun as having all your moves available to you at a button press as was the case with PC.  I really desperately want them to go back to that gameplay style.  The animal transformations are a part of Shantae's character, and I think they could keep them as instantaneous transformations to perform actions, but ditching the dancing to transform thing.  I'm sure they could apply the belly dancing stuff to something else, make it into some sort of context sensitive rhythm game thing to unlock doors or whatever, kind of like musical instruments in Zelda.

I really want to play all the DLC for HGH (I mean I backed the game, I got it all for free!) but I was burnt out on the game after just one 100% playthrough.  I did it on the free beta version everyone got for Steam, but when the actual game came out on Wii U, I never finished my permanent copy.  Now I have the free giveaway of the complete edition on Steam and I've barely touched that either.  It's weird coz do love Shantae as a series aesthetically (well, aside from them declaring that Shantae is canonically 16, yikes) and I 100%'d the other games, but HGH just had way too little in terms of levels to try and squeeze so many retreads out of it, which is a shame because the alternate gameplay styles are fun in theory but there's only so many times I can play these stages with slight re-arrangements of the obstacles and movement mechanics.

It's kind of horrifying to consider that if they hadn't made stretch goals, the game would've only been four stages long, let alone the meagre six we had.  I think if all the stretch goals were met, the game would've been much more satisfying - the two other stretch goal levels would've been just enough (and they sounded much cooler than the ones we got too, I wish they could've let us vote on which two stretch goal stages we got of the four rather than just arbitrarily doing the first two listed).  I think ultimately though the final, completed game is WAY too bogged down on all of the stretch goal DLC stuff, and it would've been a better game overall if they had scrapped half of the gimmicky fun bonus content and just put that budget into making one longer, cohesive game.

 

Annnnnyway regardless of the above I'm definitely glad to be getting more since as said, Shantae is a series I find very easy to forgive since I adore the art style, character design and humour in them. Hopefully them scaling back on the visuals a bit and re-using stuff from HGH will mean we'll get a much meatier package in terms of level count this time around, and the lack of crowd-pleasing promises will allow them to focus on good content that they don't need to hype up to incentivise kickstarter backers and we can just discover and enjoy for ourselves as normal content.

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Definitely looking forward to this!  I'm always up for more Shantae!

Also echoing others that while I enjoyed HGH it was quite a step down.  And the DLC content didn't do much to save it.  Felt like they were compensating for the game's shortcomings by adding more random content rather than making existing content more meaningful.

Also locking things that were once series staples (i.e. dancer outfit) behind paid DLC kind of felt like a money hungry move.

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I loved HGHs art style. While the stages were more linear I still had a blast. One reason for the shortness and all that honestly comes from it having to be kickstarted I think. A lot of ideas were dropped cause of funding. A lot of fans knew noting of it.

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1 hour ago, Tara said:

And the DLC content didn't do much to save it.  Felt like they were compensating for the game's shortcomings by adding more random content rather than making existing content more meaningful.

Personally I am really happy we got to play as Risky and other silly stuff such as ninja Shantae. More levels and extra stuff added to the base game would had been great... But I wouldn't sacrifice playing as Risky for that... MAYBE some of the other stuff I would... but not playable Risky at least.

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41 minutes ago, mayday2592 said:

Disappointed   it isn't going the 2.5d route. Half Genie Hero's style is what made it stand out to me.

Less budget on graphics, more time on levels. And is exactly what Shantae needs. A game which is not just the same locations in the same order over and over again. A full game not depending on stretch goals to be complete, and doesn't waste money doing various modes in the same locals instead of actually doing more levels.

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Yes. Please let it be a dungeon. I really need a traditional Shantae game right now! Please, please, please, Wayforward, let it be a Metroidvania-like game! Please, please, please! 

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40 minutes ago, JosepHenry said:

and doesn't waste money doing various modes in the same locals instead of actually doing more levels.

Personally I would prefer both if possible to some degree. Because the types of arguments such as "they could had spent the extra time on more levels instead of stuff like extra playable characters" is not one I am fond of or fully agree with. let's take Sonic 3&K for example... I don't think it would be the same game without Knuckles and Tails... but I'm sure some would try to argue that more time could had been spent on including another new zone if those 2 characters were never included... I don't believe it would make the game any better myself if they had done that. However there is a balance obviously, including some extras are great! But to many extras can end up hurting the higher quality work time that it could had really used to improve the base game. Anyways as long the base game is finished, then adding some extras afterwards is not really stealing time away from development on the main game.

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31 minutes ago, Lord-Dreamerz said:

Personally I would prefer both if possible to some degree. Because the types of arguments such as "they could had spent the extra time on more levels instead of stuff like extra playable characters" is not one I am fond of or fully agree with. let's take Sonic 3&K for example... I don't think it would be the same game without Knuckles and Tails... but I'm sure some would try to argue that more time could had been spent on including another new zone if those 2 characters were never included... I don't believe it would make the game any better myself if they had done that. However there is a balance obviously, including some extras are great! But to many extras can end up hurting the higher quality work time that it could had really used to improve the base game. Anyways as long the base game is finished, then adding some extras afterwards is not really stealing time away from development on the main game.

Except the base game of HGH was horribly lacking to put in bluntly. The extras are what make the game and... That's not all that good. Also sorry for being rude but Sonic 3K is a horrible example xD, Sonic 3K had 14 stages, and three characters, HGH has 9 modes, all with the same 5 locations. They could have at least done another level with the money they had. Opinions about HGH were perfectly expressed in this topic.

Well, it's over now, Shantae is back to the Metroidvania style so it's probably gonna be just like PC.

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13 minutes ago, JosepHenry said:

Except the base game of HGH was horribly lacking to put in bluntly. The extras are what make the game and... That's not all that good. Also sorry for being rude but Sonic 3K is a horrible example xD, Sonic 3K had 14 stages, and three characters, HGH has 9 modes, all with the same 5 locations. They could have at least done another level with the money they had. Opinions about HGH were perfectly expressed in this topic.

Well, it's over now, Shantae is back to the Metroidvania style so it's probably gonna be just like PC.

Except I wasn't talking only about HGH? I was talking about how I feel this kinda stuff should be handled in the future and in other games in general. So no, my S3&K example is not horrible. I never said HGH handled it perfectly. But again on HGH I wouldn't sacrifice Risky's mode for another level... Just maybe the other stuff i would had however. And don't even start with me and trying to act like your opinion on this and others who share it are the only right ones here.

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How do you know they could have done another level with the money they had? And ftte did have a extra stage. WF is a company but indie games is usually what they do. The artstyle aline in hgh was amazing and I'm sure took quite awhile to do. Had they delayed it a year maybe we would have got more but many fans enjoyed the new look

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25 minutes ago, Lord-Dreamerz said:

Except I wasn't talking only about HGH? I was talking about how I feel this kinda stuff should be handled in the future and in other games in general. So no, my S3&K example is not horrible. I never said HGH handled it perfectly. But again on HGH I wouldn't sacrifice Risky's mode for another level... Just maybe the other stuff i would had however. And don't even start with me and trying to act like your opinion on this and others who share it are the only right ones here.

I think Jammies, Beach, Ninja and Mighty Force mode are not the most necessary thing.... Risky and Rotty/Sky/Bolo mode is fine cuz is new characters and have sort of new substance... but those other modes should be after thoughts. Although making new levels is not as easy as making the level design slightly different.

I think Sonic 3k is not a good example because Sonic 3K was a massive game to begin with, Shantae HGH is super small and underwelming if you play just the main mode. When Sonic 3k you can just play as Sonic and see what the game has to offer just fine.

this is my opinion on it, I don't like how they focused too much on extras over more levels and things that feel completely new. I wasn't trying to make it be the "superior opinion" heck, I like HGH, is just that people already said what I wanted to say about it. Sorry if it looked like that.

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HGH's problem was that the Kickstarter promised a lot extraneous features and so WF were committed to fulfilling them and had to allocate budget to do so.

I enjoyed HGH but in a way I view it as a necessary evil now that we're getting a new Shantae installment that will make use of the previous game's HD spritesets, which were made possible thanks to the Kickstarter, in a game that will hopefully hearken back to the Metroidvania quality of the previous games. The success of HGH should pave the way to better future games, and I trust WF to understand the criticisms made against HGH and learn from its problems. It's a fantastically well-made game that deserves certain praise for the effort and care put into it, whose biggest shortcoming was a wide scope of side dishes that made the main course suffer.

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Well, they fixed the gameplay problems of HGH, but is Risky going to have her character re-railed? HGH really did a number on her. There were also some characters from older games I'd like to see show up here that weren't in HGH. 

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HGH was an indirect game from the start and as a backer rereading the campaign I think many do not realize just how small the game was going to be beforehand.  thankfully the ks helped some. Her popularity spiked thanks to hgh as well I think. Hopefully they can continue to expand upon the series.thats the thing on ks you pretty have to lock into what you say you'll add

5 minutes ago, Miragnarok said:

Well, they fixed the gameplay problems of HGH, but is Risky going to have her character re-railed? HGH really did a number on her. There were also some characters from older games I'd like to see show up here that weren't in HGH. 

Rerailed?

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