Video Game Review: Shantae and the Seven Sirens

For an obscure series on the GameBoy Color, Shantae has become a fan favorite with many gamers. Shantae and the Seven Sirens released on IOS in 2019 and 2020 for everything else. Being the fifth game in the series, Shantae and the Seven Sirens has a lot to follow up on. Building upon previous games, Seven Sirens brings is culmination of everything WayForward has done with the series so far

Story

Shantae’s first vacation since 2002

The game opens with Shantae and her friends receiving an invitation to the Half-Genie Festival. After befriending the other half-genies, Shantae joins them in a performance that ends with others getting kidnapped. As Shantae is the only half-genie around, she must travel around to the underside of the island to find them. While the story is nothing new, it is nice to see that there are more half-genies. Seven Sirens creates a compelling story with new characters and a new setting that many fans seem to enjoy.

Gameplay

One of the other half-genie powers

Shantae and the Seven Sirens builds upon the gameplay from previous games in an interesting way. Rather than just improving upon what Half-Genie Hero had done, Seven Sirens combines aspects from other games in the series. Animal transformations are now handled through Fusion Magic. This allows Shantae to transform with the press of a button like the pirate gear in Pirates Curse. This makes travel more seamless. Dancing now allows Shantae to access magic from any of the other half-genies that she rescued. These usually have some effect on the environment such as summoning platforms or making objects visible. This is makes travelling interesting as the entire game world is connected rather than having different stages.

Monster cards and their abilities

Combat remains mostly the same from previous games. The main goal is to make it to the end of a certain area, take out enemies along the way. Shantae will of course be able to whip her hair at enemies and use various forms of magic to defeat them. Defeated enemies can sometimes drop monster cards. These cards can offer multiple benefits such as faster movement speed or making it easier to pick up items. While combat feels like previous games, these additions make it more interesting.

Visuals

Game’s opening cutscene

Visually speaking, this game is a step up from Half-Genie Hero. The game turns on with an amazing animated opening cutscene. No other Shantae game featured any animated cutscenes. The actual in-game world uses many bright and vibrant colors to bring this world to life. Even many of the darker scenes still use brighter colors. This is probably to fit with the idea that Shantae and her friends are on vacation when this happens. While this game looks amazing, it would have been nice to see the use of darker elements during darker scenes.

Shantae and the Seven Sirens is culmination everything WayForward has done with the series so far. Combining the best elements from Pirate’s Curse and Half-Genie Hero; this is a game that many Shantae fans will enjoy. Wayforward is able to improve this series with each new game released.

About Maya Moraleja

Maya first started gaming at the age of three with a copy of Pokemon Silver on the Gameboy color and just fell in love with the hobby. Expanding her horizons on different games and genres turned into something that eventually lead to her seeking out a career in gaming. Pronouns: She/her