Shantae and the Seven Sirens from WayForward is the latest game in the franchise. This time, she’s out on vacation with her friends on a paradise island. Learn more about this amazing title in our Shantae and the Seven Sirens review!
Formerly referred to as Shantae 5, Shantae and the Seven Sirens sends the belly-dancing, hair-whipping, half-genie hero to a tropical island where Shantae and her friends encounter other Half-Genie allies, but they soon learn there’s trouble in paradise. As Shantae gets caught up in the island’s sinister secrets, she’ll use all-new dance abilities and instant-transformation Fusion Magic to explore the nonlinear, interconnected world where she’ll visit multiple towns, overcome treacherous labyrinths, and battle dastardly bosses. The game also features a new collectible card system that grants players the freedom to augment Shantae’s powers to suit their own style of play.
Shantae is back in a new adventure! This time around, she and her friends have arrived on a gorgeous tropical island for a Half-Genie festival, but as soon as she meets her new friends, something happens to the other Half-Genies, and they all disappear! It’s Shantae’s job to find them, and discover the secret of the island on which they thought they would be on a relaxing vacation.
Shantae and the Seven Sirens begins with an all-new hand-drawn animated cut-scene, which was very fun to watch. Once you’re ready to start exploring the island you won’t have a hard time to adapt if you played other Shantae games since the main gameplay mechanics are the same: run and jump as you attack enemies by whipping Shantae’s hairs, use an equipped special item, or dance to use one of the magical powers you’ve learned. A new element this time around is Shantae’s instant-transformation to different animals as you use the skills you get as you progress through the game.
Exploration in Shantae and the Seven Sirens is absolutely fun, and I loved discovering abilities that opened up whole new segments of the map. Since this is a Metroidvania on an island, it gave a lot of flexibility to the dev team to give us an amazing place to explore. Exploring is also rewarding, thanks to the different treasures to find and the hidden platforms you can bring to life with your skills. The map system is also a good feature, as it notes every area you visit, making it easier to see where you’ve been to and where you should go to. The level design is top-notch, and it was fun to explore each new spot.
On the island, there are some labyrinths where the titular sirens roam. As you enter a labyrinth, you will have one goal in mind: to rescue one of the missing Half-Genies! As you do to this, you will be able to collect a ton of gems, battle many enemies, and collect new powers that you will need to defeat each siren. As mentioned before, the level design is clever, and the puzzles are simple enough as to not overwhelm you. As a quick note on the boss fights, I thought they were very creative and fun. You won’t be able to directly attack the sirens until you figure out a way to create a window of opportunity.
As for Shantae’s powers, I already mentioned she gets a few new dances in this game, but they work differently from other entries in the series since they will be used to call upon the powers of the other Half-Genies. There’s also a new Monster Card system. As you defeat enemies, they can randomly drop cards. Collect cards, and you can equip some boosts for Shantae. For some monsters, you only need to collect one card, but others will require you to get multiple copies before you can equip them. This allows for some customization on how you want to play since you can increase your attack power, gain extra speed when climbing, gain extra health when you eat food, and more.
The presentation of Shantae and the Seven Sirens is superb. The game is colorful, and all characters and enemies are perfectly hand-drawn in great detail. The previous Shantae game was gorgeous, and this sequel continues with that and adds new enemies, new locations, new bosses, all with a spectacular hand-drawn art that makes everything pop. I also liked how each locale has its own charm and how much work went into each of the NPCs. If you pay attention, you’ll notice that each NPC has its own personality, and most of them are dancing in joy!
The soundtrack is classic chiptunes, and each track is catchy. I loved the soundtrack enough to purchase it myself, and I can only encourage you to do so too by checking WayForward’s official tweet about the soundtrack to check what your options are.
Trophies are awarded for story progression, but a few will require you to do separate runs to complete different objectives, such as speedrunning the whole thing, or completing the game without upgrading your health and finishing your adventure with only the starting three hearts. Those two will prove to be a challenge if you’re looking to achieve this game’s Platinum trophy, but it’s still going to be a fun ride! As for the game length, we are looking at roughly 10 hours for your first run.
Shantae and the Seven Sirens is an amazing Metroidvania, and definitively the best one I’ve played over the last couple of years. I was already a fan of the Shantae after greatly enjoying Shantae: Half-Genie Hero, and this game is even better than the previous one! I loved the exceptional presentation, the fun gameplay mechanics, the change to the insta-transformations, and the Monster Cards system, making this one a solid competitor for my 2020 GOTY.
PSN Price: $29.99
PSN Game size: 4 GB
This Shantae and the Seven Sirens review is based on a PlayStation 4 copy provided by WayForward Technologies.