Hey WayForward? Please release this game very soon, okay?
At the Eurogamer Expo Nintendo had a bunch of upcoming indie games on display and one of which was Shantae and the Pirate's Curse. This new entry in the Shantae series from WayForward proved to be a good time, even though the demo left me wanting so much. The dungeon snippet lasted for a few minutes, yet I wanted it to last forever; I even played it several times!
In this demo slice, Shantae is tasked with bringing an Egg to Sky and overcoming many devious traps along the way. The purple-haired half-genie doesn't have her usual marquee transformations at her disposal, but there are still plenty of ways to deal with foes. The most important thing is, of course, her trusty hair whip, with which she can do some pretty hefty damage. Good control over the move is needed in the first encounter with a bigger enemy, which you need to defeat to obtain a key.
As I went further along, grabbing some gems along the way, the focus of the puzzles changed. This came together when I got my hands on a new item: Risky's pistol and it used in some very entertaining ways. In the elements where a thinking cap is required, you used the gun to shoot at switches so that you can traverse larger portions of the terrain. The pistol also makes for a better defensive weapon than the hair whip because of its far reach.
Towards the end of the dungeon, the enemies became trickier to defeat, especially the skeleton enemies who will spot you and make your life a disaster. Shortly after that I was introduced to the dash maneuver. By keeping your momentum going, Shantae will flash and pressing the Y-button will cause her to dash forward. It will destroy everything in her path and makes for a wonderful spectacle at the end of the demo.
The game played wonderfully on the Nintendo 3DS and had very refined controls. Movement with the Circle Pad had a good amount of weight to it and everyone who has played WayForward's titles as of late should feel right at home. The graphics looked great too, with beautiful pixel art available on the top screen. The environments, even though they were dark, had a lot of small, shiny details to them that made the game stand out.
I can't wait for Shantae and the Pirate's Curse to come. Maybe it is time to replay the older games at this point to catch up, because WayForward shows to not count out a purple-haired adventurer.