A game so nice I reviewed it thrice.
Here it is, folks: the best Shantae game. Yes, Half-Genie Hero—which I’ll be buying later this year when it comes to Switch physically—is a fantastic game that improved over time thanks to a healthy amount of DLC. However, for my money, it really doesn’t get any better than Pirate’s Curse, which neatly summarizes everything I like about Shantae: witty writing, gorgeous spritework and animation, an interesting moveset used to explore large environments, and a big dose of cheesecake. If you haven’t played Pirate’s Curse previously on 3DS or Wii U, it’s now available on Switch. If you have a 3DS, I recommend that version because its use of 3D is inspired. If you have a 2DS or you can’t see 3D, then you should get it on whichever system you’re more likely to play it on. Here, I’ll briefly discuss what sets the Switch version apart from earlier iterations.
If you want a breakdown of the story and gameplay of Pirate’s Curse, check out that link to my review of the 3DS version, above. The Switch version is a port of the 3DS physical game card version. That boxed copy received a bonus feature, although I can’t say how much of a bonus it was: in the game’s item shop, you could find an arcade machine upon which you could play Super Shantae Nab! Which is—I’m not kidding—a slightly-altered WarioWare DIY microgame. In it, you try to line up Shantae (in Monkey form) as she scoots up and down a palm tree, then press A to zip across and hopefully nab a floating gem.
This is an easy way to rack up gems, but there are quicker ways (like repeatedly visiting the Tan Line temple), so Super Shantae Nab isn’t particularly compelling. It’s a cute inclusion but not worth the price of admission. The other new feature is HD rumble, which happens with surprising (but welcome) frequency. Again, not a game-making change but an appreciated one. Otherwise, this is the same Pirate’s Curse we’ve been playing since 2014. Back then, I called it one of my favorite 3DS games and I maintain that opinion today. Get it in whatever form is most convenient for you (but seriously the 3D effect is ridiculous).