Shantae and The Pirate’s Curse

I’m playing the 3DS version, and there’s a 3D effect on her boobs. Just wanna get it out of the way right at the start. There’s a lot of fanservice, but it’s all very silly and the kind that you can just roll your eyes at.

Pirate’s Curse is the third entry in the series, picking up immediately where Risky’s Revenge left off. Half-Genie Half-Human Shantae is left without her genie powers after the wonderfully-named Risky Boots stole them, and now faces having guardianship of her homeland revoked. The ancient pirate king decides this is an excellent time to come back from the dead, and Risky ain’t about that at all so teams up with Shantae to make sure it doesn’t happen.

In gameplay terms, definitely more of the same- which is no bad thing. Metroidvania-lite 2D platforming with some of the finest pixel-art sprite animation I’ve ever seen. It really needs to be seen to be believed- the expression and fine detail shown in the animations of every single part of the world are astonishing.

Fin or Bin:

Risky’s Revenge was very good, if non-essential, and Pirate’s Curse is shaping up to be the same. It’s definitely more enjoyable if you treat it like a platformer with occasional backtracking, rather than a metroidvania in it’s full definition. It’s a Fin.


Fire Emblem: Echoes


I’m kind of cheating with this one. I bought it as a reward for getting my backlog down to fewer than 50 games, and also as one last expensive treat before I go to see Mimorin perform in California (!). It never really went onto my backlog as I started playing it immediately, and I’ve certainly given it more than one hour, but I figured I’d write something about it anyway.

I’m a big fan of the series, my favourite being FE7 which was the first title released in the west. Echoes is a remake of the second Fire Emblem game, released way back in the NES days… and it feels like it, in a lot of ways.

The series was still in its infancy back then and there were a lot of decisions made that didn’t quite pan out right. This is understandable in a Famicom title, but the series has come a long way since then, and the faithfulness Echoes shows to its ancestor is pretty jarring. Unbreakable weapons, archers who have a range spanning 5+ tiles, magic is free, no unit ever has magic resistance, enemies who can summon more enemies (again, basically free) every turn so you can’t get close… there’s a lot of wonky stuff on display and I wonder if more should have been done to modernise it.

I’m still having a fun time- it’s still FE at the end of the day and I’m thoroughly hooked. The characters are largely a fun bunch (although for the love of crikey, Mae, please STOP TALKING) and I’ve completely fallen in love with Clair.

Fin or Bin:

I’ve already played more than an hour which automatically puts it in the Finish camp, but I do intend to complete this one. It’s ccurrently my least favourite FE and I don’t know if I’d play it again once I’m done with it though.

Recommended to:

If you’ve never played Fire Emblem, get Awakening first. If you’ve played all the others, you’ll like this one.