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[PlayStation 5] Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse Review

[PlayStation 5] Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse Review
  • On October 21, 2022

Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse from WayForward has finally hit PlayStation 5! Are you RET-2-GO? Then check out our Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse review!


Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse from WayForward has finally hit PlayStation 5! Are you RET-2-GO? The game is the third in the third game in the beloved and long-running series, which got its start way back in 2002 on the Game Boy Color. Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse was originally released on the Nintendo 3DS in 2014, followed by a Nintendo Wii U version on Christmas 2014 – yes, it’s really been that long ago when the Nintendo 3DS and the Nintendo Wii U coexisted!

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What’s the story for this one? Shantae has lost her half-genie powers and is now all human. Your journey begins when the Ammo Baron attacks Scuttle Town, so you rush to the scene to try and use the power of your hair and the items in your inventory – since that’s all you have left – to hopefully defeat all of the minor bad guys and the Ammo Baron. Unfortunately, after the battle, the Royall Guard arrives and makes it very clear that Shantae is at fault since she attacked the rightful owner of Scuttle Town! Her punishment will be to have her ponytail cut, which is the last power she has after losing her genie half.


After this unfortunate series of events, Shantae goes back home to take a relaxing bath to try and get her mind away from her new issues… but then she realizes she doesn’t own a bathtub! It’s actually a trap from the nefarious Risky Boots, who traps her and demands that she tells her where all of her men and weapons are since Shantae, and her uncle took them. To prove this, Risky takes Shantae to Mimic’s lab, where a Tinkerbat is currently imprisoned inside a crystal container. It’s then that an evil-looking cloud of energy makes its way toward the Tinkerbat… turning it into a Cacklebat! After defeating it, Shantae must now travel through the land in search of other Cacklebats to collect their essence, in a twist that reminded me of Metroid II: Return of Samus on the original Game Boy – which was remade as Metroid: Samus Returns on the Nintendo 3DS.

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Since Shantae does not have her half-genie powers, she’ll have to cooperate with Risky Boots to be able to stand up against the Pirate Master, who is even worse than Risky herself! Instead of exploring a single interconnected map, for Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse, you’ll be exploring self-contained islands, which makes for an interesting change of pace. There’s also the whole “Risky Boots had her weapons and items stolen” twist to the story, which will see Shantae and Risky trying to recover them before it’s too late.


Because of this, Shantae’s skills will be awarded by way of powerful Pirate Gear recovered from the evil bosses following the Pirate Master’s orders. You’ll usually be able to explore most areas on each island with the gear that you’ve collected, with future revisits required only if you want to 100% the game by finding and defeating all Cacklebats or collecting all squids, which you can trade for extra hearts for Shantae so that she can sustain more damage when fighting the good fight.

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You’ll control Shantae with the left analog stick or the D-Pad, jumping with the X button and attacking with her hair with the Square button. Once you gain access to the Pirate Hat that used to belong to Risky Boots, you’ll be able to use it to glide, which will allow you to gain an edge and cover some extra distance after a jump. Combine this with the mighty Cannon, which can be shot downwards during a jump, and you can extend that even further for some crazy speedrunning tricks that can help you complete the game at a faster pace, which is needed for the Platinum trophy.


Yes, this one has a full trophy list! You’ll work on unlocking 36 Bronze trophies, 4 Silver trophies, and 4 Gold trophies. Several of them will unlock as you progress through the game, beat all of the bosses, and eventually complete the game. On that note, you do need to work on beating the bosses without receiving any damage, so you’ll need to learn their movement and attack patterns to be able to pull it off. Collect all squids and don’t sacrifice all of them in one run, speedrun the game while getting 100%, really speedrun the game with an any % run, and you’ll get that Platinum trophy for your collection. This PlayStation 5 version has a separate trophy list from the PlayStation 4, and since the game is now a Cross-Buy release, if you own the PS4 version, you’ll get the PS5 version for free!

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Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse was a blast on Nintendo Wii U and Nintendo 3DS, so I was more than ready to take the game for another spin on PlayStation 5. You’re getting a separate trophy list, Activity functionality, as well as support for DualSense haptic feedback, which makes this one provide you with a little bit of extra oomph for its action. Clear the game, and you’ll unlock Pirate Mode, which allows you to start with all of Pirate Gear unlocked, making it a great option for subsequent speedrunning for that shiny Platinum. The game is now Cross-Buy, so your $19.99 purchase will give you access to both the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 versions. And if you already own the PS4 version, you can upgrade to the PS5 right now at no cost!

This Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse review is based on a PlayStation 5 copy provided by WayForward.

Review Overview

A classic Shantae game revamped for a new generation