Shantae: 1/2 Genie Hero – Pirate Queen’s Quest DLC [Game Review – Xbox One S / Metroidvania]

Today, I’m doing something that I don’t normally do: reviewing some DLC. You see, for the most part, I dislike DLC. I find it to be a cheeky way of making more money, and often view it all as not being worth my time. I don’t object to developers wanting to make money, of course, but DLC often leaves a sour taste in my mouth. So, what’s different this time? Well, if you remember my review of Shantae: ½ Genie Hero, you’ll know that I found it be a fine example of metroidvania style gaming. Recently, some DLC was released titled Pirate Queen’s Quest. This time, I was sufficiently interested enough to purchase the add-on.

shantae half 1/2 genie hero wayforward metroidvania risky boots priate queen queen's queens quest DLC
The villainous Risky Boots takes to the stage

So, what is the add-on exactly? Well, that’s simple: playing as the series’ main villain, the nefarious pirate Risky Boots, you get to experience the story of ½ Genie Hero from the antagonist’s stand-point. Now, I am well aware that that sounds like you are simply getting an extra character. Given that the DLC is priced at around half the price of the main game, it would be easy to argue that it may be priced a little too steeply if that were the case. What that means is that your mileage with the game may vary depending on how you view what you’re getting.

shantae half 1/2 genie hero wayforward metroidvania risky boots priate queen queen's queens quest DLC hat
Risky gets to use skills that will be familiar to those that played Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse

The first thing to note here is that you are essentially playing the same levels as you did in the main game. What sets the mode apart is that they’ve had some minor redesigns. While our regular hip wiggling, hair whipping protagonist has the ability to transform into various animals, the self-professed pirate queen is blessed with a slightly different skill set. For one, her main attack is a mighty swish of her scimitar. To accompany this, you can try out some ranged attacked with her various pistol modes (regular, homing, split and bomb). As the game goes on, rather than pick up animal forms, you gather things like a large glide-assisting pirate hat, a grappling hook, and double jump cannon. While each subsequent upgrade leads to similar overall effects to Shantae’s shapeshifting, they aren’t identical in use or control, which has in turn led to the levels undergoing a slight redesign. It’s not a massive change, but it certainly helps freshen things up!

On a base level, a lot of what I praised ½ Genie Hero for applies here. The graphics a bright, colourful, and well animated. The controls are easy to pick up. The levels are deceptively big. The music is fun. Cristina Vee does as good a job as Risky as she did as Shantae … in many ways, the general rule here is that if you enjoyed the main game, then you’ll likely get a kick out of this.

shantae half 1/2 genie hero wayforward metroidvania risky boots priate queen queen's queens quest DLC boss
Shantae, complete with her animal transformations, gets ready to rumble!

But then, ½ Genie Hero wasn’t perfect. Though it didn’t drop the overall score any, I did mention that I thought that the game may be a little on the short side for some players. Unfortunately, that also applies here. I managed my first blind run through of the game in a little under three hours. My speed run, complete with collecting 100% of items, took less than two hours. That second run was actually enough to unlock all three pieces of bonus that the game rewards you with. Would I play through the whole thing again? Maybe, though not any time soon. Having done all there is to do in less than a week, there really isn’t too much left now other than to wait for the next run of promised DLC. There’s also the point that if you disliked the previous entry in the franchise, Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse, you’re not going to like this. While the control system and upgrades aren’t identical to that (in my opinion very fun) game, they’re pretty close.

So, what does this all mean?

In short, Pirate Queen’s Quest is a decent add-on to an already fun game. While perhaps a little short, it’s a fun way to spend a few hours.

Final Score: 4 / 5

5 thoughts on “Shantae: 1/2 Genie Hero – Pirate Queen’s Quest DLC [Game Review – Xbox One S / Metroidvania]

  1. I am not a fan of DLC, so it is encouraging to see that gamers are starting to get wise about what a scam it can be due to the recent loot box controversy.

    Shantae’s base game was a load of fun and I wouldn’t mind replaying it as a new character. I’ll have to leave that idea on the back burner for now though, as I have so much stuff on my backlog already.

    I’m not surprised that you cleared this content so quickly. Aside from the game not being too long I imagine having prior knowledge of the stages helps to expedite matters quite a bit.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aye. Even with the slight redesigns to fit the new play style, the levels are still close enough to the Shantae versions to be familiar.

      The more I think about it, the more I’m equating DLC to a modernisation of the old ‘expansion packs’ you used to be able to buy for FPS and RPG games. The difference being that the expansion packs were one off purchases and tended to add quite a bit, while modern DLC can be as little as a new costume. My geek role tend to be that I’ll grab DLC if it ticks all three of the below:

      A) Is cheap or free
      B) Adds a lot to the game
      C) Isn’t unlockable without purchase

      Most of the DLC I’ve seen feels like a rip off to me though, the recent loot box stuff included. All the while it makes money though, it’ll keep popping up.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Well in the time that I used to game, DLC could take on many forms. The cheapest were always map packs, costumes, new weapons and stuff like that. I always hated those, but some DLC was actually a lot of fun. I used to really enjoy the DLC for Mass Effect, that had some really cool new storyline missions that really added something to the game itself. This DLC sounds pretty okay,and if isn’t too expensive and adds a few more fun hours to a game that is already pretty good, I would say that’s great 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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