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.
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.
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.
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