|Shantae and the Seven Sirens
|March 22nd, 2022 (PS5)
|Nintendo Switch, PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Apple Arcade
|ESRB – T for Teen
I’ve been meaning to get into the Shantae series for a long time now. I liked the aesthetic of the series and found the character designs to be very appealing; however, I am very green when it comes to Metroidvania games, so I always put the series on the backburner. Fast forward to now, and I was given the opportunity to try out the PS5 port of Shantae and the Seven Sirens. This was the perfect chance for me to finally try out this series. Did the Seven Sirens open my eyes to the wonderful world of Shantae, or did I swear off Metroidvania games for good? Read on and find out!
Shantae and the Seven Sirens starts off with Shantae heading to an island to participate in the Half-Genie Festival and take a well-deserved vacation. Accompanying her are Sky, Bolo, and Uncle Mimic. Unfortunately, tragedy strikes Armor Town and the rest of the half-genies suddenly vanish. It is up to Shantae to find the rest of her fellow half-genies and determine who is behind their disappearances. What will Shantae uncover as she traverses this mysterious island?
I liked the cast of characters and their interactions; however, the game was very short. It took me around nine hours to complete the main story. This means that there was not much time to develop each of the characters introduced in the game, especially the other half genies. The only character I could really get attached to was Shantae, and that is because you play as her the entire game. I really loved her energetic personality and her penchant for dancing.
Shantae and the Seven Sirens is a Metroidvania, so the gameplay is a good mix of action and platforming. Shantae starts off with the ability to whip enemies with her hair and she can dance. Dancing can attract gems if they’re hard to reach. As you progress in the story, you can unlock Fusion Magic and transformations that will allow you traverse more of the game’s map. For example, you can unlock the Seer Dance fusion magic early in the game. This magic can locate hidden objects, platforms, and even invisible enemies. An example of one of the transformations is the Newt. The Newt can be utilized to cross wide gaps and also climb up walls. In addition to these techniques, you can also purchase other magic abilities and upgrades using the gems you collect from enemies and the environment.
When you start a new game, you can choose from four different game modes. I chose to play the game in Definitive Mode, which rebalances the original game experience and supposedly adds new challenges. Even in this mode, I never found the game to be too difficult. Certain enemies gave a sufficient challenge and I never found the platforming to be too frustrating. The majority of enemies could be defeated by just wailing on them with Shantae’s hair, which some may find too easy. This also includes boss fights, which may be disappointing to some of the more hardcore Metroidvania fans. Progression in the Seven Sirens is pretty much the same through every chapter. You search for one of the missing half-genies, gain a new ability, traverse through a dungeon, defeat a boss, and then the chapter is finished. I kind of wish there was more variety to progression, but it didn’t bother me too much.
Graphically, Shantae and the Seven Sirens looks fantastic. Shantae and the rest of the cast are drawn and animated beautifully. The enemies are varied, ranging from cute to terrifying. The boss enemies are huge and each one looks unique. And honestly, some of them are kind of hot, too. It almost made me feel a little bad taking them out. I really have nothing negative to say about the visuals in this game, they look really nice.
The music in Seven Sirens is nothing to turn your nose up at either. There are a lot of upbeat tracks that’ll make you feel like dancing with Shantae. I especially like the tracks that play in the different towns; they’re very catchy. I also appreciate how the main cast is voiced. Each voice actor is perfect for their character, especially Shantae. Her voice actress captured her upbeat personality perfectly. I do wish all of the lines were fully voiced, but the game being partially voiced isn’t a deal breaker.
Seven Sirens runs very smoothly on PS5. There were no dips in performance whatsoever. It took me around nine hours to complete the main story. You can add on some more playtime by trying to collect all of the Monster Cards, trying out the other game modes, and also by unlocking the other ending CGs. The game is short and sweet, but some may be thrown off by the length and lack of post game content.
Shantae and the Seven Sirens was a fun ride for as long as it lasted. The visuals are beautiful, the music is catchy, and the gameplay mechanics are well executed. However, some may be put off by its ease and short length. I think you’ll have fun if you’re a fan of Shantae or are a relatively green Metroidvania player. For those looking for a more challenging game, you may want to look elsewhere. Seven Sirens is $29.99 on the PlayStation Store, and gives you both the PS5 and PS4 versions with purchase. I think you may want to wait on a sale if you want this game considering its short length. But, I do think you’ll have a fun time with it if you decide to take the plunge.
Review copy provided by the publisher.