Greeting everyone, how are you today? Wasting your lives in video games I assume? Good, the doomsday plan is working BWAHAHAHA… What, they can hear me, oh son of a bit-
Anyway, today we look at two indie games that I recently bought on the Wii-U, Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse and Guacamelee: Super Turbo Championship Edition, two Metroidvania titles that have gained popularity. Enough screwing around, let’s get to it!
Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse picks up where Risky’s Revenge left off, after defeating the personification of her genie powers, Shantae now has to deal with being a full human, the Ammo Baron taking over Scuttle Town, and working with Risky Boots to stop the Pirate Master from being reborn. Guacamelee follows Juan, who loves El Presidente’s daughter, who is kidnapped by Carlos Calaca. Calaca kills Juan, but Juan receives a Luchador mask by Tostada which gives him the powers of a Luchador and he must stop Calaca from merging the world of the living and dead. Both stories are simple and to the point, Shantae and Guacamelee’s plots set up the main games very well. Shantae’s dialogue is pretty witty and funny, while Guacamelee has its moments as well.
Both Shantae and Guacamelee look very beautiful in their own ways. Both games are set in a 2D artstyle, with Shantae going for sprite animations that are well designed, (Though nothing will probably ever beat Street Fighter 3rd Strike in terms of sprite animations) and Guacamelee keeping all of the characters and environments in a simple 2D like structure. Both games take advantage of their ascetic style and use it to their full potential, like how bright and colorful Sequin Land can be or how the world of Guacamelee feels so authentic. Overall, Shantae and Guacamelee excel at making their worlds come to life in their own way.
For both Pirate’s Curse and Guacamelee, one of the most important aspects in these games is the soundtrack. Guacamelee really has one tone to their soundtrack, it’s a really good tone, but it seems like that’s all Guacamelee has, especially since the music seems to blend together. Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse easily has a better and more diverse soundtrack, it knows how to grab you attention when you first start the game. I can easily say that Shantae’s soundtrack is much better than Guacamelee’s.
Shantae and Guacamelee are both Metroidvania games respectively. What this means is that the name of the game is platforming, exploring, collecting, and beating enemies up. This is where Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse excels over Guacamelee overall, especially in terms of exploration. If you know how a Metroidvania game works the biggest issue is how you explore the world that you are in. Shantae’s world is a lot more compact, not too big, but big enough to be able to explore without getting tired, which makes the backtracking for things like cacklebats, heart squids, and gems much more manageable. You have your main weapon which is your hair, and throughout the game you can upgrade your hair to be more powerful and reach longer. Thanks to upgrades such as the pistol, cannon, and boots, backtracking is easier to do and is a more enjoyable experience. The controls are the perfect kind of precise, not too precise that’ll make you fly to the left or right, making backtracking even less of a hassle.
Guacamelee’s world is a lot bigger, but I find it to be its biggest weakness, even though you can run fast. You notice the padding in Guacamelee when you heads toward the endgame, it starts to keep going on forever, plus also the controls are not as precise as Shantae as I find myself spending minutes fumbling over the different special moves. You learn special luchador moves to punch, kick, or pile drive enemies to death and explore the world, and it’s just not as fluid as Shantae’s equipment. Ultimately I believe that Pirate’s Curse is a better well designed and better controlled game in general.
Both games are overall fairly easy, the true challenge is the length of both games due to the backtracking. Shantae has a good difficulty, minus the final dungeon having a significant difficulty spike. Guacamelee is similarly the same, except for the endgame, which seems to drag on to make way for padding. Also because its world is bigger, it makes traveling across Guacamelee’s world seem slower, even though your character can run pretty fast. Both games do a fair job of progressing through the game minus their final parts being either long or a bit too difficult.
A big part of these games is can you keep coming back to them depending on how many times you play them, how long it took, how much there is to collect, etc. Let me tell you the difference between completing Shantae and Guacamelle. I’ve completed Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse four times now, and I want to go back and play it again, I played Guacamelee once and by the end I wanted to go back to Shantae. I just think that Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse is a much better designed game overall, and it doesn’t overstay its welcome. I still think that Guacamelee is a very good game, but its faults prevent it from being a great game like Shantae.
Both Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse and Guacamelee: Super Turbo Championship Edition are among some of the best indie games on the Wii-U. If you love Metroidvania games, I would say to play Guacamelee, but complete Shantae fully, but that is ultimately up to you. Now, I plan to review another indie title that I have played, what I want you guys to do is to tell me which one you want me to review next and I will get started on that ASAP.
Will it be ye grand adventures of Shovel Knight?
The further tales of Scrooge McDuck in Ducktales Remastered?
Or the balls as hard AVGN Adventures?