“Have you ever heard of Sequin Land? It was once a magical place, protected from monsters and mishaps by beautiful Guardian Genies. Their heroism won long years of peace, during which many of the genies fell in love with mortal men. The resulting offspring were all girls, seemingly human but with a trace of magical power, often lying dormant or manifesting in unusual ways. Thus half-genies came into the world.
Sadly, as the ages passed large numbers of Guardian Genies began to disappear from Sequin Land until not one remained. Many folks imagined that they had been captured inside bottles, while others believed that the genies had returned to their own realm. With the guardians gone, Sequin Land began to fall prey to evil.
In spite of their lack of skills, the daughters of the Genies made a decision to pool their powers and stand against evil as best they could. Few and far between, these half-genies traveled the land, each choosing a kingdom to guard until peace could be won again. As they struggle to keep the peace, new villains emerge and ancient foes return to wreak havoc on Sequin Land. Is this newest generation of Guardian Genies up to the challenge?”
So begins Shantae, the original Game Boy Color platformer, a game that you’ve probably heard an awful lot about in recent months with the recent release of Shantae: Risky’s Revenge for the DS (DSi Ware). In my case, I have to admit that I was very fortunate to have caught a well written feature several years ago about this rare little GBC platformer that sounded like a heck of a lot of fun, and boy am I glad I stumbled upon the article when I did because a couple of days later I took a little detour by my local game shop on the way home and managed to locate a nice clean cartridge (in a lonely box the employees had in the back no less) to take home with me, along with a copy of Camelot’s Golden Sun if memory serves, for ~ 10 dollars (the game can go for well over a hundred dollars these days assuming one finds a copy so it was fortuitous indeed). At that point I only had the GBA/GBC extension that you could attach to the Nintendo Gamecube so I’ve only been able to play the game in a few short spurts to date, but its definitely a fun little game and now that I’ve landed myself a nice, gently-used, GBC system I look forward to spending a lot more time with the good ‘ol half-genie, Shantae.
And the good news for almost all of us, of course, is that thanks to Shantae: Risky’s Revenge, the recently released sequel, that a large number of folks will finally be able to experience what’s made this franchise intriguing enough to drive up those prices, keep fans talking, and warrant a sequel years down the road. What’s more, it appears that we’ve got a lot to look forward to as the game has received received more than a few rave reviews across the board.
Congratulations to WayForward for crafting a series that’s received so much praise, and certainly my “thanks” for all the hard work and for sticking with our heroine all these years so that we could enjoy a new entry in what I hope becomes a franchise. I’ll have to wait for the release of the Nintendo 3DS to enjoy it myself (can’t justify another DS purchase until then I’m afraid) but I really look forward to playing it and will just have to explore the original game in the meantime now that I’ve finally got the means.