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GoNintendo 'End of Day' thought - The smooth moves of Shantae



End of the week already! I'm definitely down with that. I'm sure many of you are as well. We all earned it, so let's get through Friday to enjoy it! See you in a few, short hours.


Man, it is a great week to be a Shantae fan. Earlier this week, WayForward kicked off a Kickstarter for Shantae's first console game. As if that weren't enough, today they put out a new trailer for Shantae and the Pirate's Curse, which is heading to the 3DS eShop this year. I think I've watched the trailer about 10 times now!

I have always been a fan of sprite animation. I can respect any work that goes into game making, but there's just something about sprite animation that really tickles my fancy. Thinking of animators painstakingly drawing out every bit of animation to make something fluid and gorgeous just boggles my mind.

There was a time there in the game industry where I worried that sprite animation would be a thing of the past. Devs were more interested in pushing as many polygons as possible. I didn't want to see sprite art disappear as a lost art. Thankfully, companies like Nintendo and WayForward have kept the tradition alive, not to mention the flurry of indie devs that also seem to love the old-school style.

The kind of work that WayForward does with animation just goes to show how much expression you can get out of sprites. The type of movement you get, the weight and fluid motion of a character. It's a really gorgeous thing in my eyes. This new trailer more than proves that. Watching that dance Shantae does at the 52 second mark is enough to sell me on the game alone!

I would never review a game highly because it was gorgeous but played like crap. With that said, I can still appreciate the art as its own element. Luckily for us, WayForward certainly knows how to make their gameplay as appealing as their art. How does this new trailer sit with you? Have you been convinced to save a spot on your 3DS for Shantae's next title?


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18 total comments (View all)
User avatar
06 Sep 2013 03:46

Shantae keeps getting better and better.
I am worried that they are releasing the games too fast. After Shantae half genie hero they should take a break even if it's only for a couple years.

Any series that start selling yearly releases is gonna eventually suffer.
User avatar
06 Sep 2013 04:46

4 years ago I woulda just stepped away without giving Shantae a 2nd thought.

Then RMC kept on ranting & raving about it, posting that Nintendo Power article, and I caved; dropping 60 on eBay for a solid copy. Instant love for WayForward.

With that new Trailer, I felt like I was watching a bit of Super Metroid in it just with that Scimitar Speed Dash. Them Shantae Sprites just put me back to playing my SNES and you just don't get that feeling anymore with games today.

Yearly Shantae Games do scare me in a way, but to be frank, it's been 2 years since we saw Risky's Revenge. 2013 has Pirate's Curse and 2014 has ½ Genie Hero so I have no complaints with that and WayForward has some great support to pull it off!
No Avatar
06 Sep 2013 04:47

I dislike pixelated sprites. I don't see the point in it other than to make games look like an old game running on an old system. With the power of modern consoles you can make it almost as good as real animation. Like with Ducktales remake for example.

Like this:

http://cdn.destructoid.com//ul/260636-WOO-HOO.jpg

Instead of:

http://i1.ytimg.com/vi/_vYJMW3rGqc/maxresdefault.jpg
User avatar
06 Sep 2013 05:36

It's fine if you don't like pixelated graphics but with regards to Pirates Curse it has to be pixelated because of the low resolution of the 3DS. Unless you want an abomination like Rayman Origins on 3DS which is so compressed and ugly that you can't even see what you are doing let alone what the character details look like.

Furthermore pixel graphics aren't done just to make something look "old" it's often times a budget issue. It's a lot harder to animate an HD "sprite" than it is to animate a 32x32 or 64x64 sprite. The bigger something gets the more frames it needs in order to look smooth. The more frames it needs the more time it takes and the more money it costs to make.
No Avatar
06 Sep 2013 06:03

Fuego6 wrote:It's fine if you don't like pixelated graphics but with regards to Pirates Curse it has to be pixelated because of the low resolution of the 3DS. Unless you want an abomination like Rayman Origins on 3DS which is so compressed and ugly that you can't even see what you are doing let alone what the character details look like.

Furthermore pixel graphics aren't done just to make something look "old" it's often times a budget issue. It's a lot harder to animate an HD "sprite" than it is to animate a 32x32 or 64x64 sprite. The bigger something gets the more frames it needs in order to look smooth. The more frames it needs the more time it takes and the more money it costs to make.


I get that the game is a 3DS type game. I mostly talking about games like Duck Tales or whatever. Or games like Shovel Knight which is deliberately old fashioned style.
No Avatar
06 Sep 2013 10:33

Isn't the song from this trailer on OCremix.org?

I know I've heard this remix a thousand times.

Edit: Ah no wonder, its from the composer himself.
http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR02112/
No Avatar
06 Sep 2013 10:53

The motion and variety of this trailer impress me a lot more than that in the kickstarter trailer. It's probably just because it's so much further along in development. Here's to hoping half-genie hero looks as good.
User avatar
06 Sep 2013 11:07

HULK wrote:The motion and variety of this trailer impress me a lot more than that in the kickstarter trailer. It's probably just because it's so much further along in development. Here's to hoping half-genie hero looks as good.


I'd say it's because the art is simply better in the 3DS game. Shantae, along with everything else in the HD game is drawn in a different style, a far flatter, far more toony style with weird, simplistic proportions that are quite frankly unappealing to my eye.
No Avatar
06 Sep 2013 11:20

Reynard wrote:I'd say it's because the art is simply better in the 3DS game. Shantae, along with everything else in the HD game is drawn in a different style, a far flatter, far more toony style with weird, simplistic proportions that are quite frankly unappealing to my eye.


Yeah. It feels like they took the style of Ducktales Remastered and applied it to Shantae.
The kickstarter one seems to move sluggishly for a shantae game. Pirate's curse is much more fluid.

It's funny playing ducktales on wii U because you can look at the screen and see the HD version, or look at the same thing on the game pad only pixelated. Sometimes I think I like looking at the gamepad better because of that - maybe it's a nostalgia for the 8 bit days. I wonder if Half Genie Hero will elicit the same response. Either way, i agree, Pirate's Curse looks v.nice.
User avatar
06 Sep 2013 11:48

The Wii U game they're trying to kickstart looks fine. But I don't know.....something in me is always going to prefer the way these kind of sprites look, over that.
User avatar
06 Sep 2013 12:24

I really wish you people would stop commenting on something that is obviously still in freaking production. Yeah it isn't smooth, maybe because it's not done yet. Maybe. I don't know. JUST A THOUGHT. Makes sense that a work in progress would not look as good as a game that has been development for quite awhile. Why can't you just be satisfied that more cartoony, colorful and pleasant games like Shantae are starting to come out? Instead of games with bland, ugly, and realistic styles.

Also if you think something like this can be as smooth as a pixel based game you are dreaming. The costs for something that smooth would be astronomical. Remember this is hand animated. It's not puppetry like Rayman Origins/Legends.

Although since this game is on Kickstarter why not take your complaints to the source and ask for the game to have more inbetweens per keyframe. Better yet, back it with more money so that there will be funds to assess your requests with.
User avatar
06 Sep 2013 12:52

Fuego6 wrote:I really wish you people would stop commenting on something that is obviously still in freaking production. Yeah it isn't smooth, maybe because it's not done yet. Maybe. I don't know. JUST A THOUGHT. Makes sense that a work in progress would not look as good as a game that has been development for quite awhile. Why can't you just be satisfied that more cartoony, colorful and pleasant games like Shantae are starting to come out? Instead of games with bland, ugly, and realistic styles.

Also if you think something like this can be as smooth as a pixel based game you are dreaming. The costs for something that smooth would be astronomical. Remember this is hand animated. It's not puppetry like Rayman Origins/Legends.

Although since this game is on Kickstarter why not take your complaints to the source and ask for the game to have more inbetweens per keyframe. Better yet, back it with more money so that there will be funds to assess your requests with.


It's not about the number of animation frames (in fact I thought the animation itself was just fine) or the resolution, it's the fact the art itself is a significant downgrade from the other Shantae games, with the sprites being deliberately drawn in a way that is overly simplistic and with awkward proportions, it's not about budget, it's what they've chosen to make it look like and I personally hate it.

I can't help but feel the game would look so much better if they drew the characters like the concept art, or at least kept them styled and proportioned like the other games.
User avatar
06 Sep 2013 13:32

It is a budget thing stupid. The simpler style is simply easier to draw and keep consisting across the entirety of development. Furthermore, the more stout and chibi the characters are the easier they are too see and the less likely the player is too lose track of them. Before you cite Vanillaware as proof that it's possible I'll have you know that the budget for their titles are in the millions(50-100) So once again it's an art style that supports the budget. I'm sure if Wayforward had 100 million dollars the art style would reflect that.

Also the proportions are not awkward they are stylized. Them being awkward is a personal issue that you have. I don't find them awkward nor do many others.

By the way it feels me with joy that you hate it so much. Delicious tears. Cry more.
User avatar
06 Sep 2013 14:17

Fuego6 wrote:It is a budget thing stupid. The simpler style is simply easier to draw and keep consisting across the entirety of development. Furthermore, the more stout and chibi the characters are the easier they are too see and the less likely the player is too lose track of them. Before you cite Vanillaware as proof that it's possible I'll have you know that the budget for their titles are in the millions(50-100) So once again it's an art style that supports the budget. I'm sure if Wayforward had 100 million dollars the art style would reflect that.

Also the proportions are not awkward they are stylized. Them being awkward is a personal issue that you have. I don't find them awkward nor do many others.

By the way it feels me with joy that you hate it so much. Delicious tears. Cry more.


Yeah, your opinion means nothing when you respond like a dick, I'd give a rebuttal but you aren't worth it.
User avatar
06 Sep 2013 15:38

Played Risky's Revenge of the 3DS, didn't even remotely have fun with it so I'm pretty disinterested with the series now.

Protagonist is super cute though.
User avatar
06 Sep 2013 16:58

@cbbomb

Must be a sad life not seeing the charm in something as enjoyable as well-made sprites!

Funny that you should post a picture of Scrooge McDuck after expressing so. :p
User avatar
06 Sep 2013 19:56

This looks fantastic! I wish Shantae would go on sale for 3DS! lol!
User avatar
07 Sep 2013 07:37

cbbomb wrote:I dislike pixelated sprites. I don't see the point in it other than to make games look like an old game running on an old system. With the power of modern consoles you can make it almost as good as real animation. Like with Ducktales remake for example.

Like this:

http://cdn.destructoid.com//ul/260636-WOO-HOO.jpg

Instead of:

http://i1.ytimg.com/vi/_vYJMW3rGqc/maxresdefault.jpg




There is nothing wrong with retro style "pixel graphics", and quite frankly a lot of it looks better in style than a lot of the newer games. Games like Vanillaware does look gorgeous, but on the other hand, while I'm a fan of Wayforward, some of their games (and other similar 2D games in the same type of style), really do look more like "Flash" game graphics, which to me is just not a very good look. I'd rather have high quality art if you're going to try and go the "HD sprite" route. Not something that looks like a paper anime cut-out.

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