Dec 12th, 2016

We’ve had some time to become acquainted with WayForward’s upcoming release of Shantae: Half-Genie Hero on PS4, PS Vita, PC, and Wii U, allowing us to help you get off to a good start. While the game and its enemies aren’t hard, we wish we knew which power-ups to get before we started spending money on any random thing. To prevent you from making the same mistake, here are five of the best power-ups that you should grab as soon as possible.

5. Fire


One of man’s very first creations was fire, or at least that’s how the saying goes. Whether or not that’s true, we thought it was fitting that fire made the list, in its basic form. While the fire powerup can be buffed to shoot out more fireballs, we haven’t really found a need for this extra firepower. It’s easier to keep track of one fireball, it’s more useful than the powered-up versions, and it just looks cool.

4. Obliterate


Midway through some levels, you’ll find a merchant who will sell you power-ups you can’t find in the Item shop. One of these power-ups is “obliterate.” BUY IT IMMEDIATELY! Even if you have another power-up you want to buy, forget it. Buy obliterate. This is an instant kill to any non-boss monster on the screen. We haven’t had to use it outside of boss battles, but it’s really good for taking out large chunks of their health, or killing off their minions.

3. The monkey transformation


Shantae’s default running speed isn’t slow, but when you’re going through the same levels multiple times, trying to get a very specific item to advance the story, it can be annoying. We’ve found that switching to Shantae’s monkey form is the best for level trecking. Not only is this form significantly faster than normal Shantae, but it can also jump higher and climb walls. In most cases, this will do just fine. Just remember, your options for fighting off enemies are limited, so you might need to switch back to Shantae’s base form every now and then.

2. The faster hair whip


When you first visit the Item shop with enough money to buy something, you might gravitate toward the higher damage item. Don’t get it. The first thing you’ll want to do is buy the faster hair whip. This will increase the damage-per-second (DPS) Shantae is able to do to her enemies. As a former World of Warcraft player, I know that a high DPS can be very useful. That said, buy the higher damage item next, because high, fast damage is ultimately the best option.

1. Mirror


One of the power-ups I wish I had earlier in the game is the mirror. You’ll first encounter it as the “bubble” power-up, a shield that absorbs damage, but as is the case with most things in that Item shop, the second tier unlocks once you purchase the first tier. That second tier for Bubble is Mirror, a long-lasting shield that reflects enemy projectiles. In battles against bosses that use projectiles, this is like bringing a bazooka to a fist fight.

Shantae: Half-Genie Hero will be available on PS4, PS Vita, PC, and Wii U on December 20th. A physical release will be availabe the same day for all platforms except the Wii U. Nintendo customers will have to wait an extra week to get their hands on a retail copy.