Read our Full Review of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge.
The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles doesn’t seem to get enough love in recent years. While it has a steady flow of content around the franchise, it’s nowhere near its peak in the 90s. That’s where Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge comes in, an Arcade-inspired Beat ‘Em Up with a mix of retro elements, modern quality of life mechanics, and a whole load of style.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge is heavily inspired by both the animated series from the late 1980s and Arcade games like Turtles in Time. The story starts with Bepop and Rocksteady interrupting a Channel 6 broadcast and stealing devices across a range of familiar TMNT environments to support Shredder and Krang’s latest evil plan.
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Since it’s a Beat ‘Em Up, the story takes a backseat to the main action; the fighting. Each of the four turtles, as well as other characters such as Master Splinter, Casey Jones, and April O’Neil all have different attributes. They also have unique attack animations, super moves, and taunts. When it comes to fighting, plenty of attacks are done via the same combos, but the variety keeps them interesting and engaging when coming up against enemies such as Foot Soldiers, pesky robots, and more.
While much of TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge’s action can become button-mashy, the smooth animations and ultimately fun fighting are apparently from the get-go. It’s always fun to combo enemies into the air and finish them off with a midair super attack, dealing devastating damage and almost wiping the current area you’re in. And thanks to a leveling system, slowly gaining more power over the course of TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge’s short run time offers new moves, as well as more health and “Ninja Power” bars (which are used to perform super attacks).
There are moments of excitement when you’re pounding on a boss and watching the health bar decay.
There are plenty of enemy types, so much so that it’s interesting to see enemies from earlier levels appear later. Many levels feature new and unique enemies, keeping players enticed by offering new challenges to approach. However, some of these enemies can feel overpowered, or plain frustrating. They do make you stop and think occasionally, but most of their gimmicks rely on protecting their front, meaning you’ll simply need to jump over and attack from behind.
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Boss fights are equally interesting, with the main issue being that some of them feel weak or some can cheese you. One of the later bosses could enter invincibility often and would fly around the arena, making them difficult to attack. But that doesn’t take away from interesting bosses, like Rocksteady and Bepop which make boss fights engaging and intensely fun. There are moments of excitement when you’re pounding on a boss and watching the health bar decay, with a rush of euphoria as you win and make your way to the next level.
TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge feels closer to Scott Pilgrim’s game than it does to classic Arcade Beat ‘Em Up’s. That’s likely because Tribute Games were formed after working on the Scott Pilgrim game. It may rely on nostalgia and inspirations from 90s Arcade cabinets, but many of Shredder’s Revenge’s elements rely on the use of modern technology. Online co-op is a blessing and some accessibility options allow more players to experience a great genre.
Speaking of the levels, they’re gorgeous pixelated set pieces with a lot of personalities.
TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge doesn’t take long to complete, with players being able to complete all stages in a matter of a few hours. However, thanks to challenges set for each stage, secrets within each level, and a variety of different characters’ attributes, there’s a massive amount of replayability. But, if you’re a “finish the game and delete” player, you’ll likely be finished within one sitting. Given the lack of an engaging story, it’s understandable how quickly you can finish this game, but it would’ve been nicer to have some longer stages mixed in with shorter levels.
Speaking of the levels, they’re gorgeous pixelated set pieces with a lot of personalities. Every single stage feels unique and interesting, offering its own gimmicks and mechanics. Whether there are dinosaurs stampeding you as you rush through a stage, or electric that fire at you as you fight, each stage keeps the game refreshing, with one of the only negatives being that there’s no cohesion to each stage. Some levels have annoying but avoidable mechanics, such as pits that will drop your health, but they’re balanced fairly well so they don’t become tedious.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge has an incredible soundtrack. Its music is adrenaline-fueled and Action-packed, working extremely well with every other element in the game. And the visuals are amazing. The animations of your characters, the boss designs, and the levels themselves are all incredibly spectacular, but they don’t become jarring and eye-catching. This is good because it means you won’t be distracted when fighting enemies, but when you stop to take in each area’s intricate details, it becomes apparent that a lot of passion went into the visuals.
Tribute Games and Dotemu have managed to bring a Retro-based game into the contemporary, successfully mixing the old and the new to create an engaging experience.
If you’re a fan of Beat ‘Em Up’s, you’ve likely played many games similar to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredders Revenge. Its main features are relying on the brand, rather than some unique additions to an age-old genre. But, that’s far from a bad thing. The Ninja Turtles themselves and their allies are all ridiculously fun to play as, and the retro-style of beating up bad guys never gets boring. And while its short run time could turn away some players, it’s perfect for quick plays and replayability.
And Shredder’s Revenge is also oozing with personality. From the stage designs to the soundtrack, to the animations of your heroes and enemies, everything has such a distinct edge to it. Tribute Games and Dotemu have managed to bring a Retro-based game into the contemporary, successfully mixing the old and the new to create an engaging experience. It’s a shell-ebration of how far gaming has come. Minus some issues, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is a shell of a time and is perfect for those who love the characters or know of them.
A code was provided by the publisher for the purpose of this review.