At this point, anyone over the age of 30 has spent their weight in quarters at the arcade. Be it playing Street Fighter II, X-Men, NBA Jam, or The Simpsons — being able to gather your friends at the local pizza place (or in my case local grocery store) was one of the best ways to spend your weekend. Back in the 1990s, I was also obsessed with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and I mean obsessed. From the television show to the VHS tapes, to a bedside table, bedsheets, toys, and video games I wanted to be one of them.
My favourite way to join the four brothers was through my NES and then at the arcade when Konami was releasing some of the best games available on consoles and in arcades. TheTeenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have some of the best beat ‘em up games around and to this day Turtles in Time is still an iconic entry for a lot of people. Now both Dotemu and Tribute Games are looking to revitalize and modernize the genre with a new entry that is both nostalgic and full of charm with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge.
Nostalgia is a powerful feeling
I wouldn’t worry too much about Shredder’s Revenge being based on the hit 1980s cartoon. While it serves as a basis for the game, it also welcomes fans of every iteration with arms open and is a standalone experience. I do suggest playing the previous games if you haven’t already only to gain an understanding of where everything began but it isn’t necessary. If anything, it is clear that the developers have crafted a love letter that builds upon the success of the older games while adding in modern sensibilities.
Tribute Games went above and beyond to discern each turtle in its own way, even taking the liberty of customizing each of them to demonstrate their temperament and style rather than simply focusing on the different colours of clothing and weapons. Thus, Michelangelo’s attacks will be different from those of Leonardo and, of course, Donatello will be a bit slower and have a greater striking range with his Bo than Raphael and his Sai.
In fact, that’s kind of the principle: each character has his own strengths as well as his weaknesses compared to the others, apart from Leonardo who is the only one to have a perfect balance in each sphere(and that’s always been the case), namely strength, speed and the scope. Each character, turtle or otherwise, has its own attacks, its own animations and, blends well with the others who will join you on your journey in Story mode or Arcade mode.
A small very important fact here: each character has his own identity and his own fighting styles; Don’s taunt on any level will see him pull out a game and play it, Mikey will dance around enemies, and Raphael will mock his enemies. When the four brothers are kicking shell, Shredder’s Revenge does not require an endless combination of buttons, thus allowing any player, neophyte or seasoned veteran, to be able to play it and have fun by tapping on each button in order to perform combos and send the members of the Foot Clan or the mechanical creatures that you will have to face flying through the air. The more you play, the more powers you will unlock for your characters, such as additional air attacks, HP boost, additional skill gauge, etc.
Also offering a tutorial video before choosing your character, you can at the same time learn a little more about all the actions available in-game, whether it’s fast, heavy, special strikes or even dodging and counter-attacks.
The simplicity of the gameplay in Shredder’s Revenge is probably what will appeal to people the most. This is one of the greatest successes of the game and anyone can invite themselves to join your game at any time, without having any prior experience.
Just press the Start Button on a second controller to find yourself in the current game and you’re ready to unleash on the enemies that flock from everywhere. One button to hit, another to roll, one to jump, one to perform a special attack and finally one last button to meditate and restore the ability gauge and that’s all you’ll need to consider if that is also just the concept of grabbing enemies by the collar and throwing them across the screen.
I love being a Turtle
On the other hand, if what you want is a deeper and more interesting combat experience, the game knows how to give it to you thanks to its three difficulty levels as well as the different challenges, hidden objects, and characters to find in it. the various levels. In other words: you can play with the pleasingly satisfying simplicity of a Scott Pilgrim or tackle it with the intensity of Streets of Rage 4.
With seven playable characters, I’m betting that the first character you use will be your favourite Ninja Turtle. It’s an instinctive reaction and I get it. On my first run, I completed the story mode with Leonardo. Of course, you can always count on Donatello, Michelangelo, and Raphael as well as, for the first time in the history of TMNT games, journalist April O’Neil, Master Splinter as well as the vigilante Casey Jones. Once you have played enough with your favourite character, and if you are passionate about fighting games, Tribute Games allows you to alternate between them and perfect what each character is capable of.
Like the previous TMNT games, the attackers will mainly be the members of the Foot Clan, with or without weapons, who will come to face our heroes, followed by the robotic creatures from the Technodrome. You will have to use your weapons, fists, feet, and the elements of the environment to stop all those who try to get in your way while trying to avoid traps and holes.
You Were Expecting Maybe The Addams Family?
Recent games went the realistic route and those games ended up being less than stellar. Tribute Games and Dotemu decided to revisit the iconic television series for their game. The pixel art ends up working in favour of the developers — this style works perfectly for what the game is attempting to do and everything from the environments and the characters are packed with details that fans will love.
Directly inspired by the TV series of the 80s and the mixture of old Konami arcade games, Shredder’s Revenge faithfully follows the style and even brings superb nods to the masterpieces of yesteryear. Everything comes together superbly well and it almost looks like it was spectacularly simple. The result is just as surprising, at the same time, since from the start of the cutscene of the game, you systematically fall back into childhood. All this combined with the retro visuals and the pleasant music to listen to as well as the sound of everything that takes place around us, we quickly feel immersed in this world of action and humour.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge lives up to the classic arcade game, so whether the community will answer the call of the Turtles and enjoy all that Tribute Games and Dotemu have to offer remains to be seen. After playing and completing the game several times, I’m looking at the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles arcade cabinet where I can continue to fight the Foot. After years of the Turtles being out of the spotlight, it’s invigorating to see the heroes in a half-shell return to what they do best.
[A copy of the game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.]
Reviewed on: PC
Six exciting characters to choose from
The perfect bridge between the old arcade games and Shredder's Revenge