by June 18, 2022 @ 6:00 pm
Reviewed on PlayStation 4
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge from Tribute Games and publisher DotEmu is a special game. It’s a revival of the TMNT arcade beat ‘em up games. It’s a nostalgic trip back in time filled with fan service. It’s ridiculous amounts of fun. It is a fantastic game, and it’s proof that there’s still plenty of life left in the Heroes in a Half Shell. Also, it gives us more Ninja Turtles, which is something to always be thankful for!
Shredder and the Gang Are Back
This wouldn’t be a proper return to form without the classic Ninja Turtles rogues’ gallery. And you know what? They’re all here! You’ve Bebop and Rocksteady, Krang, Baxter Stockman, Metalhead, and of course Shredder. Even Tokka and Rahzar make an appearance — thankfully, there’s no Vanilla Ice here, though!
The story of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge isn’t anything out of the ordinary. In fact, it’s wonderfully familiar: Shredder and Krang, along with their goons, are out to take over New York and, ultimately, the world. You know this story, right? If you watched any of the TMNT animated series, some of the films, or read any of the comics, of course you do.
It’s a story that goes back to 1984, when the original black-and-white Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comic book first debuted. It’s the Shredder versus the Turtles. It’s all fans need — it’s all we’ve ever really needed at the end of the day, even if some of the series’ other villains are awesome in their own right.
Turtle Power Is Right!
Fan service is great, but where Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge truly shines is in its incredible gameplay delivery. This game is the real deal: It’s a throwback, sure, but the gameplay is polished, the controls are smooth and responsive, and the action is satisfying. This is one of those games that just feels good to play.
Combat is simple, but it’s not dumbed down. You can perform devastating combos by mashing on those buttons old school-style, and that’s definitely a lot of fun, but you’ve also got powered up attacks at your disposal. Regardless of which Ninja Turtle or Turtle ally you play as (such as Splinter or April O’Neil), you’ll be able to dish out intense Ninja Turtle punishment to the Foot Clan.
Speaking of which, each character has his or her own strengths and weaknesses. Some characters are faster than others, while some are stronger or have a longer range with their weapons. The differences are subtle, but they’re definitely noticeable once you start playing with each of the characters. And these differences make co-op play — local and online are both included — an absolute blast as working together makes Shredder’s Revenge even more entertaining.
Story and Arcade Modes
The two main modes in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge are Story and Arcade. Despite some differences, they both include the same 16 levels. It all depends on whether you want a classic arcade experience or some modern additions.
Story mode lets you move through a pixelated overworld map where you can select and re-play levels after you’ve cleared them. So you can switch between characters and play your favorite levels to your heart’s content. Here you’ll find a few NPCs who task you with finding hidden collectibles across the stages. In addition, as you play and your score increases, you’ll level up — this grants you extra lives and stronger special moves.
This mode is exactly what you’d get if you were playing Shredder’s Revenge at the local arcade — minus the need for spare quarters. This mode removes the overworld map and lets you take on level after level until you get to the end. If you’re able to survive, that is, because Arcade mode features limited lives, making it a true old school experience.
I Love Being a Turtle (Fan)!
The sprite work and level designs in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge are awesome. Everything is nicely detailed and rich with color. The game is right in line with games like Turtles in Time and The Hyperstone Heist, but it’s not necessarily a graphical carbon copy of those older games. It looks like a retro throwback, for sure, but it boasts all the detail and range in hues of modern pixel art.
There’s a lot of great music in TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge, too. Whether it’s remixed versions of the old Ninja Turtles theme song, original compositions, or the crazy new track from Ghostface Killah and Raekwon of Wu-Tang Clan, the music here hits all the right notes. The voice acting is fun to listen to, as well, with the 1987 animated series Turtles voice actors reprising their roles.
You’ll get through Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge in two to three hours. That’s a little short, sure, but the game is so entertaining that you’ll likely feel compelled to play it all over again immediately. That’s just how much fun it is. It’s a near-perfect arcade beat ‘em up that I would put right up there with 2020’s Streets of Rage 4. It’s massively enjoyable, it’s nostalgic as heck, and above all else, it’s straight-up incredible. Shredder’s Revenge is the new Ninja Turtles game we’ve all been waiting for.
Score: 9.5 out of 10
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