Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder's Revenge

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder's Revenge

released on Jun 16, 2022

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder's Revenge

released on Jun 16, 2022

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder's Revenge reunites Leonardo, Raphael, Michelangelo, and Donatello to kick shell in a beautifully realized pixel art world invoking the turtles' classic 1987 design.


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This game is as simple as I remember, and as fun as I remember the old Turtle games being.

I kind of hesitate to call myself a TMNT fan. I've seen about half of the movies yet only like one of them (the 1990 one, although if we're counting the Turtles Forever special then I like that one as well totaling up to... two lol), I grew up with and very much like the 2003 and 2012 series yet as of now I haven't actually finished either, and as for games, this is not only one of very few I've actually played, it's the first one I've ever beaten. As I said though, I do like some of the properties I've experienced, I'm interested in the others two TV series - Rise Of The TMNT especially - I got the Cowabunga Collection so I can experience all the other games I missed out on, and I DEFINITELY want to read the comics at some point as well.
So it's with this quasi-fan status that I was interested in Shredder's Revenge of course, especially since it doesn't rely too heavily on fanservice for the 80s show - which, to get out of the way now, I can still recognize and acknowledge the love and care put into it to get the feel and mannerisms of that aesthetics and tone - and I liked it. More than I thought I would, surprisingly enough. The entirety of my time was spent with Leonardo, with the only other character I dabbled with being Casey Jones for one level, so I'm writing my experience with that in mind.
The first thing that caught my eye was that this was focused on the combo-centric, button mash style of BEMs, which I'm... not particularly against but playing with my friend with some of the Capcom line of the genre, as well as my experience with the Streets Of Rage trilogy, made me realize I prefer positioning and tight maneuvers and actions over this style. Still, if Ninja Baseball Batman taught me anything, mindlessly pressing the shit out of the same button can be fun as hell while still offering some nice spice available, and thankfully Shredder's Revenge does offer that. There's enough dissimilarity between the enemy roster that the monotony doesn't set it too quickly, and objects to use to handle oncoming threats, as well as hazards being thrown about or activated keeps you on your toes very well. The core movement and input is also tight, not that many butterfinger issues occurred, and even when they did it was quick enough to not get too disgruntled over. If there's one thing I wish was tightened up about this, is that the plane depth can be kinda screwy. Every time I thought I was gonna hit an enemy, it turns out I wasn't that close to them in the first place, whiffing my shot as a result. Some of these stages can also go on a little longer than they should've, which can make the venture a bit haphazard at times when a stage that goes from 6-8 minutes is suddenly followed up by one that goes 10-12.
For content, there's a healthy dose of variety in stage gimmicks and layouts, as well as extras to do. I appreciate that if I already did one challenge and backed out of the map for some reason, that challenge is already marked as completed and I don't have to do it over again, which makes cleaning up any of the ones I missed much easier. Items that can be hit are marked by a more distinct, harder-edged pixel shade, just strong enough to make them stand out but not strong enough that it clashes with the overall softer look and appeal of the graphics. Finding every cameo and doing their task is a cinch, especially since the game tells you which items are located in what level, called "episode", making cleanup a breeze. There's also a leveling system of sorts for every playable character, and this was something that caught me by surprised since it didn't feel that intrusive. Going through the levels, getting the collectibles, and doing all the side missions meant a steady increase of power and ability pools, which meant getting more out of the special attacks on offer and sprucing up the gameplay, which was REALLY cool to see.
My biggest issue with the game are the bosses. Of the 17 or so bosses you face, I unfortunately thought only half of them were any fun (Baxter, Rat King, Krang, Statue Of Tyranny, Leatherhead, Metalhead, Tempestra, Wingnut, and Shredder). The rest were either too simple in their patterns (Slash, Zorax, Chrome Dome), or relied way too much on Power Attacks in order to deal any sort of big damage (Super Shredder, Bebop and/or Rocksteady, Dirtbag & Groundchuck), with one flat-out sucking in general (Turtle Tenderizer). It feels like such a big sticking point since half of the appeal of the genre is being able to throw down with someone while taking a measured stance as to how much you take/deal damage, as well as spruce up the actual battle so that it again, doesn't feel monotonous. Compound some of them with the aforementioned issue of a few stages taking so long, and it can get tiring for a bit. I know you can say it can be mitigated by having a buddy (or buddies, since it allows for 4-player locally or 6-player online), but not only do I tend to play these games solo, I feel like having the intensity of an issue be hinged on whether or not I have someone else with me to be uhhhh dumb.
Shredder's Revenge, overall, is a pretty dope time, especially if you're familiar with the branding. Getting this for 25USD is quite honestly a steal, even with my casual enjoyment. For that much, you get a decent amount of stuff to do solo, or try and wrangle in some of your friends for a quick burst of action.

If you're anything like me, you lament the lost relics of childhood; both the material and immaterial. Some things can never be recovered. Or, if they can, they often disappoint upon revisiting. I considered the co-op beat-'em-up to be one of those experiences. Just another memory sealed away in a capsule. So, when I got the call from my buddy, "Well I was thinking we smoke and run through the new TMNT game?", I felt that inner rumbling of something exciting. That brimming, bubbling long-dormant nostalgia eager to soak my brain in endorphins. Also weed. My buddy had the whole spread ready. The chips and candy and pizza and wings and bud; the game room was blasting the new Kendrick and lit up by a nebula-projector.... Aaaannddd thats about all I remember up until the final boss fight, which is basically a four-boss run. We were down to our last Continue in Arcade mode. 1-2-3 bosses down, health in the red, we think we're done. BOOM. Super Shredder. Dead. Game Over. Heartbreaking. We sat with our defeat a day or two, wringing our hands, but it couldn't stand. Today was Attempt #2. Clear-headed and determined, I actually got to experience the game. It didn't let me down at all. Seeing characters I hadn't thought about in 25 years was a wild ride. The gameplay was near-perfect. We ran through level after level of glorious memories and music, racking up big combos, viciously spamming the special move (on my part, lol) and delighting in every health recovery with the loud "Pizza Time!". Whoever this developer is knew exactly what things to recreate and what mechanics to improve upon. What a sheer blast. We barrelled through the enemies all the way to Super Shredder and put him down once and for all. Joy and revelry. And not TWO MINUTES after our victory, the power goes out. Solidifying in my mind that some things happen in their own time, just the way they're meant too. I know this review is a little atypical, but the context is what made it so cool. Even more so than the game. The only additions I wish I had were a counter/parry button and our other friend playing on the 3P slot. But, like I said, some things that were once here yesterday are gone today. All in all, find a bro, sink into the couch, and tear into this one time for me. The game is fun, but it's a friend that makes the experience.
Also, Wu-Tang

Solid beat 'em up with a lot of nostalgia-value for people like me who watched the old cartoon series. The gameplay is standard for the genre but the stages never overstay their welcome while still introducing a large variety of settings and the soundtrack is real good.

Wish it were longer, or featured more replayability, but I'll be damned if I didn't love feeling like I was playing Turtles in Time again.