Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge Review – Turtle Power!


Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge is fueled by the power of nostalgia and (presumably) dozens and dozens of slices of New York pizza. 1992’s Turtles in Time is one of the most beloved Super Nintendo games of all time, arriving at a time when half-shell heroes were at the height of their popularity. It’s clear that beat-’em-up connoisseurs at developer Tribute Games have a deep reverence for this game and the Turtles of the late 80s and early 90s, as Shredder’s Revenge is essentially a 30-year-old sequel. Manufacturing. It faithfully recreates what made Turtles in Time such a beloved brawler, while introducing a few new ideas to freshen up classic 16-bit gameplay for modern audiences.

If you’re a Turtles in Time fan, you’ll feel right at home from the start of Shredder’s Revenge. The opening cutscene sees the anthropomorphic brothers gathered around an old CRT television watching a news report which is interrupted when a few of their notorious adversaries attack the Statue of Liberty. It’s not exactly the same as the opening of Turtles in Time, but it’s very close. Once you jump into the first level, that feeling of familiarity doesn’t fade. Level intros feature the same silhouette of the boss you’ll face, and if you’re playing as Leonardo, Donatello, Raphael, or Michelangelo, you’ll notice that their abilities and combos have been faithfully adapted from their adventure in ’92. Attack chaining is smoother than before, but you can still perform a plethora of recognizable moves, from smashing enemies with a running shoulder charge to canceling a dodge in order to launch into a sliding kick. You can even grab foot soldiers and throw them straight at the camera.

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Playing Shredder’s Revenge is like playing Turtles in Time – or, at least, how I remember it in my mind – but there’s still fun to be had even if you don’t possess any of that powerful nostalgia. It’s still very much inspired by the beat-’em-ups of the era, including previous Turtles games released for the NES, with its fast-paced, arcade-style action that sees enemies coming onto the screen as quickly as they are defeated. There are also a ton of varied enemies, often requiring you to diversify your attack to get behind a protected enemy or dispatch a flying nuisance. Defeating most bosses is a matter of learning their attack patterns and knowing when to dodge and when to deal damage. However, a few of those end-of-level obstacles are more involved, like the Rat King, who will leap out of harm’s way and summon swarms of rats for you to avoid. It’s all relatively simple, but there’s some depth beyond the surface with juggling and bouncing on the ground, and the fast-paced action is particularly satisfying.

Shredder’s Revenge also introduces a number of new features and some quality of life improvements. Each character has a unique super attack that allows them to deal a ton of damage for a few seconds. Rather than having to sacrifice health to use these attacks, you now have a charge meter that fills up as you deal damage. If there’s a respite in the action, you can also taunt to fill the meter, which sees Donatello retreat and play a Game Boy while Michelangelo dances in place. These add character moments, aside from the obvious gameplay benefits. You also have a charged heavy attack which is useful against shielded enemies and fast enemies that have a habit of dashing across the screen. If you’re playing co-op – which supports up to six players online or locally – you can tap each other to share your health, and you’ll also enter a downed state if your health bar is depleted, giving your teammates a boost. brief window to revive you with the rejuvenating power of pizza.

Co-op represents Shredder’s Revenge in its most chaotic form. I played with three friends and it was pretty manic, so a six-player game must be absolute carnage. This is mainly because the game scales based on player count by throwing more foot soldiers into the mix. Keeping track of where your character is might be the hardest part considering everything that’s happening on screen at any given time, and there were several occasions where I found myself n attack nothing on the side of the screen because I thought I was somewhere else. Playing as the unlockable April O’Neil, Splinter, or Casey Jones makes this a bit easier since you don’t blend in with the Turtles as much. Embracing the chaos is the best way to go, though, and ultimately that doesn’t significantly detract from just how much fun it is to play with friends. The only time it doesn’t is during a few levels where you ride a turtle’s hoverboard. Since you’re constantly advancing, dodging obstacles proves too difficult when you can’t tell what’s going on, which makes these levels quite frustrating. This isn’t an issue when playing solo, just during co-op when the screen can get extremely busy.

Most of the levels are fantastic though, being both varied and full of fun details. The first level, for example, sees you chasing Bebop through the Channel 6 News studio. One of the running gags of Shredder’s Revenge centers on the Foot Clan’s difficulty blending into the environment. As you move through the TV studio, you’ll see them typing on computers, churning cake mix on the kitchen tray, and coming out of an industrial freezer with frozen hams that are now firearms. practical projectiles. Meanwhile, another level has you fighting your way through a mall where foot soldiers are walking around the food court with burgers and fries and playing games in the arcade. It reflects the tone and fun personality of the Turtles of the late 80s and early 90s. The colorful 16-bit aesthetic is also a treat, and the excellent music sounds like it was pulled straight from the era.

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You can easily complete Shredder’s Revenge in around two and a half hours, which is definitely a bit short, but there’s a decent amount of replayability. The game has two different modes: Story and Arcade. The first features an overworld and an incentive to replay levels in order to complete challenges, find hidden NPCs, and complete fetch quests, which is like hitting all the obstacles inside a level to discover those hidden secrets. It’s by no means engaging, but it will reward you with points that power a lightweight progression system that increases your health bar, unlocks new moves – like dive special attacks – and more. Arcade, on the other hand, dilutes the experience down to the fundamentals. You cannot save and only have a limited number of lives, so you must complete the entire game in one run without dying too much. You know, like the good old days. Playing through the game multiple times also gives you the chance to try out all of the playable characters. Each of the six has a trio of stats (range, speed, and power) that make them distinct. Donatello and his ranged bo staff, for example, feel noticeably different compared to the slow, punchy Shredder or the speedy Michelangelo.

Whether or not you can extract more playtime from Shredder’s Revenge will depend on your willingness to replay levels with other characters and at higher difficulty levels. Despite its brevity, however, it’s still a tremendous labor of love that lives up to the legacy of Turtles in Time and the brawlers that came before it. Combat is fast and simple yet satisfying, while new features help modernize the action without altering its 16-bit essence. Co-op is too chaotic and could use some indicators to help you know where you’re at, but playing with friends is still fun. Rehashing a classic retro game is always a difficult task, but Shredder’s Revenge avoids the obvious pitfalls and manages to revive everyone’s favorite mutant turtles.

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