Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge

The beat ‘em up genre was popular in the mid-1980s and early 90s. Chances are, your local arcade carried at least one beat ‘em up. This genre eventually made its way to home consoles but became saturated quickly. However, some titles, such as Streets of Rage, stood the test of time and have returned to next-gen consoles. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have also stood the test of time. In fact, there is a deep catalogue of Turtles video games that spans over five decades. In many ways, Shredder’s Revenge is a throwback but offers a refreshing experience for both old and new fans of the heroes-in-a-half-shell.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles has arrived on modern consoles, and this game is F.U.N., fun!

The animation, sound, gameplay, and nostalgia make this title hard to put down. If you grew up in the late 1980s or early 90s and were a fan of TMNT, this game is especially for you. The attention to detail is impressive. The folks at Tribute Games really delivered the goods on this one. Let’s break it down.

Shredder’s Revenge is a three-dimensional side-scrolling beat ‘em up, so it’s easy for anyone to pick up and play. The story kicks-off in New York City, where Shredder, his foot clan, and cronies have captured Lady Liberty. Your job is simple, crack some jokes, eat lots of pizza, and kick butt!

As with most beat ‘em ups, you begin at the hero (or character) selection screen. You can choose between Leonardo, Donatello, Michelangelo, Raphael, Master Splinter, and April O’Neil. Each hero wields their signature weapon. They also look and sound just like you remember, which adds to the authenticity. Heroes are ranked by range, speed, and power. Each hero offers something different in this regard. If you’re a button masher, you may want to choose Michelangelo. After some practice, you’ll find your preferred style.

So, let’s get to the meat and potatoes of this title: Gameplay. Beat ‘em ups are simple, smash your enemies and side scroll your way to the boss battles at the end of each level. This style of gameplay can become repetitive, especially if you’re a button masher. Although Shredder’s Revenge can be button mashed, it can also be played with skill. For example, it is possible to perform creative combos, and work together with your partner to keep hit streaks alive. It feels great to reach a high hit streak. Each hero possesses their own light, heavy, and special attack. But use your specials strategically because it drains your health. In addition, each hero has a unique sliding, charging, and rising attack. The uniqueness of each hero adds to the enjoyment and replay value of this title. There isn’t a block or counter button, but you can roll out of beat downs and nip up quickly following knockdowns. You can also propel environmental objects and enemy projectiles. These features offer an alternative and fun means of attack. If you’re running low on health, fear not. There are hot pizza pies placed around each level to refill your meter. Another cool feature is the ability to save your partner. When your health meter is drained, there’s a 10-second countdown before you lose a life. However, this countdown gives an opportunity for your partner to feed you a hot pizza slice to replenish your health. But… your enemies won’t stop attacking and will try to prevent you from doing this, which adds to the challenge.

This title hits the mark because it’s nostalgic yet fresh. There are plenty of surprises and achievements to unlock, so it’s got plenty of replayability. This game remains true to its origins and holds nothing back, so if you’re a fan of TMNT, this is a can’t miss on any console or streaming service.

~~Eric Collins~~

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