TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge (Review)

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge is a side-scrolling beat-’em-up that was released on 16th June 2022 for Windows, Linux, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation, and Xbox. The game uses the 1980’s animated TV show as its inspiration and borrows its style from the ’80s and ’90s arcade and console games. In addition, it sees the return of the original voice actors from the 1987 animated series.

In Shredder’s Revenge, the players can pick from one of seven (one is unlockable through story mode), including the original turtles, Leonardo, Michaelangelo, Raphael, and Donatello, plus Master Splinter and reported April O’Neil. You work your way through stages fighting opponents such as the foot clan, rock soldiers, and mousers, and each level ends with a boss fight where you go up against some well-known bad guys like Bebop and Rocksteady, Krang, and of course, Shredder. The story mode takes you through various locations in New York City and Dimension X. Each character has their own attributes and abilities and so plays differently. This means you can pick a character based on your play style or, as I did, your favourite (Donatello for the win!).

There are two different modes to play through, Story Mode and Arcade Mode. The main difference between the two is that in arcade mode, you have a limited number of lives and have to complete the game in one sitting as there are no save points. As you play through story mode, you accumulate points which are then converted into bonuses for health, extra lives, additional moves and special abilities.

As well as the single-player mode, you can also play in an up to six-player co-op mode both locally and online. Playing with others allows you to perform special combat moves, share health, and heal when downed.

I’m going to start off by saying I love Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and side-scrolling beat ’em ups, so when this was announced, I couldn’t wait to play it. Straight away, when you start this game, you are hit with a shovel full of nostalgia. With the game using the 80′ animated series as its inspiration, you are treated to the original open to the cartoon, and I couldn’t help but sing along with it. It’s been a while since I watched it, but it’s so ingrained in my head that the words and tune were right at the forefront of my brain as soon as I saw what was happening.

Starting to play, I dove straight into the story mode with my all-time favourite character, Donatello. Donny was my go-to character whenever I played any of the other games at home or in arcades. As soon as the first stage opened, another wave of nostalgia washed over me; it looks and feels like the old ’80s and 90’s games, so much so that there was no hesitation on my part, and I quickly got to grips with the controls. The stages play exactly like the old-school ones, and even most of the enemies (from what I remember) are also the same variations. In addition, you can still get several power-ups from destroying objects in the world, like pizza (for health, obviously), one that causes invincibility, and others.

The game isn’t as challenging as some older games (or maybe I’m better at these types of games these days…doubtful, but there’s still a chance) but still has its challenges, mainly in the form of, well, challenges. Each level has several tasks for you to perform throughout the level, ranging from not dying at all during the level, not taking a certain number of hits, getting a combo streak, and many others. These add that little bit extra to the game that will probably bring me back again to complete. The story mode itself isn’t long, which is a shame, but with added arcade mode, there is still that challenge from back in the day of having to complete it in one sitting without save points. The bosses at the end of each level are familiar to anyone who knows of the 80s cartoon. Some are more challenging than others, and they all act differently, meaning you have to devise new strategies and ways to take them out.

Now, the multiplayer. I’m not generally a fan of online multiplayer. In many games, it tends to take over, and you lose some of the game in that, but from the little I’ve played of it in this game, I’m going to be returning to it because it’s pretty fun. As well as the online multiplayer, you can also play it locally, which is also something missing from many new games. This is also a point of nostalgia of sitting crossed-legged on the floor in front of the TV with friends or siblings, trying your damnedest to beat a hard level together. This always added that extra layer of fun for me, and I’m looking forward to more of it when I play it. The addition of team-up moves is also a nice thing. It means that as well as doing your own thing through the level, you can work together to perform moves and take out enemies.

I’m such a big fan of this game. I’ve played it for a while now, and I have yet to find any really bad points. The design is great, the music top-notch and even the multiplayer is excellent. The only thing that kind of lets it down is the length of the story mode, but with the added challenges, collectables, trophies and arcade mode, there is enough to keep me coming back to this game over and over again. I can’t help but give it a 10/10, and it’s not just the nostalgia talking (although there is a lot of it). This game is excellent for fans old and new alike.

As much as I was looking forward to the Cowabunga Collection that’s coming soon; this game has whet my appetite for it even more. All I can say is bring it on, dude!

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