Ninja Turtles still have it!
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge Review (PC/Steam)
When this game was announced, I was extremely excited. Not only am I a long time fan of TMNT, but the game literally came out of nowhere. Reminiscent of classic Ninja Turtle games from the arcade, the gameplay looked promising enough to get fans like myself anticipating for the game’s release. Slowly, they showed more gameplay and other playable characters such as Master Splinter and Casey Jones. I already knew I was buying this game day one but does it live up to these expectations? A brand new retro style arcade game featuring the Turtles?
Shredder is back, causing havoc across New York City. It’s up to the Turtles to stop Shredder from worldwide domination. The story isn’t a major factor of these beat’em up games, so I’m glad it’s not a huge focus here. Sure, it would be super dope to have a compelling story in a Ninja Turtles game but for the beat’em ups, it’s fine this way. They brought back the 80's voice actors to reprise their roles which is cool. I’m not the biggest fan of the 80's Turtles but I understand why they keep using them. They’re the reason for the Turtles being well known pop culture icons. Plus, if you’re familiar with the 80's Turtles, you can spot all of the easter eggs and cameos. Anyways, the story is fine.
Gameplay wise, it’s everything you can expect from a Ninja Turtles beat’em up. You’ll be defeating foot soldiers to eventually meet the boss fight at the end. You can dodge enemy attacks which helps the game feel more mobile. Usually, you’re a tank sitting in place when fighting enemies. Now, you can dodge and move accordingly. In addition, you can charge up your attacks to deal more damage. There’s a super meter that builds up as you fight enemies. When activated, you perform a big attack that does a ton of damage as well. You can also build this meter by taunting. If the taunt is successful, you get a full super meter instantly. This does feel a bit broken since you can charge it up whenever.
The top HUD is self explanatory; live count, power level (yellow text), character name, super meter, and health bar. I only played this game in 3 player multiplayer, so I don’t think lives don’t mean a lot. As long as you complete the level, your live counter resets fully. I’m not sure what happens when all three players die simultaneously but everyone has lives for a reason…right? The yellow text is your power level and once you hit 100 points, you increase your health bar. Other upgrades include increased super meter and more super attacks. You have achieve 2,000 points to unlock all the upgrades, so multiple playthroughs are encouraged. Pizza boxes make a return as health and power boosts. The extra large pizza box restores everyone’s health, not just the one who grabs it. The red “pow” pizza box gives that player invulnerability as they spin on their opponent, dealing tons of damage. Lastly, the rainbow infinity sign pizza box gives that player an infinite special meter for ten seconds. In multiplayer, you can share health by high fiving each other. It’s a temporary solution until pizza boxes are found. When a player dies, the others have ten seconds to revive them before a life is consumed. You can get interrupted while picking the player up, so keep in mind of your surroundings. The boss fights are a ton of fun. Nothing super challenging until the last few levels but still, an enjoyable experience.
Overall, the gameplay is superb. It might not sound difficult to make a beat’em up game featuring the Turtles but it’s been years since a game of this calibur has been released. The additions to the gameplay such as a dodge button and extra large pizza boxes make this title feel like an improvement from its predecessors. While the arcade games are still classics, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge can sit rightfully beside them as another fantastic Ninja Turtles beat’em up.
Visually, the sprite work is phenomenal. The detail in the Turtles and environments is remarkable. How smooth the characters move is perfect. The online play is pretty stable. Between the three of us, we only had one occurrence where Splinter was glitching out. This was solved easily by having him exit and re-join. If you’re planning on playing this game solely online, I don’t think you’ll have that many issues. Stable online play with a re-join feature is good enough in my books. You can’t expect perfection from an indie game like this.
All in all, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge is a must play to anyone who likes beat’em up games and/or Ninja Turtles. The game is super short, only around two to three hours long. A perfect length for a beat’em up game since it can start getting repetitive after the three hour mark. Solid beat’em up mechanics and sprite work that will satisfy any fan of the Turtles. Replay value is very high with seven playable characters and slightly different move sets for each. If you haven’t bought this game already, do yourself a favor and purchase it right now. It’s available on every major platform right now including Xbox, PlayStation, and Switch. It’s worth checking out to show support for more retro style Ninja Turtle games like this. This could be the start of a whole new trilogy if Tribute Games and Dotemu are given permission.