‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge’ is a wonderful beat-’em-up revival

If you happen to visited arcades within the late ’80s or early’ 90s, you certainly keep in mind the golden age of beat-em-up video games. Cupboards like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, The Simpsons, X-Males and extra adopted a reasonably easy components: take a preferred franchise and have its characters lower via swaths of dangerous guys, throw in some environmental challenges to maintain the degrees from getting too repetitive, and prime it off with a giant boss battle on the finish. However the actual draw was multiplayer – these video games let 4 and even six buddies (or strangers) play concurrently, a very chaotic however thrilling shared expertise.

Given the recognition of the TMNT franchise, it is no shock that each the unique arcade recreation and its sequel Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time had been each ported to the NES and SNES, respectively. As a pre-teen, my finest pal and I spent untold hours taking part in these ports, in addition to the arcade video games on the too-rare events that we might get to the mall.

I clearly have a variety of nostalgia for these video games, and I’m not alone. Final 12 months, developer Tribute Video games introduced Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge, a brand-new beat-em-up title impressed by the arcade video games of yesteryear. The sport options retro pixel-art, two totally different recreation modes, on-line and native multiplayer (as much as six gamers on-line), and 7 playable characters, together with the 4 turtles, Grasp Splinter, April O’Neil and Casey Jones. On the floor, it appears to have all the pieces you might ask for in a contemporary model of an arcade basic, and Tribute’s feedback previous to the sport’s launch confirmed a deep love for the supply materials.

After per week taking part in Shredder’s Revenge on the Xbox Sequence S, PlayStation 5 and Nintendo Change, I can verify that Tribute completely nailed its mission of bringing the basic TMNT expertise into the fashionable period. All of it begins with the artwork model and music, each of that are spot-on for this franchise; it appears like a pure evolution of the unique two arcade video games, each of which had been largely primarily based on the 1987 cartoon (quite than the comedian books, live-action movies, or more moderen animated exhibits). The music instantly units the tone – the rating by Tee Lopes instantly brings to thoughts basic 16-bit tunes, Mike Patton performs the opening theme, and Raekwon and Ghostface Killah contribute as effectively. Whereas the music is not fairly as compelling because the soundtrack from Turtles in Time (which is ), it evokes the important temper of taking part in in an arcade with your folks within the early ’90s.

The gameplay necessities from earlier video games are all intact right here – every playable character has totally different strengths and weaknesses like vary and pace, however they don’t seem to be so totally different that you’re going to really feel thrown by switching gamers. The core gameplay remains to be principally completed with two buttons: assault and leap.


However, there are much more strikes than in earlier video games, together with quite a lot of throws, slides, aerial assaults and dodges. Dashing enables you to pull off totally different slide and cost assaults, you possibly can seize enemies and throw them proper in direction of the TV display screen (similar to you do in Turtles in Time), there is a dodge button that permits you to dance out of bother and there are a bunch of various aerial strikes. And in contrast to older video games, Shredder’s Revenge has distinctive animations for each transfer every character within the recreation can pull off. Despite the fact that gameplay between every character is not radically totally different, the distinct visuals for all 4 turtles and their buddies retains issues trying contemporary.

As with all good beat-’em-up, every character has their very own particular transfer, too. Not like in previous arcade video games, the place utilizing a particular would normally take a bit out of your well being, these strikes are tied to an influence bar that fills up as you string collectively longer and longer hit combos. When it is full, you possibly can unleash a particular transfer or put it aside for later use. It is a great way to make it so gamers cannot simply use particular assaults consistently and add a little bit of technique to the in any other case chaotic melee.

One other approach Tribute makes Shredder’s Revenge really feel extra trendy is the sport’s story mode. You’ll stage up your character over time, which unlocks extra well being, further lives and new particular assaults. You will additionally ultimately get the power to stack a number of particular strikes – while you refill your bar and financial institution one transfer, you possibly can maintain filling it up and maintain two and ultimately three in reserve – or you possibly can blow all three directly in a frenzied super-attack. Story mode additionally enables you to re-enter ranges to seek out hidden gadgets or meet the achievement objectives for every stage (issues like take out 10 enemies with a particular assault, or make it via with out taking injury). And you may change your character between ranges, quite than keep locked to at least one turtle for your complete recreation.

Arcade mode, however, is for old-school followers who desire a harder problem. The sport is easy: choose a personality, and battle via the entire recreation’s dozen-plus ranges earlier than you run out of lives and continues. You get the benefit of getting your well being bar prolonged to its max capability and all of your particular strikes are unlocked – however given the variety of levels on this recreation, it will not be straightforward, particularly on the extraordinary “gnarly” issue stage.

TMNT: Shredder's Revenge


This all makes for a enjoyable single-player expertise, however – similar to the arcade video games from the ’90s – Shredder’s Revenge actually shines in multiplayer mode. You may have as much as 4 gamers on native co-op, or an insane six-player on-line. It is a superb quantity of chaos, nevertheless it’s managed surprisingly effectively. The sport scales up in issue relying on how many individuals you are taking part in with; that normally simply quantities to extra enemies and managers that may take extra injury.

Sadly, cross-play is not supported for now – Xbox and PC gamers can group up, however PlayStation and Change gamers might want to play the identical model as their buddies in the event that they need to work collectively. The excellent news is that it is also not arduous to get a recreation going with strangers. It isn’t fairly as a lot enjoyable as taking part in with folks , however the recreation positively feels extra alive when you will have no less than a pair taking over Shredder and the Foot clan.

This all provides as much as a recreation that is much more enjoyable to play than even I anticipated. Nostalgia goes a good distance, however Shredder’s Revenge manages to work as a love letter to video games of the previous whereas nonetheless feeling contemporary. There’s simply one thing extremely satisfying about teaming up with just a few buddies and mowing down a endless swarm of enemies; that was true within the ’90s, and it is nonetheless true immediately.

After all, it helps if in case you have some affection for the TMNT franchise, however even when you do not, the tight gameplay, addictive soundtrack and nice co-op options ought to be sufficient to get pleasure from Shredder’s Revenge. And when you grew up taking part in the arcade video games or their house console counterparts, this new journey is a must-play. That is very true if in case you have buddies to play it with, both IRL or on-line.

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