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

If you happen to visited arcades within the late ’80s or early’ 90s, you absolutely bear 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 system: take a preferred franchise and have its characters minimize via swaths of unhealthy guys, throw in some environmental challenges to maintain the degrees from getting too repetitive, and high it off with a giant boss battle on the finish. However the actual draw was multiplayer – these video games let 4 and even six pals (or strangers) play concurrently, a completely 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 have been each ported to the NES and SNES, respectively. As a pre-teen, my greatest buddy and I spent untold hours enjoying these ports, in addition to the arcade video games on the too-rare events that we may get to the mall.

I clearly have a whole lot 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 completely 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 every thing you possibly can 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 enjoying Shredder’s Revenge on the Xbox Collection S, PlayStation 5 and Nintendo Swap, I can affirm that Tribute completely nailed its mission of bringing the basic TMNT expertise into the trendy period. All of it begins with the artwork type and music, each of that are spot-on for this franchise; it seems like a pure evolution of the unique two arcade video games, each of which have been largely based mostly on the 1987 cartoon (slightly 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 nicely. Whereas the music is not fairly as compelling because the soundtrack from Turtles in Time (which is ), it evokes the important temper of enjoying in an arcade with your mates within the early ’90s.

The gameplay necessities from earlier video games are all intact right here – every playable character has completely different strengths and weaknesses like vary and pace, however they don’t seem to be so completely different that you’re going to really feel thrown by switching gamers. The core gameplay continues to be principally achieved 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 completely different slide and cost assaults, you may seize enemies and throw them proper in direction of the TV display screen (identical to you do in Turtles in Time), there is a dodge button that allows you to dance out of hassle and there are a number 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 completely different, the distinct visuals for all 4 turtles and their pals retains issues trying recent.

As with every good beat-’em-up, every character has their very own particular transfer, too. In contrast to in previous arcade video games, the place utilizing a particular would often 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 may unleash a particular transfer or reserve it for later use. It is a great way to make it so gamers cannot simply use particular assaults continuously and add a little bit of technique to the in any other case chaotic melee.

One other method Tribute makes Shredder’s Revenge really feel extra fashionable is the sport’s story mode. You’ll degree 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 – if you replenish your bar and financial institution one transfer, you may maintain filling it up and maintain two and ultimately three in reserve – or you may blow all three directly in a frenzied super-attack. Story mode additionally enables you to re-enter ranges to search out hidden objects 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 harm). And you may swap your character between ranges, slightly than keep locked to 1 turtle for the whole recreation.

Arcade mode, then again, is for old-school followers who need a harder problem. The sport is straightforward: choose a personality, and combat via all the 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 degree.

TMNT: Shredder's Revenge


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

Sadly, cross-play is not supported for now – Xbox and PC gamers can group up, however PlayStation and Swap gamers might want to play the identical model as their pals in the event that they need to work collectively. The excellent news is that it is also not laborious to get a recreation going with strangers. It isn’t fairly as a lot enjoyable as enjoying with individuals you already know, however the recreation undoubtedly feels extra alive when you may have not 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 great distance, however Shredder’s Revenge manages to work as a love letter to video games of the previous whereas nonetheless feeling recent. There’s simply one thing extremely satisfying about teaming up with a number of pals and mowing down a endless swarm of enemies; that was true within the ’90s, and it is nonetheless true as we speak.

After all, it helps you probably have some affection for the TMNT franchise, however even in the event you do not, the tight gameplay, addictive soundtrack and nice co-op options must be sufficient to take pleasure in Shredder’s Revenge. And in the event you grew up enjoying the arcade video games or their dwelling console counterparts, this new journey is a must-play. That is very true you probably have pals to play it with, both IRL or on-line.

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