Game review: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge

Cowabunga man! Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Shredder’s Revenge is out! So grab a slice (or six) of pizza and get ready for a totally awesome 80s-inspired beat-em-up.

The turtles are back and they’re cooler than ever. Brimming with inspiration from the fondly remembered TMNT title Turtles in Time, Shredder’s Revenge is a short and sweet arcade-style beat-em-up. The combat is very satisfying.

You can choose to jump straight into the action via the arcade mode where characters will be equipped with their full movesets and you will have a set number of lives to beat the campaign and the evil Shredder! Story mode means that once you’ve chosen your turtle, or one of its companions, and hit the streets of the Big Apple, you’ll level them up, unlock new abilities as well as combos explosive! Either way, Shredder is in for a pretty tough ride.

I’ve always been a bit of a fan of pixel art games, but I think most people would agree that Shredder’s Revenge looks pretty darn full bodied. Sleek, smooth animations are brought to life by the original voice actors from the 80s animated series, along with vibrant backgrounds that bring you back to the push button glory that is an arcade machine. Full of familiar locations and awesome new areas to find and inevitably cover with the wreckage of your enemies. The unique and distinct colors and designs really help differentiate the levels. Fluid combat and impressive graphics throughout, but with a most righteous soundtrack. Kick-ass beats for a kick-ass game.

The same old format of fighting different colorful variations of the same old dudes is still alive and well in this title. Tribute Games didn’t try to reinvent the wheel, instead they took the best parts of those knobby arcade cabinets and lovingly created a sweet beat-em-up that’s a total pleasure to play. .

I haven’t tackled this game with a full six-player squad yet, but even with four players it was pretty hectic. Turtles fly across the screen, enemies bounce before being bombarded towards the screen as well as crazy dashes for power-up pizza. Shredder’s Revenge manages to strike a decent balance in the chaos, as long as you’re okay with triple-digit combos and defeated bodies bouncing across the screen.

Each character comes with unique movesets, stats, and taunts, meaning there’s always someone new to try out for the next run. Character specials are particularly useful and consist of devastating attacks that devour the player’s energy bar. Luckily, this slowly fills up as the Turtles defeat Shredder’s minions. Additionally, each character comes with a special taunt, which instantly restores players’ energy bar. I would like to say that the taunts are a bit too fine, but I loved breaking away from combat to take a quiet moment on Donatello’s Gameboy. The very useful the taunts, combined with a decent supply of restorative and special pizzas, made the campaign a bit easy.

Shredder’s Revenge is a well-crafted and much-loved nostalgia-filled thrill ride. Perfect for beat-em-ups fans and perfect for parties. The only rule is that I play Donatello.

Lyrics: Dave Jamieson