Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge review: A shell of a time

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge

MSRP $24.99

“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge is not just an excellent Turtles game for nostalgic fans. It’s an ideal retro-style beat ’em up that is desirous to innovate.”


  • Detailed sprite visuals
  • Deep combat
  • Tons of TMNT fan service
  • Modes aplenty
  • Six-player co-op

When Tribute Games, the event team made up of members that worked on Scott Pilgrim vs. The World — The Game and the Gameboy Advance port of TMNT, were on board to develop the following Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles beat ’em up, I knew the project was in the proper hands. Anyone conversant in those past titles knows that Tribute is top-of-the-line in the case of finding that sweet spot between retro nostalgia and modern innovation. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge is the studio’s master class.

As each an enormous Ninja Turtles and beat-’em-up fan, my expectations were high and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge met them at every level. Not only does the blast-from-the-past title give fans of the 1987 Turtles cartoon and arcade games a radical time, but fans of retro beat ’em ups, great co-op experiences, and arcade nostalgists will find themselves loving the “Cowabunga!” lifestyle. That every one comes back to Tribute Games itself, which has worked its magic to bring fresh ideas and upgrades to a tried-and-true formula.

Reinvention of retro

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge is one other modern, retro-style beat ’em up, very similar to Streets of Rage 4 — though, I’d go so far as to say that it could be the very best of that breed yet. Not only is it an excellent return to form that appears and plays the part, but its one which also innovates on the old genre by inventing recent mechanics. Consequently, it’s great for many who just want some retro bliss, but it surely’s way more than that for many who desire a more in-depth experience that classic arcade games often don’t offer.

April O'Neil throwing a red foot ninja while a purple one approaches her.

The sport throws players into the world of the Heroes in a Half Shell and offers them full reign to pummel every Foot Ninja and enemy in the best way. Not only can they do that in the usual arcade mode with limited continues and super bar, but within the brand-new story mode as well. All of those modes could be played with as much as six players.

Story mode presents players with a recent fleshed-out experience that could be in comparison with games like Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, River City Girls, and the Kunio-kun series. Here, you make your way through each level of the sport, but unlike arcade mode, which is more fitting for traditional gamers just chasing that simple ’80s experience, characters could be leveled up after defeating certain numbers of enemies. These level-ups unlock different power-ups, including health buffs, additional super attacks, and extra Ninja Power, which lets you hold multiple super bars as a substitute of the only limit of the arcade mode.

Map of New York in TMNT Shredder's Revenge.

The story mode progresses on a Super Mario World-esque map and along the best way you’ll meet different characters from the 1987 cartoon series like Vernon, the Napoleon Bonafrogs, and even the Neutrinos. These guests present you with collectible quests to get more experience points. Together with these come challenges that you could complete on each level that can put you on the fast track to leveling up as well.

Combat goes much deeper than you would possibly expect at first glance.

Even before beating the sport, I discovered myself consistently revisiting stages with recent characters to chase an entire full power roster by beating enemies and completing challenges. These missions aren’t any walk within the park on hard mode, giving me the old arcade challenge I like.

Ninjitsu motion

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge continues the reinvention of a classic genre by taking the motion from the straightforward button-mashing present in classic Turtles’ beat ’em ups and making it right into a more in-depth combo-fest.

The turtles and friends are actually given the power to dodge, use three different super moves, grab and throw, taunt to realize super bars quickly, and do team attacks, heavy homerun attacks, and the usual combo strings present in most beat ’em ups. By putting these mechanics together, I quickly made a delicious combat pizza that made me fall in love with the sport.

Leonardo doing a super dash attack on a foot ninja.

Combat goes much deeper than you would possibly expect at first glance. I can dodge cancel moves into other attacks and OTG (hitting knocked-down opponents off the bottom) and wall-bounce enemies to increase combos. These techniques not only provide you with mileage in the case of dealing damage, but in addition they show how deep the sport can go while you begin stringing moves together.

Like Streets of Rage 4, I discovered myself training to seek out just what number of hits I could land before enemies finally faded into the beat-’em-up void. And very similar to that game, Tribute Games found the right technique to preserve the retro experience while renewing it to maintain it fresh and appealing to recent audiences.

Leonardo hitting a foot ninja with a sword with the words

Turtles in a recent time

You would already guess that a game like this may be stuffed with callbacks to the Turtles franchise, but there are more here than even I expected. From stage to stage, I discovered tons of Easter eggs calling back to specific episodes of the 1987 series and old arcade games — and all of it looked beautiful because of the detailed sprite work.

Leonardo and Raphael fighting Tokka and Rahzar.

Easy references, and deeper ones like small stage decorations, show up here in full force. I used to be consistently geeking out at every turn, especially during boss fights, that are the icing on the ooze green-colored cake.

All of those strengths are before you get into its multiplayer mode, which is the primary draw that makes Shredder’s Revenge special.

You possibly can play with as much as six friends with a varied roster of characters featuring different looks, move sets, and strengths. In joining up with a team of green machines, you’ll unlock multiplayer-exclusive mechanics which are built for couch co-op. I say that from experience, as each move hyped me and my brother up each time we executed them.

Leonardo, Michaelangelo, Casey Jones, Splinter, and Raphael fighting foot ninjas.

On the defensive side, you may revive downed teammates and even split health to be sure that you each make it through difficult levels. And for those who’re all about kicking shell, then there are tons of team attacks you may do just like the Sandwich Attack, Homerun Swing, and Tubular Spin. All these additions make the multiplayer mode a complete recent experience, whether playing locally or offline. When you can manage to get five of your closest friends together, you’re in for a shell of a time.

Our take

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge is a must-play for each TMNT and beat-’em-up fans alike. It’s a game that takes what worked up to now, but still finds space to innovate beyond its fan service and nostalgia play. When you’ve ever felt like retro revivals can’t be way more than shallow nostalgia, Shredder’s Revenge will prove that there’s still good enough room for an old genre to grow.

How long will it last?

My initial story mode playthrough on the conventional difficulty without challenge chasing took around two hours. With challenges, multiple arcade mode difficulties, and various characters to level as much as max power, you’ll find the sport taking on far more of your time than that.

Are there any alternatives?

Streets of Rage 4, River City Girls, and Scott Pilgrim vs. The World are all great contenders, but I don’t recommend skipping Shredder’s Revenge in favor of any of those.

Do you have to buy it?

Yes. When you’re on the lookout for that next great multiplayer experience, a fun beat ’em up, a robust retro revival, or just a few Turtles nostalgia, it excels in all of those respects.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge was reviewed on PC.

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