The turtles are back and they’re ready to save New York City from the Foot Clan, Krang, and, of course, Shredder! Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge offers a nostalgia-fuelled experience in its purest sense, with the brilliant old-school beat ‘em up gameplay and iconic heroes sure to keep fans enthralled as they embark on a new adventure with the pizza-gobbling turtle quartet (and some friends).
Check out some screenshots down below:
The first thing fans are greeted to when they start the game is a fantastically animated introduction sequence, with the classic theme song sung by none other than Mike Patton. It sets the tone for what’s ahead: a nostalgic and frantic romp that feels like it could have come out of the 90s, but that also brings with it enough modern innovations to ensure it belongs in 2022.
The core gameplay will feel familiar to anyone who has played a side-scrolling beat ‘em up before, with players taking on the role of either Leonardo, Raphael, Michelangelo, Donatello, Splinter or April (Casey Jones can be unlocked) and battling through sixteen vibrant stages full of varied minions to smash up, an array of collectibles to find, and boss battles that’ll put their skills to the test. Players can unleash standard attacks, a charged attack, a sliding attack, jump attacks, grab attacks (including throwing enemies into the screen), and a special ability, whilst each character also has varying stats that determine their effectiveness in different ways. Want an all-rounder? Go for Leonardo. Range your thing? Donatello will be useful there. Or do you want power? Master Splinter is your man (or rat if we’re going to be specific about it).
With quick and snappy combat that makes it easy to flow together combos across both the ground and air, it’s hard not to feel mighty satisfied when dishing out the hurt on enemies. There are things like environmental hazards to take advantage of too, whilst certain pizzas you find will even give you boosts to your power to really go all-out on foes. Combat just feels so damn good, and with a ton of foes filling the screen all the time, there’s always plenty of butt-whopping to be done. Whether hitting an air combo on a foe, perfectly timing an attack to interrupt their action, or throwing them across the map into a pit, it’s ALWAYS fun to beat down some baddies in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge.
“Best of all, each level is filled with throwbacks to both the classic cartoon and older Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles games, so those who watched the show or played those games will have a BIG smile on their face as they see all these little nods.”
The main game mode of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge sees players working through levels across the city overworld. You’ll also get to level up your characters to unlock new abilities when you hit certain point thresholds, whilst each level offers a selection of challenges to complete. The challenges are fairly typical and made up of things like defeating enemies in a certain way, avoiding taking a certain amount of attacks, or taking no damage at all, but they’re still rewarding to complete. There are also side missions to complete based around the collectibles you find in levels, though they felt a little uninspired – it was hard NOT to find all of the collectibles, so the missions themselves could feel a little pointless.
With sixteen brilliantly designed and varied levels to work through, the campaign is definitely a hit. Best of all, each level is filled with throwbacks to both the classic cartoon and older Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles games, so those who watched the show or played those games will have a BIG smile on their face as they see all these little nods. They’re not just little throwbacks either, but instead ideas that are integrated in the level design and the way enemies are presented in-game… it’s a real labour of love and something that I especially appreciated.
Those who prefer a more conventional take on the game can play in Arcade Mode, which takes you through all of the levels with limited lives and continues. If I’m being honest, I didn’t really stick much time in it (I preferred the standard campaign), though those who like chasing scores might find the allure of the global leader board tempting.
Check out some screenshots down below:
No matter what mode you play on, the best way to experience Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge is in multiplayer, with local and online play supported for up to six players. It’s RIDICULOUSLY fun to play with others, especially with just how busy the screen gets with enemies and heroes, whilst pulling off team attacks or stringing combos together never stops being satisfying. The older Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles titles prided themselves on how good they felt to play with friends, but Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge takes it to the next level given that it allows six players to work together. You’d think it’d be too chaotic (and I’ll admit there were times where I couldn’t keep track of my character), but it just WORKS. And hey, you can even compare stats at the end of each level and see which one of you was the best of all… who said playing co-op didn’t have to be competitive?!
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge just gets so much right and offers enough to appeal to both long-time fans as well as complete newbies to the franchise. There were a few little sticking points that are worth pointing out though, such as the game’s short length. In fairness, most side-scrolling beat ‘em ups aren’t really that long anyway, but I managed to beat Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge on my first attempt in around an hour and forty minutes (and that was finding all collectibles and completing the vast majority of challenges too). Whilst there is replay value offered in multiplayer and the arcade-nature of the game makes it easy to come back to, some players might have hoped for a meatier adventure – especially in the game’s Story Mode. I also noticed a little bit of slowdown when playing on the Nintendo Switch, especially in the busy sequences, whilst I even found myself stuck in a jumping animation when leaping between different parts of levels at times too. There was nothing game-breaking at all and I am nit-picking a little, but it was noticeable when compared to the versions of the game available on other consoles.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge Review
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge is a mighty fun romp that’s sure to leave a big grin on players’ faces as they beat up Shredder and co. Between the sublime combat, brilliant level design, constant throwbacks to the TV show and older games, and excellent multiplayer, there’s just SO much to love. It offers EVERYTHING you could want from a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game.
There were a few little issues here and there, but they don’t stop Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge from being a fantastic release and a fitting way for the shelled heroes to return to the spotlight.
Developer: Tribute Games
Platform(s): Nintendo Switch (Reviewed), PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC