I will get my revenge!!!
|Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder's Revenge (2022)|
|Developer(s)||Tribute Games Inc.||Publisher||
Dotemu, Gamera Games
|Platform Availability||Nintendo Switch, Playstation 4/5, Xbox One/Series, Steam||Genre||Beat'em Up|
There have been a few times over the last 5 years that a brand-new game has come out and provided an immediate nostalgia trip; I am so happy Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder's Revenge has done just that. Actually, the publisher Dotemu seems to specialize in nostalgia trips. They have been responsible for multiple games re-capturing that magic of couch co-op gaming that many 90's kids will remember fondly; Streets of Rage 4 was another recent title from them that I couldn't put down for weeks.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder's Revenge picks back up where the earlier titles essentially left off. Each game would follow the same type of story line where Shredder unleashed a nasty plan that the turtles in a half-shell ultimately ruined. Each game also added new moves, create new types of levels, and improve the graphics and audio...and this game has done all of that keeping with tradition.
Spoiler Warning: Nothing I share should be a major spoiler, but I may mention bits of information that could be considered a spoiler by some...so you have been warned.
Here is my playthrough of the game I played on Xbox Game Pass; I did return to a few previous levels to find some of the collectables (though I am still missing a few). It wasn't actually planned to be a fully playthrough, but I just couldn't put the game down once I started. It will not include the "scene" from the very beginning of the game because I actually had played three levels the day it released just to see how it felt and played.
As I mentioned above, these games never really strayed far from the classic "bad guy do bad stuff, good guy ruin bad guy plan." It is very common that most beat'em ups follow this style. The beginning of the game will give you a 2-3-minute story build up (via the Turtles watching TV...this feels familiar) and then the rest of the story comes in the form of short video clips in between levels and the ending credits. Let's be honest though, you are not playing this game for the story, you are playing it to kick some shell!
I personally love that they just went ahead and kept with the basic story telling so the players can imagine how the individual scenes and character interactions go.
- Master Splinter
- April O'Neil
- Casey Jones (after you beat the game)
I hope we will see additional characters added via DLC. The TMNT series has no shortage of characters; many of the cartoons in the 90's (and many now as well) like to introduce characters, vehicles, and locations that could result in higher toy sales. Based on a very quick Google search, there are no less than 30 allies to the Ninja Turtles and 30 villains that originated from the TMNT universe; this doesn't even include many of the cross over characters from other properties. I highly suspect Miyamoto Usagi is a fan favorite that was one of the cross over characters from the comics named after the character.
If you have played a beat'em up game (especially one of theprevious TMNT games), you basically know what to expect. Walk up to an enemy, use one of the buttons on the controller to do one of your various attacks. There is nothing ground breaking in that respect, but there are some things that are new to the TMNT series but things that many other developers in the genre have been doing for years. What Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder's Revenge does very well is providing smooth gameplay that allows for combat that feel fast and fun.
I won't go through what all of the buttons do and some of the special maneuvers they provide (like Super Jump or Back Attack), but I will mention some of the fun things this game provides. Some of the moves are actually unlocked as you level up your character (though 95% are available from the first level). I really enjoy the fact the game really focuses on team work; there are team attacks and the ability to share health and revive allies before a life is lost. In the older games, there were some pieces of this (stealing a life from another player), but it feels even more integrated into this game. I haven't played this game with my normal gaming group so I haven't had a chance to do the team attacks yet, but I am excited to try them out.
The artwork feels very nostalgic while also having a more modern look; specifically, it feels very close to the animation that was present in the Super Nintendo Ninja Turtles game (Turtles in Time); they look like cleaned up versions of those characters while the world is probably the artwork that has the biggest improvement over that game. The animations are very smooth and look great with the quick action.
Now not everything is 100% perfect though. I have noticed in some cases where the image layers aren't exactly correct. There are times with the characters should clearly be standing behind fixtures on the map, but their sprite is on the top layer. This is an extremely minor thing most people won't notice while in the heat of combat. However, this is a game engine limitation and absolutely does not impact the enjoyment of the game. It is the only thing I could find slightly off in a near perfect game (in my opinion of course).
I love the soundtrack; it feels very 90's. It has very energic music that kept me excited and bopping around while kicking the Foot Clan out of New York. It even features music by members of the Wu-Tang Clan, which is VERY 90's.
One of the most exciting things about this game's audio is the voice cast. Many of the 90's cartoon voice actors returned to offer their voice talents. Anytime the characters speak, it sounds so good and feels just like I am watching the cartoon all over again. Sadly, not all of the voice actors were able to return (RIP James Avery voice of the 90's Shredder), but they managed to get enough talent back to make it feel very close to how it used to.
- Cam Clarke - Leonardo/Rocksteady
- Rob Paulsen - Raphael/Slash
- Townend Coleman - Michelangelo/Rat King/Rahzar
- Barry Gordon - Donatello/Bebop
- Peter Renaday - Master Splinter
Most of these names will be very recognizable by people who follow voice actors and especially those fans of many 90's cartoons.
They were also unable to get the voice of April back (Renae Jacobs); instead, they recruited the talented voice actress Abby Trott. Fans of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate may recognize her voice from the game's main theme, Lifelight...which I may have listened to a few hundred times. She has also provided her voice to many anime series as well.
This review is based on my first play through, but because I play so many beat'em up games, I am pretty confident my thoughts will remain the same even a year later. I love this game! The gameplay is easily on par with some of the best beat'em up games that have released in recent years, the return of so many of the voice cast is a wonderful nostalgia trip for fans of the TMNT '87 cartoon, and they kept the graphics looking very much like they did in the 90's with the original games with a reasonable facelift.
There really is not much to say beyond what I have already. If you were a fan of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and/or enjoy a good beat'em up game, this game is a no brainer; highly consider picking it up. If you have Xbox Game Pass, you already have the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder's Revenge freely available so play it there. Myself, I will continue enjoying it on Xbox Game Pass as well as on the Nintendo Switch when my copy from Limited Run Games comes in.
Limited Run Games Ninja Turtles Page (physical release that will only be available for a limited time)