After making my way to PAX East 2022, there was only one game I absolutely needed to play. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge is that game. Its being a franchise very dear to me since an early age, I was obsessed with TMNT shows, movies, and video games. After playing a demo of Shredder’s Revenge at PAX East for preview, a wave of nostalgia and joy hit me. It isn’t just that developer Tribute Games pays homage to titles like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time and The Arcade Game. The devs have also created a beat ’em up that incorporates modern gameplay mechanics to make this the best TMNT game in years.
Turtle Power in Shredder’s Revenge
I jumped into Shredder’s Revenge with a friend to preview the two-stage demo. Of course, we chose the new characters to play: April O’Neil and Splinter. The two levels we traversed, the Channel 6 studio and the streets of New York, were full of franchise references and had great attention to detail. You could hit gas canisters so they explode, fall down sewer holes, knock sewer covers back at your attackers — just like in the good old days! Enemies and bosses like the Foot Clan, Roadkill Rodneys, Bebop, and Rocksteady were all featured.
Playing Shredder’s Revenge felt like a dream. You and your friends can juggle foes for massive combos. If you are crafty enough, you can perform team attacks (attacking an enemy from either side of them, for example), but these are tricky to pull off. Landing bevies of attacks or taunting adversaries without getting interrupted fills a super meter. When activated, a character-specific attack will occur, clearing the room of bad guys if timed properly. The always useful jump kick makes a return, you can do a stronger version of your basic attack by holding the button down before release, and each character has a specific move they can utilize by pressing the jump and attack buttons together. (April does an aerial spinning kick just like Chun-Li.)
Gameplay Enhancements That Make Me Say Cowabunga
In preview, I found that modern improvements abound in TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge. Your attacks have a slight auto-lock, so if you feel like you are bit off from a foe’s plane, you’ll be able to land your moves regardless. The game also features online and offline co-op, and gamers can jump into a game at any point during gameplay. The decision to have a super meter build was born from the developer’s wish not to punish players for launching a souped-up attack, as previous TMNT titles would take away health if you performed one.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge will launch this summer on PC, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. There are six playable characters, with no DLC planned at this time. Original ’80s cartoon voice actor Cam Clarke is returning as Leonardo, Townsend Coleman as Michelangelo, Barry Gordon as Donatello, and Rob Paulsen as Raphael. After its digital release, Shredder’s Revenge will score physical editions courtesy of Limited Run Games in the U.S.
It must be said that this game made me shed a tear. It’s so much fun to play, especially with a friend. My only complaint is it is a tad easy, but that could be due to convention accessibility. I’m sure there will be difficulty options. Play it if you have a chance at PAX East 2022!