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TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge Review – Bodacious Arcade Nostalgia

tmnt shredder's revenge review
PlayStation

TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge Review – Bodacious Arcade Nostalgia

It’s turtle time.

TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge on PS4

Like many 90s kids, TMNT: Turtles In Time was a pretty beloved game for me. Whether I was out at the arcade or renting titles for the SNES at Blockbuster, this multiplayer beat ’em always took priority, as its action, visuals, and gameplay were simple but so enjoyable to play. It didn’t take long into playing TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge for a wave of nostalgia to crash over me.

Playing TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge made me feel like I was back at Grotto Pizza, playing on the arcade cabinet with friends as I waited for one of the greasiest slices of pizza on the east coast. Throughout multiple playthroughs, that fond feeling of remembrance never let up, as it became abundantly clear that the developers at Tribute Games really knew what they were doing.

The story of TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge is pretty straightforward, as it sees our heroes chasing and fighting their usual rogue’s gallery of villains across the city. Classic levels have been remixed across the game, as locations like The Manhattan Project sewers and hoverboard sections get a cool modernized look and appeal.

Shredder's Revenge Bebop boss fight

The pixel art is also crisper than ever, as the backgrounds and foregrounds of TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge are incredibly detailed, making the entire environment feel alive. Combat animations also look impressive and vibrant, as each character has their own unique moveset and actions that are fully animated.

Super attacks in particular look jaw-dropping, as every time one is executed, the screen lights up in an array of different colors that really emphasize the damage that is being done. Combat doesn’t just look good, though, as the arcade-style mechanics feel silky smooth.

Despite only having buttons to jump, dodge, and attack, there are a lot of really cool combos that can be executed in both single-player and while in co-op. This includes being able to throw enemies off-screen, juggle opponents in the air, and even the ability to execute team-up moves when playing with others.

A big reason this ode to the old arcade brawler style works in TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge is that a lot of variety can be found by playing with the different characters that make up the team. With each of the seven playable personalities that make up the game comes different strengths and weaknesses.

Where April is fast, Master Splinter is strong. In single-player, who you pick makes a really big difference, as certain levels put an emphasis on certain skills. For example, while I didn’t like using him throughout most of the levels, Donatello’s reach and range were a lifesaver when playing the Technodrome area, as a lot of the enemies there had some pretty deadly up close attacks.

Speaking of enemies on this level, I will say that there are a handful of minor mobs in TMNT: Shredder’s Revenger that are a bit annoying design-wise when playing single-player. The little robots that shoot lasers and have a heavy defense are one of those, as their long-range stagger attacks, heavy armor, and ability to hide back underground makes for a frustrating interaction when playing solo.

This enemy is pretty easy to beat when you play co-op, so it just feels like there are some scenarios that are built solely with multiplayer in mind. Considering how good the multiplayer is, though, that really isn’t too big of a knock.

Even as someone who doesn’t like queuing up with strangers, I found myself having a blast with matchmaking and couch co-op alike. There is just something about being able to beat up foot clan members with a group of six people that just feels so satisfying.

april and leo TMNT: Shredder's Revenge

Arguably the best part of TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge is that it’s just one of those games you can play over and over. Even though the game can be beaten in one sitting, there are a number of different ways in which to do it that result in a myriad of different experiences.

Story Mode features a bunch of side missions, objectives, and references to the old games and shows, while also throwing in leveling characters up. This makes for a longer experience that is usually best experienced when playing with smaller groups.

On the other hand, Arcade Mode is all about the action. Playing this mode unlocks all abilities from the get-go and gets rid of collectibles and other elements that would otherwise take you away from combat. It’s here where experimenting with higher difficulties is fun for the brawler masochists out there, as you’ve also got a limited amount of lives and health pick-ups to deal with.

I can’t say I dabbled too much with more serious difficulties myself, but the little I did experience with my friends was a chaotically good time. In my 10-plus hours with TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge, there were very few moments where I wanted to put the game down.

While TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge isn’t going to revolutionize the genre, it honestly shouldn’t have to. The modernized upgrades it received to its combat, style, and co-op are more than enough to warrant praise. As they say, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, and that’s exactly what you’ve got with TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge.

Review Block

Twinfinite Editors Choice Award

TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge

4.5
/ 5

Great

TMNT: Shredder's Revenge Critic Review
Reviewer: Andrew McMahon | Award: Editor’s Choice | Copy provided by Publisher.

Pros

  • Striking pixel visuals and combat.
  • Plenty of playstye variety thanks to different character loadouts.
  • Co-op brings forth waves of nostalgia.
  • Endless replayability.

Cons

  • Single-player enemies can be a bit unfair at parts.
Release Date
June 16, 2022
Developer
Tribute Games
Publisher
Dotemu
Consoles
Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One, & PC
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