As someone who’s pushing 40, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were one of my favorite franchises as a kid. I remember being so excited going to see the first live action film in theaters when I was eight years old. A few years later, the Boy’s Club I used to frequent every day after school got the four player Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles arcade machine, and I knew that I’d be hooked for the rest of my lifetime. Dotemu and Tribute Games have come together to create a modern day version of those old games and I’d be lying if I said they didn’t exceed expectations in every possible way. Here’s our Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge Review!
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge
Developer: Tribute Games
Platforms: Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4 (reviewed), Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
Release Date: June 2, 2022
Price: $24.99 USD
Sometimes when a developer wants to revitalize a game franchise, I’m often worried that they’re going to screw it up. Take Ubisoft’s terribly flawed Turtles in Time: Reshelled from 2009 where they took a great game and made it look a bit nicer but play significantly more clunkier.
I was so disappointed when that remake happened, so I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t extremely reserved after seeing the initial screens and videos leading up to our Shredder’s Revenge review. For the record, I’m certainly no fanboy for Tribute Games, as I’ve been critical of their work in the past.
I’m so happy to say that much like Streets of Rage 4 before it Dotemu has ensured that Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge Review was built with all of the love and admiration of the original while making necessary updates to turn a classic into a modern beat-em-up that feels fresh and familiar at the same time.
Segmented into two different paths, our Shredder’s Revenge review found two different paths of gameplay: Story mode and Arcade mode. Arcade mode is exactly as you’d expect: You challenge each of the stages on a limited number of lives and continues.
There are three different difficulty modes as well, and playing on Gnarly is actually as the name implies – it’s tough and you’re gonna have to get really good at being aware of your frames and surroundings in order to persevere.
Story mode allows you to challenge each of the stages while also hiding collectables and cameo appearances from lesser known characters throughout the Turtles franchise to stumble upon. I was so excited to see the Punk Frogs return, even if little more than just a nod and serving as a side quest character to turn bugs into.
Splinter named the Turtles after painters/artists, so why not let Shredder name his frogs after warlords/dictators? Rasputin the Mad Frog still makes me giggle every time I think about him. You’ll also find some forgotten nemesis of the Turtles along the way, including Wingnut, Leatherhead, and the Triceratons.
Beginning our Shredder’s Revenge review found the story mode is set on an overworld map that’s very reminiscent of the city level map from the original NES Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game.
Even though most of you never made it past the dam in order to get there – that’s what it reminds me of, complete with driving around the turtle van from point to point, Super Mario Bros. 3 style.
While playing through story mode, you will upgrade each playable character from level one to level ten, which will give you upgrades such as an extra life, more HP, new ninja powers, and eventually the ability to use Radical mode which makes your attacks much stronger for a short period of times.
One of the biggest changes we found in our Shredder’s Revenge review is how unique each character feels. Raphael is methodical, doing heavy damage but requiring you get extremely close in order to hit your enemies with his Sais or his jumping attacks.
April is extremely fast and can easily dodge attacks, but it takes considerably more hits to kill an enemy with her as it would with another character who’s got a stronger power rating.
There’s also some added moves which are game changers for series, such as wake up attacks and being able to revive your allies while they’re knocked out before they use up a life.
While it’s fun to mindlessly button mash, on the harder difficulties using your jumping and wake up attacks are very easily the key between barely clearing levels and absolutely dominating them.
Online play is surprisingly solid as well – during our Shredder’s Revenge review period I only found a few other people to play with, but was able to seamlessly join.
Once I was in their party and hopped in about 75% of the way through a level and after a few levels, I popped out and went right back to my own story mode with no delay.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge is a love letter to both of the previous arcade titles, but also brings the Turtles into a more mechanically relevant beat-em-up, ensuring that all new generations of Turtles fans can have a great time with this newest entry from Dotemu.