Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge Preview
TMNT is a franchise that can’t be stopped. We’ve been treated to a steady stream of shows, movies, games, and merch for over 30 years now. For some gamers (read: old ones), the high watermark was in the early 90s. This is when Turtles in Time hit the Super Nintendo, along with a slew of other smash hits. Tribute Games has unearthed a rich vein of this exact nostalgia with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge. This game was made for me, and I couldn’t be happier about it.
The demo opens with a new animation for the old theme song, which rules. Gone are the days when TV themes gave you the character bios and origins of the entire cast, and we’re worse off for it. Beyond that, every inch of this game is dripping with pure nostalgia. The music, the backgrounds, the character models, and the dialogue all feel like the Turtles of yesteryear. But! We’re not just trading on good memories here. Tribute Games have whipped up an excellent 2D brawler.
A Concentrated Blast of Nostalgia
Combat is simple at first glance, but the moves list is enormous. You’ve got one button for attacks, and one for specials. But also, there’s a jump attack, a double jump move, a dodge roll, a throw move, and a back strike. There’s a bunch more, don’t worry. Those are just the moves I can remember offhand. All of them are seamless to execute and feel great, too. It looks like there’s even more combat stuff that’ll be unlocked with the full release, which is exciting. Plus, you’ve got six characters to choose from.
Every fighter has different values for Power, Speed, and Range. Leonardo is average at all three, while Raphael is skewed more towards power. On top of the four turtles, you can also play with Splinter and April O’Neil. Everyone’s designs should be extremely familiar if you grew up watching the old TV show. In fact, every element of the game has been faithfully lifted from the 1987 series. The second stage features the turtle van parked outside the Channel 6 studio. This won’t matter to you unless you grew up with that toy kicking around. In which case, be prepared for some deep memories to come rushing back.
Oh Man, The Turtle Van
Even though Shredder’s Revenge leans heavy on nostalgia, the animation feels incredibly fluid. Enemies and allies alike use a ton of frames for every action. Between this and the gorgeous color palette, this game looks better than the old show ever did. The two stages I had access to were colorful, varied, and deeply reminiscent of the cartoons. It’s a pretty remarkable achievement, especially once you actually start playing.
Shredder’s Revenge looks like the old show, yes. But it feels like Turtles in Time. The special moves, the pizza power-ups, and even the enemies are an homage to that legendary beat ’em up. Between the two influences, Tribute Games has cooked up something altogether different. So far, this feels like a multi-faceted tribute, a greatest hits tour of all things Turtles. Thankfully, it’s also a lot of fun to play. I honestly can’t wait for the full game to release later this year. You’ll absolutely want to keep an eye out for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge.
***A Steam demo key was provided by the publisher***