Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge is the sequel to Konami’s immortal SNES classic, Turtles in Time. This is a great game that reawakens memories of the adventures of Spider-Man, Batman, and other childhood heroes. Tribute Games was able to rekindle the old flame, and there are a lot of efforts to improve the game by making it more modern.
First of all, Shredder’s Revenge is a very stylish game, and the graphics are very similar to what they were in Turtles in Time. Even with most of the events taking place in New York, each location feels different, with graffiti-painted streets outside the TV station, Broadway, dirty sewers, a zoo, and so on. The backgrounds rarely repeat, which is impressive considering Shredder’s Revenge is about four times as long as Turtles in Time and much more detailed.
The character designs are also varied. Even though they all have the same body shape, the turtles have a few similar animations. Their movements reflect individuality, which helps a little to find your hero. While sprinting, Leo leans forward with a fearsome gaze; Mikey rushes with cartoonish exaggeration, brandishing nunchucks behind his back; and Rafael rushes forward with bared teeth. Additional heroes deserve praise too. Avenger Casey Jones comically changes his outfit during the attack, wearing a golf cap when he swings with a club, or a baseball helmet when he swings his bat during a tackle.
All the villains are still a pleasure to kick, especially the hilarious Foot Ninjas with crossbows that shoot plungers instead of pointed bolts! Shredder’s Revenge is a game that is great for both kids and adults. This generous attention to detail also extends to the robo-ninja hordes that you’ll be fighting most of the time. They are divided into colors to make it easier to understand who you are dealing with. Moreover, each bad boy has their own animations and style, and they use different tricks in almost every stage.
The heart of the game is this joyous arcade experience as you fight your way through thousands of enemies with as many buddies as you can fit in a room or discord server. Shredder’s Revenge is an enjoyable and enthusiastic piece of work. You can easily beat Shredder’s Revenge in about two and a half hours, which is definitely short, but the game still has some decent replay potential.
There are two modes. The first is the story, which has a shared world and an incentive to replay levels. You will have to pass tests, find hidden characters, hidden newspapers in the level and complete fetch quests, which boil down to overcoming all the obstacles within the level in order to uncover its secrets. The player receives rewards, such as increased health and so on.
Arcade mode is the second, which takes you back to the basics and denying you save points with limited lives. Therefore, everything is like in the good old days — all 16 levels of Shredder’s Revenge will have to be completed in one sitting, trying not to lose. Playing the game multiple times also gives you the chance to try out all the playable characters. Each of the six has three stats (range, speed and power), making a noticeable difference between them. For example, Donatello and his staff are markedly different from the slow, strong Splinter or the fast Michelangelo.
Let’s talk about gameplay. The combat has undergone significant changes while maintaining a certain similarity with Turtles in Time. You can still hit the same button to perform combos, jump kicks, and grabs, but turtles and other heroes can now dodge. There are quite a few invulnerability frames, so with some skill you can avoid almost all attacks. Dodges can be immediately converted into counterattacks, and even in the midst of taking damage, you can perform a dodge mid-strike to avoid more damage. This mechanic fits perfectly into the combat and does not break its rhythm.
New super moves are actually bombs that destroy all enemies in close proximity to your character. They recharge during combat or by successfully completing the taunt animation without taking damage. This mechanic adds a fun rhythm to boss fights, especially in co-op. Taunts also work outside of combat, so you can always start fights with at least one super bar charged. Against enemies in a block, it is always more useful to use a grapple or a super attack, leaving bar of charge somewhere on the sidelines.
A full completion of the Story Mode gives enough experience to fully level one character, giving access to his super combo. To max all seven heroes, including Splinter, April, and Casey Jones, you will either need a six-player co-op, or grind your time away, which is basically alien to this genre. In Arcade Mode, there is no grinding; all abilities are given from the very beginning. Although there are no saves in it, there is no way to replay the old levels.
Shredder’s Revenge is extremely easy on the first two difficulty levels. Ordinary enemies do not pose much of a threat if you are not too reckless. The same goes for the bosses, which can be surprisingly easy if you learn how to dodge their attacks. What about the highest difficulty? Enemies hit harder and act a little more aggressively and dynamically. Bosses become tougher, but not by too much, so as not to turn battles with them into a chore.
We would recommend playing the game on the highest difficulty to keep the spirit of the old arcade games. But if you just want to relax, you can choose the simplest one and not worry. Usually, in order to complete any mode, we needed to “Continue” several times after losing all our lives. However, in Shredder’s Revenge, if your teammate loses all health, he doesn’t lose a life. You are given 10 seconds to raise your friend, returning him to battle for free. That’s what life-giving pizza does! By the way, pizza boxes are generously scattered throughout the level, restoring all HP and looking quite appetizing!
Now that games like Fortnite have taken over the market, you might want to try something else, something that will give you another experience. How much time you spend on Shredder’s Revenge will only depend on your willingness to replay levels with other characters and at different difficulty levels. However, despite its short duration, this game was still made with a lot of love for the legacy of Turtles in Time and other classic side-scrollers. Combat is dynamic and simple, but at the same time, pleasant and smooth. New mechanics modernize the action without interfering with its 16-bit essence. The co-op turned out to be too chaotic; the game could use some indicators to help track the position of your character. Regardless, playing with friends is still fun. It’s hard to make a game that does as well as an old favorite, but Shredder’s Revenge avoids the obvious mistakes and brings back the adventures of the Turtles.
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