Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge is a game developed by Tribute Game and distributed by Dotemu. It’s an all-pixel beat’em up, a real homage to both the cartoon series of the 90s. And to the arcade games of the same period. How does this pizza taste?
TMNT: Shredder’s Revenger, COWABUNGA
Should we still present the Ninja Turtles? They are 4 turtle brothers, bathed in mutagen and raised in the sewers of New York by their master Splinter, a rat just as mutated as them. There is Leonardo, the ringleader, wielding two katanas and wearing a blue bandana. Raphael, the rebel, wearing the color red and wielding the sais. Donatello, the nerd of the group, in purple, wielding bo sticks. And Michelangelo, the group’s humorous surety, in orange, clearing away the enemies with his nunchakus.
Their great enemy is of course Shredder, a masked man and leader of the Foot clan, Sunday ninjas who will serve as a punching bag for the heroes. He is accompanied by a large number of mutant sidekicks: Bebop and Rocksteady, Dr. Baxter and many others. And of course Krang, the alien brain in a robotic body.
It is he who is in question here. In Shredder’s Revenge, the big bad tries to put Krang back together piece by piece in order to rule the world and defeat the turtles. You will therefore have to fight through 16 100% arcade levels against many members of the Foot clan and emblematic enemies from the series and films to foil his plans.
Seven characters, so many ways to play
The game allows you to embody the four turtles, Splinter, journalist April O’Neill or Casey Jones, unlocked after finishing the story mode. Each character can be climbed up to level 10 and has its own set of moves. They are distinguished by three qualities: speed, range and power. Each character has their weaknesses and their strengths, it’s up to you to find the one that suits you best.
By fighting you will earn XP and unlock new moves and skills. Thus a character mastered at level 10 will be much more powerful and you can restart the game in hard mode to test your skills. The levels take place with a horizontal scrolling, on foot or in vehicles. You have a classic move, a charged move, a special move to trigger when a gauge is full, a dodge, a mug and the jump. It’s up to you to juggle all this to defeat all the enemies on the screen.
TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge, a pleasure to replay
In the 16 levels of the game, you have challenges to overcome. Usually three in number, they ask you not to take a hit, not to die, not to be knocked down by X objects, etc. They are not mandatory but give spice to the adventure. Just as there are collectibles to find, real easter eggs, which allow you to unlock additional XP points.
If the Story mode with its three difficulty levels is not enough for you, know that it is possible to play in Arcade mode, the old fashioned way. One life, no continuity, tough enemies: enough to put your nerves to the test. But do not panic ! It is possible to play up to 6 in local co-op or online in order to overcome each level. Enough to satisfy completionists who want to unlock all the exploits.
A feast for the eyes
The game is pure pleasure in the hands. The characters understand each other well and we quickly discover the one that is made for our style of play. But where TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge impresses is undeniably by its graphic style. All in fine and elegant pixel art, the style sublimates the Ninja Turtles and all the characters revolving around them.
The animations are extremely neat, a few surprises come to make us smile when we least expect it. And the soundtrack that accompanies it is close to perfection. The music perfectly accompanies each level, each course. And, happiness for the fans of the VO: the original dubbers are back! For us French people, we will have to make do with subtitles.
In short, TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge is a vibrant tribute to the films and the series that thirtysomethings have known. With a simple but demanding gameplay, it can delight casual players as well as the most hardcore ones. Everyone will find their account and have fun through the 16 levels to go through. Count between 6 and 10 minutes to complete a level. You will have understood that the title’s lifespan is not its forte, but that’s not what we ask of a beat’em up.
TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge is available on PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One.