TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge Perfectly Married Old & New | Best Games Of 2022


TMNT: Shredder's Revenge
TMNT: Shredder's Revenge

Somehow, we’ve managed to make it to the end of 2022, so with that in mind, we’re celebrating some of the best games to have launched in the past 12 months. For today’s edition, we’re celebrating the past with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge. 

Fans are often afraid of the necessary evolution most franchises must embrace, concerned the experience will change too much or simply be an uninspired retread of its greatest hits. There’s a fine line between bringing something up to current standards and using what came before responsibly. When a company finds that perfect intersection, sometimes, it hits just right. That’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge, an excellent game that drips with nostalgia, but not because it’s a cheap ploy to bring back in old fans – this is a return home.

The presentation here is like the old arcade cabinets, vibrant and alluring, giving off that feeling of a glorious era constructed from bits. Shredder’s Revenge is eye-catching with its bright colors and fluid movement on the screen, letting the action and aesthetics pull players in. The music and voices are excellent as well, causing several smiles, even when the lines are repeated a lot.

Shredder's Revenge
Shredder’s Revenge

The gameplay is definitely updated, with a slew of moves and tweaks that help make the action much more comfortable for the home gaming experience, as players can battle through the streets and Dimension X with one to six players. Solo play is great, but co-op is joyous mayhem here. That level of multiplayer action is wild and the frenzied fisticuffs are the epitome of classic entertainment, while the game encourages lighthearted co-op, by putting in tag team maneuvers and having pizzas that heal all of the party members, so there’s less fighting over who gets the extra-large healing with grapefruit, gummy worms, and sausage now.

On the whole, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge is a tight game with few annoyances or loose ends. There are sixteen levels, making it a nice hefty experience compared to the usual beat ‘em up, and many of the stages are similar to previous entries, while Tribute still does their own thing with their beautiful take on the IP. There are tons of references to the 1987 cartoon and toys, some of them quite deep cuts, and inclusions that have me smiling still.

Players pick between several characters that all handle similarly, but offer enough differences that players can still have their favorites. This time, not only are the four turtle brothers defending the city, but Splinter, April O’Neil, and even Casey Jones get in on the brawling action. As well as the normal differently-colored Foot soldiers to beat up on, there is a gang of well-chosen bosses, several of whom may have never had an appearance if it wasn’t for this game. Each of the big battles with these enemies is exceptionally done and breaks up the pace of the game nicely, while requiring just a bit of strategy.

TMNT: Shredder's Revenge
TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge

Shredder’s Revenge has Campaign and Arcade modes, the second of which provides more of a challenge without the overworld. However, the Campaign mode offers goals in the stages, hidden items to collect, as well as having players level up their selected characters with EXP to unlock new abilities, all of which will keep players eager to revisit their reptilian heroes. Whereas some may not wish to revisit Shredder’s Revenge once they’ve seen the story a couple of times, I’ll be going back to this one a lot, not only to make friends play it and try harder difficulties, but to relive what feels like a new classic.

There are a couple of small annoyances like environmental hazards that feel unnecessary and too many vehicle auto-scrolling levels, but those obstacles also simply feel true to the genre as a whole. The exceptional gameplay makes up for it and then some, however, and playing this game feels like a new bar has been set for beat ‘em ups. Whether this game manages to beat Turtles in Time is up for debate, but the attention and care shown here is fantastic, which will make Shredder’s Revenge a game that stands out for a long time.

READ MORE: 10 Best Couch Co-Op Games On Xbox Game Pass

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