By Philip Orona
Cowabunga! The turtles are back in an action packed beat’em up that eclipses the previous game “Portal Power ” by a country mile. Brought to us by the lovely people over at Guerilla 3 Collective with Nickelodeon in tow, Shredder’s Revenge is a love letter to anyone born in the 80’s who was in deep with the TMNT franchise. This highly anticipated release is also accompanied by an exclusive soundtrack that is being distributed by Kid Katana records via CD and Vinyl as well as digital streaming format with a new track by Ghostface Killah and Raewkon. Why hasn’t Wu-tang/Ninja Turtles been a thing already? This team up was far overdue.
From the launch of the game, we are greeted with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle theme from the original 80’s cartoon with all new animation that could have come right from the old tv series. Getting to the main menu we have access to a story mode with challenges, achievements, ability to save and continue, or a straight arcade experience with limited lives and no saving. Either way the game play is the same with a running count of defeated enemies for each player displayed just like the old arcade.
You can choose from any of the 4 turtles, and you also have Splinter, April O’neil with Casey Jones as an unlockable character. Each character has different stats between speed, strength and reach. Combat is almost immediately familiar if you have ever played TMNT the Arcade, Turtles in Time, or HyperStone Heist. Still, there is enough variation in combo moves and attack animation between each character (especially between each turtle) so that none of the characters feel exactly the same. The aforementioned core stats separate everyone nicely and help provide balance when in a multiplayer game. Every character has an attack, a dodge, and a super move to utilize against the foot as well as varying toss\throw and aerial attacks. Speaking of multiplayer, You can also play 6 player co-op local and online! That’s totally tubular.
There are homages abound to be found. From the “Who turned the lights out?!” dialogue from falling into a sewer to tossing enemies at the screen (ala Turtles in Time), the game play evokes all the good will of its predecessors. In the story mode, you can come across cartoon centric characters such as Irma and Burne Thompson who give you story beat missions. In the story mode there is a map hub that allows you to select stages to play. The map hub looks very similar to the NES Ninja Turtles game when traversing between locations in the Turtle Van.
The game graphics feel very similar to the TMNT arcade with large and colorful sprites strewn throughout the screen. The multiple types of foot soldiers mix up the combat and forces you to change your attack style. The audio experience helps the fast paced game play, especially on the skateboard stages. The sound track is excellent with a mix of hip hop, electronic and classic 16-bit chiptunes that sound like it could have come from an late 80’s arcade. The sound effects and voice acting of the characters are excellent, in fact, every turtle’s voice comes from the voice actor of the original 80’s cartoon series. Everything comes together and it fits the whimsical cartoony atmosphere perfectly.
While it’s almost all pizza and rainbows, there are a few minor gripes. The hit detection could use some touching up for both enemies and the player. The volume of enemies that come at you is fine and well but while the game does try to mix up the foot soldiers that are thrown at you, a few more enemy types would have been nice.
Shredder’s Revenge is a great way to pass the time with mindless beat’em up in arcade mode and yet there is some depth to the story mode if you want to play through it. I highly recommend picking this game up. The only reason I could see holding off on it is if you are waiting to spend your hard earned money on the “Cowabunga Collection” which is slated to be released sometime this year. Even then I’d say, don’t wait. Pick this up and whet your turtle appetite for the main serving when it hits the streets.
Things I like:
Excellent beat’em up even on solo play
Things I would improve:
Slightly more solid hit detection
Additional enemy types
The Cowabunga Collection
Streets of Rage 4