TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge is the latest title in the long-running line of video game adaptations for the ninja turtles. These heroes in a half-shell became home-console regulars in the 80s. With such a long history, can the latest title from Dotemu honor the legacy of these action icons? Despite an uphill battle, Dotemu made what may be the best video game title the turtles have ever seen.
Shredder’s Revenge is the most fun I’ve had with a Beat ‘Em Up title since Castle Crashers released in 2008. This title is a dream come true as a casual TMNT fan and a retro enthusiast. No matter your attachment to this iconic franchise, you will have a blast with TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge.
Surf’s Up in the City
Shredder and the Foot Clan are up to no good in New York City. It’s up to Leonardo, Raphael, Donatello, and Michelangelo to stop the rogue ninja’s plans. They’ll trek through 16 levels, battling iconic franchise villains like Rocksteady and Bebop. With three difficulties, challenges, and collectibles peppered throughout each level, you’ll have plenty to keep you occupied.
Dotemu’s latest title lets six players take control of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles with a few extra franchise favorites. April, Splinter, and Casey join the turtles with moves, stats, and specials to set them apart. The more players you have, the more chaos ensues, and it’s radical when six friends get together to take on this cast of baddies. Except for one or two bugs during my playthrough on PS5, the experience was seamless.
Though each character can use the same basic attack types, each character feels different. Raphael, for example, is strong but lacks range. Donatello, on the other hand, has excellent range but poor speed. These changes may not seem like much on paper, but they make each character feel unique. Even after five playthroughs, I can’t wait to pick up Splinter and Leonardo and see how they feel.
Because these characters feel so different, you may need to play with several of them to see who suits your style. I went with Mikey, one of the fastest characters in the game, as his balance of agility and power was perfect for my first trip through the game. Having predetermined stats sets the title apart from titles like Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, where players can purchase upgrades for each character at shops. In TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge, your stats won’t change, but your wide array of specials and attacks keep things interesting.
The game’s specials perfectly capture the characteristics of the titles. Mikey can start a ‘nunchuck party’ with his introductory special to knock nearby foes away, whereas Splinter sends scratches spraying across the screen. You can even enter Radical Mode for increased damage at latter levels and negate damage simultaneously. Each character gets two additional special moves later on that expand their options. Whether you button mash or learn these combos and attacks, you’ll love how combat feels in Shredder’s Revenge.
Just Like a Trip to the Arcade
TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge should take most players around two hours to complete, but don’t let the base runtime fool you. There’s so much content here to explore. Once you’ve beaten the game, you’ll unlock the elusive Casey Jones. He’s a powerhouse you have to experience to appreciate. My second playthrough took a fraction of the time with this crime fighter. There’s even Arcade Mode, and unlike in Story Mode, once you run out of lives, it’s game Over.
You’ll need to master your character and learn each level carefully to overcome this challenge. Moreover, Arcade Mode has leaderboards so you can compare your scores with other players worldwide and shoot for the best score. Those who want to push themselves will find a home in Arcade Mode’s challenge. Though Arcade Mode isn’t my type of party, I love the callback to classic games of the 80s and 90s.
The stellar soundtrack is the icing on the cake in this title, with songs so good I’m still listening to them after I turn Shredder’s Revenge off. You might find yourself looking up the entire song list once you beat your first run of the game. Each track accentuates the levels perfectly with a nostalgic aftertaste that reminds me of trips to arcades with my parents and friends in elementary school.
TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge is everything a Beat ‘Em Up should be. Dotemu’s title is lovingly crafted with retro-inspired visuals and an original soundtrack. Not only this, but combat is some of the best the genre has ever seen. With fantastic co-op options and high replay value, it’s a title you’ll revisit for years. Whether you’re a fan of the turtles or not, it’s easily one of the best titles of 2022.
|Fantastic retro-inspired visuals and soundtrack||Some rare connectivity issues|
|Addictive Beat ‘Em Up Combat||Several Small bugs|
|Seven unique, enjoyable characters|
|High replay value|
If you’d like to see our review criteria, check out the Press SPACE to Jump Review Scale here.
For more on TMNT and all things retro, stay tuned to Press SPACE to Jump!