Shredder’s Revenge is here! Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were a staple of my growing up. Watching Donatello, Raphael, Leonardo, Michelangelo and Splinter clash with the Foot Clan, Krang, Bebop & Rocksteady and Shredder were some of my fondest cartoon moments.
In terms of gaming, beat-em-ups like Golden Axe, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, X-Men and The Simpsons were all a part of my formative years, too. Whether on an arcade machine or on the good old Amiga 500+ at home, myself and my brother smashed through some of them over and over.
So a modern take on the genre, a modern take on a Turtle’s beat-em-up, available on Gamepass? Sign me up asap! This is the stuff that ninjarefinery.com was made for.
Shredder’s Revenge is a a modern twist on gaming and TV classics. What a pleasure it’s been to play through it, and with friends, too.
Looks and sounds
Damn son! Shredder’s Revenge certainly looks the part. With the high detail pixelated art style, mimicking that of those 1992 (16-bit?) graphics of the arcades. This is how I think I remember the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles at their finest.
The levels are lovingly detailed, bright and colourful. Setting the tone and theme for each stage, from the streets to a TV station. There’s so much to love here. Shredder’s Revenge is nostalgia but modernised so perfectly that it looks how you think it did 30 years ago.
Mix with the absolutely belting soundtrack and you’ve got yourself a plain old good time. The tracks are just excellent. Keeping the tempo up where necessary and delivering fantastic renditions of classics. The classic theme song is even sung by Mike Patton of Faith No More fame. Other notable artists like Ghostface Killah have made appearances that have just turned a beat-em-up into a thrilling, fun and upbeat adventure.
Of course, nostalgia and a good soundtrack are only going to get you so far. Does Shredder’s revenge play well? Is it a fun game?
Thankfully, Shredder’s Revenge is what I consider to be a shining example of how the beat-em-up genre can still be relevant in 2022. You have the classic gameplay, attacks, jumps, moving up and down, back and forth on the 2d plane. But then Shredder’s revenge feels genuinely modern and accessible.
In terms of controls, it’s a simple affair, with just the right level of complexity. Combos are easy to string together with just one button, but then you can add sliding, sprinting and jumping into the mix, and you’re able to help combat flow.
Long combos and not getting hit, means you can build up your “special” meter, so you can perform an area of affect special move to help deal damage to all the opponents within your vicinity. If you can’t get your luck, chaining combos and earning the special meter. Shredder’s Revenge lets all players perform a taunt and you can fill your bar with ease.
Playing solo is fine, and it’s absolutely a good time. But the real showstopper of Shredder’s Revenge is the multiplayer. Easy matchmaking, and you can have a total of six players at once! Everyone on-screen including enemies is pure, unadulterated chaos in a good way.
People popping special moves off means that there’s a continual pause for a split-second. It feels like a frame rate drop, but I don’t think it is. On-screen though is a lot to take in, sometimes losing track of yourself. I don’t think it’s a bad thing at all, and the game feels excellent with snappy controls and co-operative chaos.
Shredder’s Revenge is exactly what it says on the tin. A beat-em-up but with modern approach. Special moves, easy to use combos, six-players online all at the same time. Excellent!
There’s a lot of stop-start in the action thanks to the special moves, and people constantly taunting can be a bit annoying. Losing sight of yourself can be frustrating, but these are all fleeting frustrations.
Controls are snappy and responsive and as you start to level-up your chosen character, you get new special moves and increased health. A modern take on a classic genre. Lovely.
Shredder’s Revenge – Overall
Shredder’s Revenge isn’t a massive game. We finished it as a group of six in about 3 hours total.
Boss fights are often fun, sometimes frustrating, but it doesn’t matter because you’re having a good time with friends playing a brawler and hearing your childhood heroes quipping, like they’ve never been away.
Co-op play in Shredder’s Revenge means you can revive each other, you can high-five to share your health bar if a friend is struggling, too. You’re gifted an easy to play, easy to work together action game that honestly just does everything right.
Sure, there are a few niggles, but when it’s so easy to pick up and play. So straightforward to get on with your friends and it’s hitting all those nostalgia points with ease. What’s not to love?
I’m buying the soundtrack because it’s just so god damn good. Then I’ll be picking Donatello again (the best turtle) and going out to get him levelled-up even further.
Shredder’s Revenge may be small, but it’s brimming with energy, packed with action and does everything right. A return to form for the genre and a joy to play, amazing work from Tribute Games.