I grew up with ninja turtles. I grew up with characters; I had few of them, but I loved them and played with them for a long time. I grew up watching cartoons and movies; not the ones with the 3D turtles, the ones with the guys in suits… and yeah, we couldn’t see anything.
Game copy courtesy of Tribute Games, screenshots by RDS Video Games
Played on PlayStation 5 for review
I also grew up playing video games, although I still have the trauma of the first NES game and the electric algae level. On the other hand, I have very fond memories of beat ’em up style games, particularly Turtles in Time on the Super Nintendo. I’m not the only one, because when Tribute Games announced that they were working on a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game in the retro style of old beat ’em ups, the hype was real.
So was it worth the wait?
One mustn’t forget that Tribute Games is a Quebec studio specialized in recreating games with a retro style but with a modern sensibility to the game design. Catch their latest works Panzer Paladin and Flinthook and one of their biggest hits: Mercenary Kings. However, the core of Tribute was born at Ubisoft for the creation of a retro beat-em-up, strictly speaking, Scott Pilgrim vs The World.
In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge we quickly find the unmistakable visual style of the creators of Tribute.
The game mainly contains two game modes, Story and Arcade. The latter is a refined version of the story mode, which takes the framework of an arcade game: all levels in sequence, no backup, when the game is over, it’s game over.
The story mode allows you to continue our game from where we are and the worst thing that can happen to us if we die is to start the level over. Between the levels we run around in the legendary ninja turtle van and we can choose the level we want.
A distinctive feature of the story mode is the ability to level each of the playable characters separately, increasing their power and unlocking new attacks.
Speaking of playable characters, of course we find the four ninja turtles: Leonardo, Michelangelo, Donatello and Raphael. As a bonus, journalist April O’Neil joins the party, master ninja Master Splinter and Casey Jones, who we know as “the guy with the hockey stick”. It’s a stroke of genius from Tribute to add these characters, and it makes you wonder how no one had thought of it before.
The gameplay is exactly what we’ve come to expect from it, it’s an old-school beat ’em up where you can perform combos, air attacks, special attacks, and so on. What’s new and really welcome in combat is a dedicated dodge button that adds more feel to the game Industrial fair in the more difficult sequences. You can also charge up a bar to store very powerful special attacks. This bar is charged by attacking enemies normally or by making one mocking, a small animation unique to each character.
The game initially offers three levels of difficulty. I ran the story mode at “Okay”, which is normal, and noticed a gradual increase in difficulty, with the later levels being quite challenging. The layout and the number of enemies adapt to the number of players as well as the difficulty of the bosses. I played alone and returned to the early levels to gain power and find some missed secrets.
Each level contains its share of secrets and challenges, and some aren’t easy at all, like not taking damage. This gives the game good replayability while trying to complete the challenges alone or in a team. In addition to the challenges, in the story mode we can find secondary characters that will challenge us to find certain hidden objects in the levels.
When you say beat em’ up Ninja Turtles, you say multiplayer. Shredder’s Revenge allows up to 6 players to play cooperatively, either locally or online. Other players can join the game at any time. You can search for an ongoing game or leave your “party” open and maybe someone will join you mid-level. I’ve encountered some errors when trying to play online, e.g. B. an endless game search or the inability to accept a friend’s invitation. That being said, the game has just launched and I’ve still been able to play multiple games online without too many hiccups.
TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge doesn’t reinvent the genre, and that’s not the goal. Tribute Games delivered exactly what we wanted: to relive the fun of a retro beat ’em up by removing the aspects that had aged a lot in those games and some modern comforts like better controls, smoother gameplay and an accessible one Added online mode. The game also features a great soundtrack that pays homage to retro gaming while featuring more modern tunes by Tee Lopes; there’s even an original track by Raekwon and Ghostface Killah, rappers from the Wu-Tang Clan group.