Preview: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge

I don’t throw the word “perfection” around too often, but in this case, it is much deserved. Bringing the essence of one of the most iconic beat ‘em ups back from the dead Tribute Games, DotEmu, and Gamera Game gave me a demo for the much-anticipated, retro-inspired Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge. With my time playing the demo, I wouldn’t be the least surprised if this snuck up on some folk’s game of the year awards.

Shredder’s Revenge reimagines what a TMNT brawler would look like in modern day. Classic side-scrolling three-dimensional plains look like they are pulled directly out of the 1990’s complete with the classic environmental aesthetics from that era. It is like nothing has changed.

Gameplay wise, Shredder’s Revenge offers smooth and precise controls that feel responsive and natural. It has been long since I have played a game that felt so fine-tuned where every button press felt properly measured and every attack felt well-timed. It didn’t take long before I was making mincemeat out of the Foot Clan. No matter the skill gap, anyone can pick up a controller and get the hang of it within a few seconds.

While previous titles featured special moves, they are enhanced, stylish, and within Shredder’s Revenge without seeming overly flashy or out of place. The classic move where you grab an enemy and toss them into the screen makes a return, activating the synapse in your brain that reminds you of the good ole days.

There are also a lot of tiny details that sold me immediately. Pizza boxes on the floor, open manhole covers, and foot soldiers doing ridiculous tasks such as cooking before you enter the fray; it all feels just right and relative to the game.

Classic characters make their appearance, as the two levels I played featured Bebop and Rocksteady as boss battles in classic fashion. A life bar popped up at the bottom of the screen, but I barely paid attention to it as my foes would flash red when their health got low, as they did in the classics.

Upon my time with the game, I asked the developer how they managed to perfect the combat and capture the essence. That is when I was told how this is the same team responsible for my other favorite beat ‘em up, Scott Pilgrim vs the World, which I share some of the same sentiments.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge not only brings you back to a time where things felt a bit less stressful, but fully embraces everything that made Turtles in Time and other similar games instant classics. While there is no official date, I can wholeheartedly say that I hope the team takes their time to make sure the rest of it feels as good as the first two levels I played, and I have a strong feeling they will not fail doing so.

Stay tuned to Seasoned Gaming for our future review!

By Steve Esposito

Steve Esposito is a dedicated content creator with a focus on his love for technology, video games, and the very industry that oversees it all. He also takes part in organizing the Long Island Retro and Tabletop Gaming Expo as well as a Dungeons and Dragons podcast: Copper Piece. You can find him on twitter @AgitatedStove

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