REVIEW: ‘TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge’ Is a Masterclass in Nostalgia (PS4)

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TMNT: Shredders Revenge - But Why Tho

TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge is a modernized version of classic retro beat-em-up games from the brilliant minds at Tribute Games and Dotemu. The game is dripping with nostalgia but finds the perfect combination between old and new.

TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge pits the titular Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles against their longtime foes Shredder, Krang, Bebop, and Rocksteady, to name a few. After Bebop and Rocksteady attack Channel 6, the Turtles set off to foil their dastardly plans. The entire story for TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge feels like watching an episode of the classic 80s cartoon. The original four voice actors for the Turtles in the cartoon return for TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge, adding to the impressive display of full-on nostalgia. Instead of re-treading a story that’s already been told, the combination of older voice actors and the retro look with a brand new tale come together perfectly to create a whole new experience. Fans of the original series will be delighted, but new fans can also hop right in without feeling out of the know.

As a beat-em-up game, TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge throws countless enemies at you that can often be quite a challenge to defeat. Teaming up with local or online friends adds a new level of fun to the chaotic and high-octane combat, but it is still incredibly fun to play solo. Every enemy type has its own distinct moves, and they often use the environment around them in creative ways. Despite beating countless baddies in my time with the game, the battles never felt stale and always presented a fun and engaging challenge. The boss battles are also some of the most enjoyable I have ever played. Even when facing a boss for a second time, the engagements feel unique, and you always have to be on your toes if you want to come away victorious.

The real highlight of TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge is the playable characters. Players can choose from any of the four Turtles, Leonardo, Donatello, Michelangelo, and Raphael, but can also play as their mentor and father figure, Splinter. And, for the first time ever in a TMNT beat-em-up game, players can also play April O’Neil and Casey Jones. Each character has distinct stats and special moves, making each a very different play experience. I often switched characters without ever settling on one “main” character to play as. The fact that every character feels fun and unique to use is a testament to the love and care Tribute Games and Dotemu have for the characters.

Beyond the characters, TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge is a stunning visual masterpiece. The pixilated graphics never feel outdated but instead feel handcrafted with special care to bring back an older visual style in a way modern fans can love too. There is an incredible amount of attention to detail in even the most minor scenes or backgrounds, which again adds to the game’s overall experience. Seeing beautifully detailed characters in equally detailed environments feels like a time portal back to the late 80s and early 90s, and I mean that in the best way possible. It would be understandable if some of the detail was missing and excused away as being “retro,” but Tribute and Dotemu clearly refused to settle for anything less than the best regarding TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge.

Not only does TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge look incredible and feature an amazing cast, but the soundtrack is so wonderfully crafted that it tops off the entire experience. The music was composed by Tee Lopes, who also worked on the music for Sonic Mania which has one of my favorite video game soundtracks of all time. TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge might just take the cake, though, taking an already top-notch game to a whole new level. There is even a brilliant track featuring Raekwon and Ghostface Killah of the Wu-Tang Clan that is the icing on the cake of a soundtrack that is sure to sell out as soon as it releases.

TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge is a masterclass in handling nostalgia in video games. Classic characters and settings are married perfectly with a more modernized feel to create an experience that will bring smiles to so many gamers’ faces. I quite literally could not stop playing once I had started, and before I knew it had beaten the campaign twice in a day. And I am currently about to start a third playthrough. While not the typical type of game to enter the Game of the Year conversation, TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge is sure to be towards the top of so many lists.

TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge releases June 16th on PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series S|X, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and Nintendo Switch.


TMNT: Shredder's Revenge
  • 10/10
    Rating - 10/10
10/10

TL;DR

TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge is a masterclass in handling nostalgia in video games. Classic characters and settings are married perfectly with a more modernized feel to create an experience that will bring smiles to so many gamers’ faces.

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