TMNT: Shredder's Revenge review - The best Ninja Turtles game of all time

TMNT: Shredder's Revenge is an incredible tribute to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise (Image via Dotemu)
TMNT: Shredder's Revenge is an incredible tribute to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise (Image via Dotemu)

The wait for TMNT: Shredder's Revenge has been excruciating, but it was ultimately worth it. As a lifelong Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fan, I’ve been waiting for a game this good since TMNT: Turtles in Time. It was the last quality Ninja Turtles game, so the hopes were incredibly high for Shredder’s Revenge.

The latest title from Tribute Games did not disappoint in the least. While minor flaws do exist, the quality of the gameplay and attention to detail in the franchise itself more than makes up for that.

On top of having a quality arcade experience at home, it’s also a 6-player co-op beat ’em up that can be played cross-platform online or locally. It’s everything that I could have possibly hoped for and more.

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TMNT: Shredder's Revenge is the best of the Ninja Turtles in one place

As a child of the 80s, one of the biggest franchises I fell in love with was Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I spent so many quarters on TMNT: The Arcade Game and played Turtles in Time all the time with my best friend. It was one of the most important game franchises of my youth.

It’s clear to me that the game publishers, Dotemu, understand what it takes to make a quality beat ‘em up. This feels exactly like the arcade games did, without being predatory quarter munchers. It feels like a blend of the above arcade games without ripping them off.

TMNT Shredder’s Revenge is a love letter to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise, and it’s a perfect way to show how to bring a series back to life in a new video game. From the cameos down to the bosses themselves, I realized the developers were fans of the show.

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Long-time fans are going to see many amazing cameos, from Napoleon Bonafrog to April’s shy-but-helpful co-worker, Irma. While this feels like the classic arcade games, it isn’t designed to rip players off. The difficulty is fair and features perhaps one of the most important buttons: A dodge button. That’s right, players can roll left and right at will, which is something the previous games lacked.

That’s because arcade games want to take your money, so being able to dodge means you’d be avoiding damage. Thus, players wouldn’t toss more quarters into the machine. Fans won't have to worry about that in TMNT: Shredder's Revenge.


Gameplay is fair and fun, with plenty of ways to deal with enemies

The most important part about the game, even above the look and feel, is the gameplay. 1-6 players team up across 16 stages, playing as one of seven characters. Each has its own stats, strengths, weaknesses, and attack animations.

Playable characters in Shredder's Revenge:

  • Leonardo
  • Michaelangelo
  • Donatello
  • Raphael
  • April O’Neil
  • Master Splinter
  • Casey Jones

There’s no wrong character to play either in TMNT: Shredder's Revenge, as everyone’s good at something. Donatello and Casey Jones have the best range, for example. There are two modes as well, Arcade and Story. Arcade Mode just goes through the stages one by one, with no overworld map, no collectibles, no cameos. It’s just a traditional arcade experience.

It also lacks the power of Party Pizzas - pizzas that heal the entire party. Arcade Mode is more difficult, but Story Mode is where the real fun is. In Story Mode, there’s an overworld map where players control the Party Wagon (The Ninja Turtles' primary vehicle) and go through 16 stages.

Each has traps to hit enemies with, challenges to complete, and a wealth of different and equally annoying Foot Clan ninjas. Some wield polearms, katanas, morningstars, and so many other variants. Fans of the series will see lots of familiar bosses too. Even enemies that only appear once or twice in the series show up - like Groundchuck, Rahzar, and Tohka.

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As players beat up enemies or hit the meditation button, they build a super meter, which allows each character to use devastating super moves. The meditation button can be spammed, allowing super moves to be used regularly. If players are low, they can high-five each other to share health and resurrect their allies by offering them pizza.

TMNT: Shredder's Revenge gameplay is sharp and it’s so much fun. I played it with my best friend and we had an absolute blast, reminiscing about every boss fight and battering the Foot Clan. However, it’s not a perfect experience.

If I could make one real complaint, it’s the challenges. Most of them are excellent, but “take no damage” challenges, in general, are pretty lame, and I could do without them. It doesn’t make the game unplayable by any stretch, but it is annoying to immediately fail it at the start of a stage.

It's the little touches that make this such a wonderful experience (Image via Dotemu)
It's the little touches that make this such a wonderful experience (Image via Dotemu)

The Groundchuck boss fight was bugged, but he eventually came back on screen. We also had some issues with the ping while playing online. The ping was always very high, but we only received one or two actual bouts of lag.

It’s also incredibly easy to play online. Simply start a game mode and invite friends, or look for a lobby.


The look and sounds of TMNT: Shredder's Revenge are flawless

Most of the original voice cast came back to voice their characters, and it was such a wonderful dose of nostalgia. The graphics are exactly what I expected them to be, part retro, part cartoony madness. All the characters were perfectly designed, and the music ranges from 90s power metal and hip hop.

It also features a track about Shredder from the Wu-Tang Clan, and a track by the one-and-only Mega Ran. The Dotemu team really delivered on the look and sound for TMNT: Shredder's Revenge. The bosses all sounded like I remember, down to Bebop’s chuckle and snort.

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The sound effects of the game sound great, with all of the sword slices, explosions, and howls of pain sounding authentic.


In Conclusion

This is an incredible, satisfying video game. There are many references to the classic cartoon, and I love the game. Playing with friends and strangers alike was so much fun. There is plenty of replayability since each character has their own ending, and there is always a chance of DLC updates to the game at a later date.

TMNT: Shredder's Revenge is, without a doubt, the best TMNT game of all time. It even heralds back to Turtles in Time by explaining why Shredder and Krang wanted to take control of the Statue of Liberty - but that’s a story spoiler, so fans will have to see for themselves.

Every character is worth playing, but playing with friends is so much more fun (Image via Dotemu)
Every character is worth playing, but playing with friends is so much more fun (Image via Dotemu)

TMNT: Shredder's Revenge is a love letter to the franchise that fans will not want to miss out on. It’s beat ‘em up action at its very best.


TMNT: Shredder's Revenge

TMNT: Shredder's Revenge is a must-play for all fans of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Image via Sportskeeda)
TMNT: Shredder's Revenge is a must-play for all fans of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Image via Sportskeeda)

Reviewed On: PC

Platforms: PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Nintendo Switch

Developer: Tribute Games

Publisher: Limited Run Games, Dotemu

Release Date: June 16, 2022

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