Cowabunga! Nickelodeon’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is back with a new installment, Shredder’s Revenge. In this latest instalment, the heroes must face off against their deadliest foe yet: The Shredder himself!

The “tmnt arcade remake” is a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game that was released in 2018. The game will be available on the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. This game is based off of the original arcade game.

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are difficult to miss for aficionados of old school beat ’em up action games. The TMNT side-scrolling brawlers were fan favorites that have remained popular decades later, from upright arcade machines to home platforms like the NES and Sega Genesis. 

Many of these old-school experiences will be bundled up in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Cowabunga Collection later this year, but Dotemu (Streets of Rage 4) and Tribute Games (with members who worked on Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game) are set to release something entirely new for longtime fans and newcomers alike.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge is due to release in 2022, and it promises to provide all of the classic action that made fans of the franchise fall in love with it decades ago. I’m delighted to report that the creators have captured the magic in a demo with two levels and six playable characters.

Shredder’s Revenge quickly transports you to an arcade in the 1980s. The game begins with a stunning animation showcasing famous characters and a thumping title music right out of a 1990s Saturday morning cartoon. That sets the tone for the rest of the evening. These highlights, along with a pixel visual style, give the whole experience a vintage flare, combining the punch of a throwback brawler with the quality-of-life enhancements of newer releases.

Michelangelo, Donatello, Leonardo, Raphael, Master Splinter, and news reporter April O’Neil were among the six playable characters in our hands-on experience. Each character has a unique weapon type and stats that alter characteristics such as speed and power.

TMNT: Shredder's Revenge Screenshot

These differences from earlier entries in the long-running “series” may seem minor, but choosing a character with powers that fit your playstyle may make a significant impact in the game’s flow. During my time with the demo, I played as all six characters, each of whom offers a distinct take on fighting that adds just enough variation to the experience.

As you go through the rounds of Foot Clan, an attack meter fills up, unlocking unique ground, air, and kick special moves for each character. While repeating stages as a new character may not significantly affect the overall experience, these unique attacks provide a welcome change of pace.

The game’s playability was one of the most striking aspects of my demo experience. Whereas Battletoads might be a little sluggish to react at times, Shredder’s Revenge is precise and tight from start to finish. The controls are highly precise and responsive, allowing you to nail the perfect movements in order to inflict deadly blows on your opponents. 

The demo consisted of two stages, both of which followed the same basic formula: enter, beat up some nasty guys, then locate a boss battle. The first stage, “Jaw-Breaking News,” takes set in an office building/TV studio, giving players lots of chances to kick equipment at foes and pick up pizza to refill life or enhance strength before going up against Bebop. The Turtles were chased out of the studio and onto the streets in the second level, “Big Apple, 3pm,” while Rocksteady and his gang plundered automobiles for parts on their way to their hideaway.

“Jaw-Breaking News” included cameras and set pieces spread across the arena, allowing players to kick them across the screen and knock foes off their feet. The Foot Clan may smash through a door with boxes and TVs ready to fire at the Turtles, while lights on the ceiling could fall and squash anybody unlucky enough to be underneath them. 

With exploding barrels strewn throughout critical locales and Foot-Clan-driven automobiles and motorbikes that can fly across the screen with a single mistake, “Big Apple, 3pm” has its own set of environmental trickery. Opportunities to engage with the surroundings on both levels made each one feel alive in their own manner. 

It’s something I’m hoping to see more of in the entire game. When all of these factors come together, there’s plenty of replayability, whether you’re playing alone or with a companion in the drop-in co-op mode. 

TMNT: Shredder's Revenge Screenshot

My expectations for Shredder’s Revenge were low as someone who didn’t grow up watching Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Fortunately, it’s now one of my most eagerly anticipated games of the year. The team’s objective was to utilize the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles from 1987 as inspiration for a new entry, and they’ve succeeded in doing so so far.

Graphics, soundtrack, gameplay, and level design all work together to create what seems to be a current TMNT game that pays homage to its classic origins. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge is one to watch when it comes out later this summer for lovers of side-scrolling brawlers. It should be at the very top of your list if you’re a die-hard fan of the old TMNT games.

[Note: The demo copy of TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge used for this preview was given by Dotemu.]

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