PAX EAST 2022 | "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge"
“I can see you smiling under your mask,” commented one of the Tribute Games developers. Well, could you blame me?! I just played a spiritual successor to a video game I must’ve spent rolls of quarters on to beat as a kid! Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was THE GAME to play in Papa Gino’s and Pizza Huts all across the country, and to this day only The Simpsons came close to capturing that same magic.
Over thirty years later, the heroes in a half-shell are back with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge. Its PAX East demo featured the game’s first two levels, as you attempted to clear Channel 6 News of foot soldiers and Bebop. This was followed by the streets of New York City, where Rocksteady attempted to rule the ground he stomped on. On top of our beloved four reptilians heroes, players can also control April O’Neil and Splinter for their own style of kung fu.
Shredder’s Revenge does a phenomenal job with recapturing the feel of that Konami arcade classic. While every player now has their own unique moves, fighting with your turtle power was just as euphoric here as it was on those pizza-greased buttons. Not only are there the classic beat ‘em up mechanics here, there’s also new power-up moves that lay waste to all foot soldiers on the screen. In one instance, I witnessed Michelangelo bicycle kick every enemy on screen with an intense sugar rush of energy, a visual that brought to mind Liu Kang’s classic move in Mortal Kombat.
Even though the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game is a masterpiece, it doesn’t mean it lacked issues. Tribute Games realized that, with character’s health bars being more friendly to whomever plays it. Heroes can also collect pizzas that refurbish their health, all health, and give you Super Mario levels of invincibility…for a quick period of time, of course. All of this, while still capturing the feel and attitude of the beloved classic.
One great thing about Shredder’s Revenge is how much love is placed in every level. While it’ll be hard to see when battling foot soldiers and robots, there are tons of Easter Eggs to classic Ninja Turtles cartoon episodes, the comics, and even past Tribute Games titles scattered throughout. Some will smile, while others — including a TV showing Bebop selling a Shamwow — will no doubt make you laugh while playing. There will also be cameos from cartoon, and while I questioned Tribute Games about a certain samurai lapin, they were very hush-hush on who’ll be showing up.
Without a doubt, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge is the game all of us arcade fanatics have been waiting for! These two levels alone showcased the beauty and fun of the classic Konami game, with promise of more surprises to come. Although I may not have to put a quarter in the machine to play it, Shredder’s Revenge will certainly take me back to my Papa Gino’s on Boston St., as I played its predecessor until our pizza was ready enough to burn the roof of my mouth!
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge arrives on PC and consoles later this summer.