Platform: PlayStation 4
Review Date: 11/2/22
"Shredder's Revenge" is an excellent throwback to the 80's and 90's with some welcomed modern updates and conveniences. The original TMNT arcade games were brutally unforgiving and designed to gobble as many quarters as possible in the shortest amount of time, which made them difficult to play and enjoy. "Shredder's Revenge" plays more like a console game and offers multiple difficulty levels, a story mode, and the ability to save and continue your progress. Unlike the original games, the controls are fluid and responsive, and the move sets are considerably larger and more varied. There's also a ninja power gauge that allows you to perform powerful special attacks.
The pixel graphics are delightfully fun and vibrant, and evoke memories of the old TMNT cartoons. The character animation is superb and each turtle maintains their distinct personality traits. April O'Neil, Splinter, and Casey Jones are also playable characters. Interestingly, I found April to be the most effective fighter in the bunch. The music is also reminiscent of the series for the most part, although there are a couple of really awful rap songs and rock songs that don't fit in very well.
The story isn't particularly memorable, but it includes numerous references from across the franchise, including Bebop, Rocksteady, Krang, Leatherhead, Baxter Stockman, Triceratons, The Punk Rock Frogs, and more. The various locations are fun and diverse as you travel from the streets, to the sewers, to the zoo, to secret labs, and even other dimensions. Unfortunately, the story links are weak and the biggest disappointment is the voice acting. Granted, there's very little dialog, but what's there is definitely sub-par. The game can be finished in a couple of hours, but Story Mode offers some replay value in terms of power-ups and unlockables. Like any good beat 'em up game, it's a fun diversion if you don't have a lot of time to spend.