Beat ‘em ups have been hit and miss for me. Going back to classic ones they are old, clunky, and frustrating as hell to play. Newer ones can be better but the graphical style can sometimes interfere with easily seeing how to interact with the world and lanes. Well Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge has come along to see if it can balance newer gameplay, and beautiful pixel art graphics. But does it succeed?
There have been plenty of TMNT over the years, but as I am a bit of an old fart, the classic cartoon characters are what resonates most with me. April with that terrible yellow jumpsuit is an icon and I won’t hear anything else about it. So with this I was so in.
Then we bust in with the villains, classic Shredder, classic Beebop and Rocksteady, Classic Krang in the old beefy body. It oozes old in all of the right ways.
More nostalgia, just better
Then there is that sweet, sweet pixel art beauty. Everything in this game looks so good, and in that way they get nostalgia right. If it looks too much like a classic beat ’em up it would look so much worse. Seriously go watch some old NES games and see how it doesn’t look the way you remembered them. This has been an experience that has scarred my memories as I go back to ‘stunning’ games and am greeted with awkward pixelated horrors. Some games don’t age, some do.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge has taken the pixelation, but made gorgeous 2022 graphics with it. The animation is a little bit jittery, but so well designed. In this way it feels more like how you remember old games looking, as opposed to what they actually look like.
More modified notalgia
Gameplay is another issue that ages with Beat em ups. A couple over the years have clicked with me, but so many are clunky. Not being enough to the side for your hits to land, weird enemy hit boxes, Beat ‘em ups have aged hard over the years.
Fortunately Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge has been designed in a way that feels like how I remember the games working. It plays so well and is so damn fun. SImple combat, repetitive enemies, excellent boss battles. It’s so damn well designed.
Best of all, the levels are super short. I was always surprised how quickly I got to the boss but this is a pretty key aspect of what I enjoyed about the game. The levels being short and snappy means any repetitive enemies don’t hang around for long enough to get boring. This means someone wanting to enjoy the game on ‘easy’, can beat it in a day. Someone wanting more can take on harder difficulties, and try beating the other challenges that levels have to offer. Since they get as hard as not taking any damage, there are heaps here for completionists.
I figured the game would be fun enough, and maybe scratch a nostalgia itch. I was not expecting a genuinely fun and engaging experience. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge delivered so much more than I was expecting.
If you have a group of friends then the game gets even better. But on your own it is still a damn fun game. Turtle Power!
If you have ‘Game Pass’, it is already there. Check it out!