Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge PS4 review

Oh shit! Or rather, Cowbunga! After sublimation on TV screens of the 90s, in animated series or in video games (arcades, consoles and computers), the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are back! All this in an old-fashioned beat ’em up developed by Tribute Games and published by Dotemu, soberly titled Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge. Just to guarantee an effective nostalgic hook from the start.

Nunchucks and pizza

When the game starts, you start with an introduction worthy of an animated series of the period, and with the most beautiful effect. In English, but let’s not quibble. Next, you have access to a world map that distributes levels. A good nod to the 90s, halfway between Super Mario Bros 3 and the first Nintendo NES Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, this card is more aesthetic than actually useful.

Then the first level begins and, let’s be honest, we’ll get our bearings pretty quickly. Horizontal scrolling, enemies arrive in a chain and snot at any cost. The range of motion includes the famous “zoom projection” of Turtles in Time on the Super Nintendo. Other moves, abilities, or stats are unlocked through the game through the automatic XP system and character. The gameplay also includes a combo system, but it’s fairly simple.

The levels are connected and regularly offer the expected attempts at variety: vertical scrolling, water or air levels, intermediate mini-games… The enemies and especially the bosses are meant to be as iconic as possible, which greatly contributes to the fan service.

Am I giving you all the ingredients?

The artistic direction is successful, again completely in the spirit of the era. We could have expected even bigger sprites or crazier animations, but that’s okay. The music, composed by the very talented Ty Lopez, is of the same genus and includes several sung titles. Again, the feeling of being in an action movie of the 90s is complete.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge has multiple difficulty modes, making the game accessible to everyone, including co-op. Because yes, the title can be played with multiple people. Not with 2 players, with 4… But with 6 players at the same time, locally or online! Obviously, in this case, chaos reigns on the screen. However, the experience becomes fun and, above all, unique enough to highlight.

As for the playable characters, there are, of course, four ninja turtles in the game. But the game also comes with a few surprises, such as the ability to play as Master Splinter or journalist April O’Neil. She’s handing out kicks and cameras, we didn’t know. Only sixteen levels and about three hours of play to make the first move. The last playable character (seven in total), Casey Jones, will then be unlocked.

Pizza with ham and pineapple

In the first hours of the game, Proust’s Madeleine works great. I must say that the fan service present at all levels is at its best. And then… And then… Unfortunately, the effect wears off. Perhaps too classic or too lazy gameplay is to blame? Or the lack of variety in levels? Or the fact that, apart from a few stats (power, speed, and resistance), all characters are still very similar to each other with a controller in hand?

Then comes the time for the brutal final observation. Does Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge pay homage to the source material? Clearly yes. Do you still want to come back a month or two after opening? I honestly doubt it. And this situation will certainly be even worse for younger players who do not benefit from this nostalgic effect.

After a grueling effort at objectivity, we have to admit that the 16-bit episodes (“Turtles in Time” and “Hyperstone Heist”) remain more entertaining in the long run. Or at least the gap between these games and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge falls short of our expectations almost 25 years later, which is still quite a lot. The experience is good, but it will probably remain an enjoyable break between two Castle Crashers or Streets of Rage 4 games.

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