Within the Nineteen Nineties, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have been ubiquitous within the side-scrolling beat-‘em-up scene. Whether or not you’re speaking concerning the 1989 arcade recreation, 1991’s Turtles in Time, or the myriad different brawlers starring all people’s favourite Heroes in a Half-Shell, Konami’s creations within the ‘80s and ‘90s are legendary.
Nonetheless, simply because the side-scrolling beat-‘em-up style light, so too did the luster of the Turtles’ legacy. Following the IP’s late-‘80s/early-‘90s increase, the fan base of TMNT shrunk significantly, and very like the films, TV reveals, and merchandise, the model’s gaming output slowed. After 1992’s Hyperstone Heist and 1993’s Event Fighters, the Turtles nonetheless starred in video games, however few reached any stage of acclaim. Even Ubisoft’s 2009 remake of Turtles in Time was met with harsh criticism.
Now, with expertise that labored on video games like Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, Streets of Rage 4, and the favored 2007 TMNT for Recreation Boy Advance, Dotemu and Tribute Video games hope to revive the cowabunga kings to their former gaming glory. We met with the businesses behind Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge to see the sport in motion and chat with the builders about how they’re hoping to make the online game Turtles followers have dreamt of for the previous 30 years.
When the Evil Shredder Assaults…
Introduced by way of a trailer that includes Religion No Extra’s Mike Patton singing the 1987 cartoon theme track, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge is designed to enchantment to followers from that earlier period. A lot concerning the recreation – the aesthetics, character designs, enemies, and extra – pull closely from the interval, together with the beloved TV series and its accompanying toy strains.
Throughout my demo, I watch members of Dotemu and Tribute Video games play by way of three full levels. The primary stage, “Jaw-Breaking Information,” takes place contained in the Channel 6 Information studio. It’s here that Shredder begins his plot for revenge, a part of which incorporates the reassembly of Krang. In step with the cartoon inspiration, every stage performs out like a single TV present episode, telling a narrative by way of the setting, enemies, boss fights, and quick cutscenes between levels. The music, composed by Tee Lopes of Sonic Mania fame, additionally feels ripped straight out of the ‘80s and ‘90s.
That period of inspiration carries by way of within the gameplay, with quick, arcade-style motion. Enemies arrive on display screen and are vanquished simply as quick as they present up. Identical to in Turtles in Time, gamers can slam enemies forwards and backwards and even toss them in the direction of the digicam.
This recreation could also be all concerning the nostalgia, however Tribute needs to ship greater than only a greatest-hits package deal to followers. “One thing that we wished to do largely with the sport is attempt to go to places that we have now by no means seen earlier than in earlier 2D video games, but additionally issues from the 1987 TMNT universe from the cartoon,” recreation designer Frédéric Gémus says. “It’s a love letter not solely to the TMNT franchise, but additionally to the entire period.”
Regardless of its nostalgic nature, Shredder’s Revenge implements many quality-of-life enhancements. For example, chaining collectively assaults is extra fluid than within the basic video games, and in co-op, gamers have a window the place they’ll revive knocked-down teammates.
Shredder’s Revenge additionally presents two modes of play: commonplace arcade and story mode. Arcade mode is supposed to copy the experiences of the basic video games the place you start with a restricted variety of lives and you want to beat the sport in a single sitting. Story mode flips the script, permitting character development by buying and selling your collected factors for upgrades to HP, additional lives, new strikes, and a particular Radical Mode potential that quickly powers up your character. Story mode additionally allows you to full optional challenges inside levels, providing replayability and the choice to backtrack to every stage.
Heroes in a Half-Shell
Whereas the primary stage is filled with Easter eggs, the following stage I see (the sixth stage within the recreation), “Mall Meltdown,” additional commits to the nostalgia. Combating by way of the mall, gamers are handled to a plethora of nods to the mall tradition of the time. Ultimately, Donatello and April O’Neil battle by way of the meals court docket and procuring promenades to reach on the arcade.
Whereas the primary stage featured Bebop, a well-known face for anybody who’s performed by way of the Turtles’ previous video games, as its boss battle, this stage provides gamers a foe who hasn’t appeared in a recreation earlier than. Tempestra is a personality who escaped from a online game with which Leonardo grew to become obsessed in a 1990 episode of the cartoon, so her look within the mall arcade of Shredder’s Revenge is smart.
On this boss battle, the digital sorceress summons digital projections of Tokka and Rahzar from The Secret of the Ooze. When you defeat the mutant snapping turtle and wolf, Tempestra turns into susceptible to assault. After repeating this cycle a couple of occasions, Tempestra is defeated, and the mall is protected.
The ultimate stage I see is the tenth stage within the recreation, known as “A Few Screws Unfastened.” Here, gamers battle by way of a again alley and into an electronics retailer filled with tube TVs and mousers galore. This time, Raphael goes it alone. Co-op is drop-in/drop-out, and each time the participant depend modifications, the sport adapts in real-time, adjusting the enemy compositions on the fly in the event you resolve to out of the blue invite three buddies into the combo.
In a single memorable part, Raph takes on a number of enemies on opposing conveyor belts. The dynamic footing and the truth that new smashable gadgets are consistently arriving on display screen provides new layers to the encounter. Whereas the mouser infestation may lead you to consider the boss battle is in opposition to their inventor, Baxter Stockman, the climax of this electronics expedition is in opposition to a further robotic rogue: Metalhead.
Shredder’s techno-turtle has an identical moveset because the model gamers confronted in Turtles in Time, full with arms that may stretch throughout the display screen and flying kicks. He’s additionally joined by a menagerie of mousers and may protect himself whereas launching rockets your approach. Metalhead’s strikes don’t pose a lot of a menace to the participant, and earlier than lengthy, the robotic is out of fee, and Raph is consuming a slice of pizza off his sai as my demo ends.
All the pieces I’ve seen and discovered of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge means that it goals to be the model’s grand re-entry to the gaming scene. It’s clear the groups at Dotemu and Tribute Video games have plentiful love for each the Turtles franchise and the side-scrolling brawler style.
After watching the crew play by way of the three levels, I instantly acquired the itch to replay my favorites, like Turtles in Time. Fortunately, by way of the not too long ago introduced Cowabunga Assortment, I’ll have the chance to refresh my reminiscence and brush up on my expertise as I prepare for the launch of Shredder’s Revenge later this yr.
This text initially appeared in problem 345 of Recreation Informer.