Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder's Revenge is fueled by the power of nostalgia and (presumably) dozens upon dozens of slices of New York pizza. 1992's Turtles in Time is one of the most beloved Super Nintendo games of all time, arriving at a time when the Heroes in a Half-Shell were at the peak of their popularity. It's clear that the beat-'em-up connoisseurs at developer Tribute Games have a deep reverence for both that game and the Turtles of the late '80s and early '90s, because Shredder's Revenge is essentially a sequel 30 years in the making. It faithfully re-captures what made Turtles in Time such a cherished brawler, all while introducing a few new ideas to freshen up the classic 16-bit gameplay for a modern audience.
If you're a fan of Turtles in Time, you'll feel right at home as soon as Shredder's Revenge begins. The opening cutscene sees the anthropomorphic brothers gathered around an old CRT TV watching a news report that's interrupted when a few of their notorious adversaries attack the Statue of Liberty. It's not exactly the same as Turtles in Time's opening, but it's very close. Once you hop into the first level, this feeling of familiarity doesn't wear off. The level introductions feature the same silhouette of the boss you'll be facing, and if you're playing as either Leonardo, Donatello, Raphael, or Michelangelo, you'll notice that their abilities and combos have been faithfully adapted from their adventure in '92. Chaining together attacks is more fluid than it once was, but you can still perform a plethora of recognizable moves, from barreling enemies over with a running shoulder charge to canceling a dodge in order to launch into a slide kick. You can even grab Foot soldiers and toss them right at the camera.
Playing Shredder's Revenge feels like playing Turtles in Time--or, at least, how I remember it in my mind's eye--but there's still fun to be had even if you don't possess any of that potent nostalgia. It's still very much inspired by the beat-'em-ups of the era--including the earlier Turtles games released for the NES--with its fast, arcade-style action seeing enemies arrive on screen just as quickly as they're vanquished. There's a ton of enemy variety, too, which often forces you to diversify your offense to get behind a shielded foe or dispatch a flying nuisance. Defeating most of the bosses is a matter of learning their attack patterns and knowing when to dodge and when to inflict damage. A few of these end-of-level obstacles are more involved, though, such as the Rat King, who will jump out of harm's way and summon swarms of rats for you to evade. It's all relatively simple, but there's some depth beyond the surface with the likes of juggles and ground bounces, and the swift rhythm of the action is particularly satisfying.Continue Reading at GameSpot