TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge Co-Op Is A Shell Of A Good Time (Hands-On Preview)

Like many 90s babies, TMNT: Turtles played a huge role in the foundation of my love for gaming. Anyone rarely knowing what I was doing, there were so many weekends I found myself renting the beat ’em up from Blockbuster so that my friends and I could take the foot clan and eat some za.

So when TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge was announced at the PlayStation Indies event back in February, it went without saying that my upcoming title was sky-high. While attending PAX East last week, I got to put the game to the test, experiencing all it had to offer regarding its new co-op and gameplay features.

From the get-go, I felt an instant wave of nostalgia wash over while playing TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge. The whole ambiance brought me back to when I was a kid, as the music, combat, and pixelated art were almost identical. The game does a great job capturing the essence of what TMNT: Turtles in Time had going for it.

Now, that isn’t to say that TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge doesn’t have some impressive visual improvements. While still featuring pixel art environments, the detail that goes into the artwork can’t be overstated.

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bebop boss fight

The character and the backdrop colors in the game really pop, featuring a lot of emotion that helps make the environment feel alive. Whether it’s two foot clan members chatting while fixing a car or a group of office drones working so hard they don’t even notice the fighting in front of them, each new scene has lively energy to it.

In general, every animation that is on display in TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge is rather precise, including combat. Every time Leo hit his special move, I couldn’t help but be impressed with the energetic blue, white, and silver hues that would flash on the screen.

As one would expect, the combat also feels a lot smoother in TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge. Regardless of if you ‘re fighting one-on-one or someone in co-op, inputs feel smoother and attacks simply flow better.

One of the biggest differences in TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge’s combat comes with the game’s character variation. Unlike the original, which only lets you select from the four turtles, players can now choose between Leonardo, Donatello, Michelangelo, Raphael, April O’Neil, and Master Splinter.

Depending on which character you choose, you’ll get different baseline stats and abilities. For example, Leo is a balanced character, featuring average stats in defense, attack, and special. On the other hand, April is all about power and speed, meaning she’s going to be the group’s DPS but will be more likely to fall in battle first.

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And while each character has the same moveset to an extent, with basic attacks and three specials (dodge, attack, & mid-air), the animations also differ. Where Leo’s attack is special is a sword tornado, April’s is a deadly mic-smash, showing that Tribute Games has a lot of attention to detail in making each character playing them feel unique and unique.

Leo and April's high five TMNT: Shredder's Revenge

Another feature that sets TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge apart from its predecessor is all the co-op elements, as the game implements the tag team move and a button that lets you share health. Most importantly, every pizza that is picked up is health-wise shared between everyone, meaning no one has to fight for scraps any longer.

This is definitely a good thing because it was clear from the two levels that I played that TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge is going to have some challenging boss fights. Even though I only died once, which didn’t matter since life is unlimited in arcade mode, Rocksteady and Bebop each kicked me and my partner’s ass.

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Thankfully, it didn’t take too long to memorize each boss’ attack patterns, meaning that TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge rewards players for taking a trial-and-error approach. By the time both levels had finished, I was already eager to play more.

As such TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge is now one of my most anticipated games of 2022. But don’t just take my word for it, as you can find out more about TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge for yourself when the game releases on Nintendo Switch and PC in 2022.

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