Those of us who grew up in the late 80s to early 90s have the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on a pedestal. And this for many reasons. One of them, the animated series of the time, which dazzled us with its adventures. The 1990 film never valued enough with this touch between the crappy and the endearing. And of course, the video games that accompanied the wave and left us in love. Turtles in Time is one of them with that awesome four-control arcade and the amazing SNES port, but there was more. TMNT 2 on Game Boy, Tournament Fighters, Hyperstone Heist… They were all the rage. They ceased to be -although some games like Ubisoft’s for GBA deserve to be put on a pedestal- and now they want to come back in style. TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge is a tribute to that era. With all that that entails.
We say this because after playing the first two levels we see that we are not faced with a title that can have the ambition present in the different layers of depth that we discover in Streets of Rage 4, but that it is a tribute. A revival of what Turtles in Time -the flagship game they told us in an interview with the developers- meant for a generation. He does not come to save the “me against the neighborhood”. He comes to remember him.
And it shows because after choosing between the six characters available (the four turtles, Splinter and April) we start to fight directly and easily with a single attack button, one to dodge, another to jump and nothing other. We have combinations of actions between them, the ability to grab and hit enemies multiple times, but no one expects great depth. It is meant to be accessible to everyone. And that’s not necessarily bad, since anyone who wants to can combine blows, bounces on the ground and on the wall to continue increasing the counter of blows and steps, the energy bar that allows you to launch special attacks .
Thus we advance in two phases of only 6-7 minutes. Fighting against the clan of the feet which has different patterns according to the color of their clothes: the blue ones with swords, the yellow ones throwing stars that we can send back at the right time, the red ones with axes and which resist our blows while charging their attacks… Everything is very old school: enemies that crush you with motorcycles, others that throw objects at you, stage elements that you can use to hit them and closed spaces in which you can only advance at the end of the round’s wave.
There aren’t any big differences between the characters either. Donatello has more range, Mike is faster, Splinter more powerful… Each one stands out in these stats (range, power, speed), but they are controlled the same way and understanding the basics of the game, all controlled. Combination hits and other details are added when playing in company, all from a simple and straightforward base, but it works. The title is nimble, it’s not weighed down by the idea of mashing buttons, and the dodge has plenty of use for immediately dodging and punching. The game definitely has rhythm.
Fights against the first two bosses, Rocksteady and Beebop, are entertaining and force you to know how to use dodging more, although neither they nor what we saw in the two phases seemed very difficult. In the interview we did, they explained that there will be three difficulty levels, so it remains to be seen what level we played in the preview and what will be the biggest challenge.
TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge invokes nostalgia, with a gameplay that doesn’t seek to be much deeper than what was played in arcades 30 years ago, but updated to current rhythms and possibilities. Its visual section is a gem for lovers of the genre and the license, it is efficient in what it offers and it seems to be the tribute to Turtles in Time that we have been waiting for a long time. His biggest ambition seems to be to have a good time with our favorite turtle (everyone has his own but it’s Donatello). And the first two phases follow one another.