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Everything we know about TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge

Lovers of pizza, decidedly 90s slang and reptiles-often-mistaken-for-amphibians unite: the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are back for a new videogame outing. Gamers of a certain age could be forgiven for feeling a sudden prickle of terror down their spine at that prospect. The original TMNT game on the NES was legendarily difficult, and has proven to be a bodacious green thorn in the side of many an internet reviewer. A quick Google search will uncover hours of blood-boiling defeat at the hands of tanks, incessant goons and that one. Damn. Jump. In. The sewer.

This may not look like much, but I assure you it represents raw, undiluted pain.

Thankfully, the latest virtual adventure for Leonardo, Donatello, Michelangelo and Raphael puts platforming aside in favour of good old-fashioned arcade brawling. It’s called Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge, and we’re going to break down everything we know about it so far. Hey, it’s basically guaranteed to treat the Turtles better than Michael Bay did, eh?

A brief history of Shredder’s Revenge

Shredder’s Revenge is being developed by Tribute Games, a studio situated in Montreal who have something of a track record in the beat-em-up department. Before being assigned to the heroes in the half-shells, they’d worked pretty closely with a little studio called Ubisoft on a series of action titles, including a tie-in to the Scott Pilgrim franchise. Though they seem the obvious choice now – based on this pedigree and the fact that, being fans of the cartoon, they’d already been pitching a TMNT brawler to Nickelodeon for literal years before this point – Tribute actually ended up being attached to the project through sheer good fortune.

Good Lord, they’re so… angular.

Initially, the goo guzzlers at Nickelodeon approached a different company, Dotemu, after having been impressed by their own creation, Wonder Boy. Over gunk tea and slime sandwiches, they discussed the one thing Tribute had been pining for – a Ninja Turtles side-scrolling brawler. Dotemu took on the job, but found themselves stalling in production a few too many times for comfort. A jumpstart was needed, some fresh blood to get things moving. Fate would intervene when reps from both Dotemu and Tribute bumped into each other at the annual Game Developers’ Conference. The conversation (and, presumably, the champagne) flowed splendidly, and when the subject of the TMNT project came up, Tribute seized their chance. They proposed joining forces with Dotemu to ensure a product that fans of the franchise would appreciate – and wouldn’t you know it, all necessary parties agreed. Isn’t it nice when things just… work?

What to expect from Shredder’s Revenge

Shredder’s Revenge is a retro-styled 2D arcade fighter in the style of Double Dragon and its ilk. Playing the role of one of the four turtles, or their longtime yellow (coloured, not cowardly) reporter associate April O’Neill, you’ll parallax-scroll your way through a series of urban environments. In doing so, you’ll be accosted by a conga line of mooks deployed by the Foot Clan, as well as series baddies Krang, Bebop and Rocksteady. I feel obligated to clarify for those not hip to the Turtleverse that we ain’t talking about Cowboy Bebop here (nor is he at his computer).

Of the four, Mikey seems to be the one who’s the most enthusiastic about whatever’s offscreen.

Of course, the main antagonist will be the titular Shredder. As you mow down baddie after pixelated baddie, you’ll be taking one step closer to ending his latest plot for world domination. Well, New York domination, at least. The game’s art style purposely harkens back to the designs of the Turtles as we remember them from their 80s/90s original debut, and not as they currently are in their revolting redesigns. With a bouncily animated look that perfectly captures the insanity of that first incarnation, and a theme song belted out by Faith No More’s Mike Patton, it’ll be a treat for fans everywhere. Said fans can even band together, as the game is to support four player co-op, both on the couch and across the vast seas of the internet.

When and where to buy Shredder’s Revenge

So, down to brass tacks. Now that we’ve established what an awesome love letter this game is to be to the franchise, I bet you’re aching for release deets. I’m glad to oblige. Shredder’s Revenge is due out next year, for both PC and Nintendo Switch; arguably the two platforms where its brand of action will feel most at home. Dotemu and Tribute have yet to give a concrete shelf date, or even a more specific window, but you can bet when the news breaks we’ll be on that like a semi-aquatic scaled creature on a half-full, discarded box of takeaway ‘za. There’s an appropriate metaphor in there somewhere.

Will you be picking up Shredder’s Revenge? Who’s your favourite turtle? Let us know!

Bobby Mills

Motor-mouthed Brit with a decades long - well, two decades, at least - passion for gaming. Writer, filmmaker, avid lover of birthdays. Still remembers the glory days of ONM. May it rest in peace.
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