I do not think I will ever outgrow 90s cartoons and side-scrolling arcade brawlers so it was with some excitement that I fired up Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder Revenge a modern follow up to Konamis arcade & SNES hit Turtles In Time. Its an exercise in targeted nostalgia, opening with a fully animated intro, a cover of the Saturday morning theme song and even the promise of the original voice cast returning—albeit with 30 years of added rasp to their voices.Thats a strong first impression and a tough one to live up to but I am happy to say that developers Tribute Games have managed to recapture that classic spark even if its sometimes at risk of being snuffed out by a few attempted modernizations that do nofully deliver.

Putting its strongest two-toed foot forward ShredderRevenge is an absolute joy to look at and listen to. Even with most of the game taking part in New York each environment feels distinct with the graffiti daubed streets outside the TV station where bad guys have painted the word Foot over any sign where it would make sense plus a few where it does not leading to a chase down Broadway a grungy sewer crawl a trip to the zoo and beyond. The backdrops rarely repeat which is impressive considering Shredders Revenge is about four times the length of Turtles In Time and far more detailed.

The character art is equally lush despite all having the same body shape theres few frames shared between the turtles. Their animations capture their personality making them easier to track in a fight. When sprinting Leo leans in with a stoic glare Mikey scampers with cartoon exaggeration nunchucks flailing behind while Raphael charges in low with teeth bared. The extra playable characters get just as much love with vigilante Casey Jones comically switching outfit during attacks—putting on a golf cap when taking a nine-iron swing, or a baseball helmet for his game-winning slide attack.

While lacking the time-travel gimmick of Turtles In Time Tribute Games has still found excuses to cram in almost every classic enemy from the previous games lovingly re designed and cleanly animated. My only gripe here is that there are not many new ones but there are a couple interesting surprises. By and large they are good fun to smash into tiny pieces too and all feel fitting for an old 90s cartoon especially the silly crossbow wielding Foot ninjas who shoot sink-plungers instead of pointy bolts. Shredders Revenge is kid-friendly start to finish.That lavish attention to detail also applies to the expendable hordes of robo-ninjas you will be fighting most of the time. Many of the color coded variants have their own animations and style and almost every stage has them playing out some variety of sight gag. When they take over the TV station there will be ninjas manning the reception desk mixing up some trouble in the cooking show set and doing sit-ups for the workout show. I was grinning nearly the whole way through.

About Nabeel Haider

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