Shredder’s Revenge Is a Can't-Miss Nostalgia Trip on PS Plus
It’s always Saturday morning here.
Buttons are a fairly new invention. Between 1880 and 1925, there were hundreds of patents for “electric push buttons” and, not surprisingly, a fair amount of discourse over whether they were making us weaker/dumber/worse. You no longer had to understand how something worked, you just pushed a button.
Turns out, we like that buttons are easy and fun. We wouldn’t have video games if they weren’t. Beat ‘em up games in particular celebrate the joy of smashing buttons over and over and over as you pummel your way from left to right on screen. And some beat ‘em ups make buttons so much fun you forget about anything else.
This is especially true for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge. Originally released in 2022, TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge joined the PlayStation Plus lineup this month, giving gamers another reason to dive into one of the best button-mashing beat ‘em ups of this (or any) generation. It’s a Saturday morning fever dream brought to life, with the titular turtles once again squaring off against their arch-nemesis across a spectacular range of set pieces guaranteed to hook you for a few hours of knuckle-dusting mayhem.
The premise is straightforward, by TMNT standards anyway. Shredder and his nefarious Foot Clan have stolen the Statue of Liberty to turn it into a giant robot for evil overlord Krang and, well, that's about it. The Turtles, all upstanding New Yorkers, decide it's up to them to right this wrong and return Lady Liberty to her rightful place in Ellis Island. Along the way, they’ll need to pummel a few hundred goons, a handful of bosses, and visit an alternate dimension or two.
Anyone with a sliver of nostalgia for TMNT will love this game. The animations, voice acting, soundtrack and set pieces harmoniously deliver the feeling of getting to play the cartoon. There are tons of collectibles and easter eggs throughout, and anyone who logged hours playing the crown jewel of TMNT games, 1991’s Turtles In Time, will feel right at home. TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge is the rare nostalgia bomb that succeeds as a lovingly crafted tribute as opposed to a cheaply skinned cash grab (looking at you Battletoads).
The gameplay is as predictable as the premise. Players control one of the four turtles or, with some unlocks, April O’Neil, Casey Jones or Master Splinter. Each has the same basic attacks, albeit with different power levels, ranges and movement speeds. Some online analysis says Michaelangelo is the most well-rounded pick of the bunch but, honestly, it’s a button-masher. Play who you want and you’ll have a fine time. It’s a short playthrough, too. You can finish the game in around three or four hours, inviting you to try again with a different character — or maybe link up with some friends for the chaos of a co-op run.
The characters aren’t static either. You’ll unlock upgrades as you play that boost their stats and unlock new attacks that make them stronger and more effective. Because of its bite-sized length, it's recommended you stick with the same character throughout your campaign in order to beef up enough to make it through the final battles. If you’re hopping around to try everyone out you might find yourself feeling a little underpowered when things start to get tough.
TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge is an easy sell. It’s fast, flashy and full of funny gags packaged inside a warm nostalgic hug with some of the most consistent aesthetics of any retro tribute anywhere. Take it for a spin for a fun afternoon or hook up with friends online for a worthwhile weekend playthrough. Don’t forget the pizza!