Worthplaying | Switch/PS4/XOne/PC Preview - 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder's Revenge'

2022-05-20 22:27:47 By : Ms. Sora Y

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In the late '80s and early '90s, the beat-'em-up was big in the arcades, and no company better exemplified this than Konami, who had hit after hit during that time. Almost all of those quarter-munching titles were licensed stuff, and while some favorites include X-Men and The Simpsons, the one game that became extremely popular was Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. It was so popular that the license seems eternally linked with beat-'em-ups. There's immediate disappointment when a new Turtles game is announced, and it isn't a simple side-scrolling title where you knock out Dimension X and Foot Clan ninjas alike. The latest game, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder's Revenge, is a throwback to that arcade game and the 1987 animated series, perhaps the most well-known version yet. We checked out a special two-level demo of the game and came away highly impressed.

The two levels are a good example of what the team hopes to deliver with a game that mixes something familiar with something new. The first level is a romp through Channel 6 Studios, where you go from the front lobby to the writers' room to sitcom sets, a kitchen, and a few other related locales before finally ending up backstage in a fight against Bebop. The second stage is set on the streets of New York City, and while the backdrops are different, there's an air of familiarity with elements like cars attempting to run you over, fire hydrants that can be smacked, and manholes that you can fall into. That philosophy also applies to the enemies, as most foes in the demo are Foot Clan ninjas in different-colored garb, ranging from normal purple ones to yellow ones that wield boomerang-like tire irons.

The combat system follows the beat-'em-up formula that longtime fans have craved, but it adds enough of a modern spin that it feels better than the classics. You can still button-mash through, and the combos still do an effective job of taking out mobs. However, you can now double-jump, so you can deliver multiple downward strikes in addition to performing the coveted jump-kick. You can now juggle enemies in the air or hold down the attack button to deliver a charged blow, while the building of a special meter allows you to unleash a special attack without affecting your health like beat-'em-ups of old. You can run to pull off sliding tackles, but you also have defensive maneuvers, like being able to flip backward and forward or dodge/roll as soon as you're hit and land on the ground.

There's an overall increase in your attack and movement fluidity, and that comes as a direct result of controls that are responsive. The only thing we didn't get to try out is the addition of combo moves when more players are involved; we'll be sure to look into that when the full game hits.

As for the characters, the demo had both April and Master Splinter alongside the four turtles, and in a move that fulfills what some may have suspected all along from the older titles, there are actual differences between each character. Those differences are broken down into three categories: attack power, reach and speed. The result is that Leonardo is the all-around character, while Splinter and Raph are damage-dealers. Donatello has longer reach, and both Mikey and April are speedy. In practice, those differences aren't overly pronounced in the demo, so unless you're really looking for them, you'll feel like everyone plays the same anyway. That might change once we get our hands on the adventure mode, but in the demo, the only real noticeable difference is that Mikey has a flying headbutt instead of a slide attack, making him stop on the first opponent he connects with rather than hitting a whole group all at once.

So far, the presentation is outstanding. The environments are filled to the brim with loads of details, from the various TVs playing broadcasts of Bebop taking over Channel 6 to Foot Clan soldiers stealing tires and engines to ultimately build a car. The character models seem smaller than in the original games, but their reduced size means the ability to add many more enemies on-screen. The animations are absolutely fluid, but the most surprising of all is April, since she wields so many newscaster-related items that it feels like the devs took a page from Pocket Fighter when creating her. Sound-wise, the music is spectacular, while the inclusion of most of the original cast members from the 1987 show will delight longtime fans.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder's Revenge is already shaping up to be both a big dose of nostalgia for classic arcade fans and a solid beat-'em-up for genre fans. The little flourishes, such as different animations for each character, show that there was more than enough attention paid to making these characters feel distinct. The upgraded combat puts it squarely in line with more modern brawlers to satisfy more technically minded people, while still letting button mashers have their fun. The summer release can't come soon enough, and we can't wait to get our hands on the final build.