Sunday, June 26, 2022

TMNT: Shredder's Revenge (Lots of systems, 2022)


There's a new Ninja Turtles game, so of course I had to get it and check it out. Let's kick, and I quote, shell.

We get a sweet intro cutscene with the Turtles theme and the Turtles doing Turtle things like jumping and spinning. Already I'm getting hella radical 80's nostalgia to the max.

We get the jump-into-the-screen and I'M READY FOR ACTION.

Story or Arcade? One thing is for sure, I should probably Party Up, like Andrew WK.

Looks like Arcade is pretty much the same thing as Story, just styled in a more old-school NES way where you gotta do it all in one sitting with limited lives.

We get a quick tutorial showing hella rad moves. I think the escape roll is probably one of the key moves to remember, since it lets you pop up fast.

There's a taunt button, demonstrated here by April doing a Hulk Hogan esque "YOOOOOU" before dropping the big leg, hopefully on all of our faces.

Wait a minute...does this mean...playable April, finally?

Time to see the very well-balanced character select, starring the very well-balanced Leonardo. Two stars is basically the medium mid-range power for a stat, and Leonardo is average across the board. No weaknesses here, but no big strengths either.

Michelangelo loses some range, but gains some speed. In a brawling game, I think having more range might be the better option, but I'm not sure.

FUN FACT: The reason Italy had so many tremendous artists like Leonardo and Mike congregating there at one time was due to the Medici family. They were so rich and influential that they basically created an "art economy" in Italy by buying up all the interesting artwork. This caused artists, including the best artists, to flock there to make a name for themselves. Not to mention get rich, as the Medicis were offering, and I quote, "mad staxx" of money. It's sorta like how modern tech platforms like Youtube and Twitch have facilitated new mini-economies of creators flocking to said platforms to make videos and profit. Video-making in the current era has become a bit of a science and a real business for some people thanks to these platforms, and that's what happened in Italy way back when with artists and the Medici family.

Next we've got Raphael, a total asshole. He's another character with low range, and as a tradeoff he gets to hit harder than the other Turtles. Could be worth it, not sure. These one-star range ratings are scary though.

And here we have The Hero of the NES, Donatello, who sports the longest reach...for her pleasure.

His other stats, though? That speed could be an issue. Then again who needs speed when you have reach and damage?

Here's Splinter, the other character besides Raph who has 3-star attack power. He switches low range for low speed, and I think this might be the best stat-lineup of all the characters overall. Except maybe Donatello?

But wait! Here she is, playable April! IT'S A NEW DAY, YES IT IS!

I kind of have to play as her. She gets to rock the highest speed, with the tradeoff of being the only character with one-star power. It doesn't matter, she could have one-star everything and I'd still play as her. At least for the beginning. Hopefully the game lets you switch characters on the fly.


"...A bunch of bullshit."

Here's Bebop's Beat, where Bebop feeds you CIA propaganda things the news wants you to get scared or upset about. Fuck off, news!

April is the only newscaster worth a damn in the TMNT universe. And that Vernon guy, he's alright. Is Irma in the news business? I can't remember.

The first level is The News? Do I get to beat up Viacom executives?

Speaking of boners, Shredder burrows in with his powerful subterranean drill, while laughing maniacally. RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!

Intrepid actual-journalist April arrives! All those "sassy female reporter" references I've made through the years? They all started with April. She IS the Sassy Female Reporter, and she's here to lay waste to these ninjas. Rad to the max!

This is a pure beat-em-up where you juggle bunches of enemies at once. Physics be damned, I'm gonna juggle all the ninjas.


...these ninjas have shields! "You'll not juggle US!" they say.

The joke's on them, as this game contains throw attacks featuring cutting-edge Mode-7 technology.

Mode-7: The Wave of Tomorrow!

We find this hapless guy being accosted by "Bebop's Beat" host Bebop.

"F****ing thing SUCKS!" he says. "F***** IT WE'LL DO IT LIVE!"

Bebop gets first boss status, proving once again that he is Rocksteady's Bitch. I use my usual fighting game tactic of "spam flying kicks and pray"

He has a laser pistol as usual but it isn't too bad. One stage down....unknown amount to go. I haven't looked up any details about this game so it's a mystery.

The next part has our heroes chasing Rocksteady as he makes off with... Krang's severed head??


An overworld map with levels. I immediately flinched in horror when I saw this because I thought I was gonna get run over by one of those trucks from the first NES game.

Big Apple: 3 PM! ...because it's too dangerous to be in New York at 3 AM in 2022. Good job, everybody.

Rocksteady is toting the Krang Head around while Foot Clansmen try to jack one of the Turtle Van's tires. Hey, we need those!

"NEW RULE, ALL FOOT CLAN MUST BE DOUBLE-MASKED" says Shredder, who takes Covid Compliance very seriously. Meanwhile, his minions pop SICK wheelies!

Rocksteady has a hearty guffaw when he sees that April is here to fight him instead of a Turtle. This'll make their latest April-Kidnapping even easier! She came to THEM!

Unbeknownst to him, but knownst to us, this game doesn't contain an April kidnapping because she's too busy kicking their asses.

Meanwhile, seven years ago on the NES...

Now, in 2022, he has finally paid. THE PROPHECY IS FULFILLED.

The bad guys roar off in their beat-up car as it belches fumes everywhere. NOT ELECTRIC? It's 2022, stop polluting the air, jerks!

I like how Splinter and the Turtles are all acting like they're helping out when it's just April doing all the work. Well, I'm the one who decided not to Party Up, like Andrew WK. I know a few people with this game, too.

The very least I could do is switch characters.

Next up, I whip out Raphael. He hits very hard, but also has like, no range on his attacks. I'm definitely finding this tougher.

Get run over by a car and you get this animation. Hilarious! How can Shredder dine on turtle soup now?

Next boss is Bebop and Rocksteady's pimp-mobile, which they presumably use to pick up chicks.

Shredder is watching our heroes. He's HAD IT UP TO HERE with this crew always foiling him. He graduated from college and he doesn't need this shit!

Next I try Leo.

"Leo!!" swoon several females when hearing about this, before realizing it isn't DiCaprio and going back to looking at their newspapers.

The next stage one-ups the Jackass movies by having our heroes get gored by a bunch of charging rhinos. Johnny Knoxville only got gored by a bull, that's OLD HAT now compared to TMNT: Shredder's Revenge.

Here are ::checks notes:: "Ground Chuck" and ::checks notes again:: "Dirtbag"

These guys were in that third Game Boy game I think, the weird one where I didn't recognize the bad guys.

Krang's disembodied head is getting away!

Time to switch characters again. Leonardo is really good though. His averaged-out abilities work well in this game. He's a good character, maybe the best so far, but maybe not. April being faster makes a big difference, and low power doesn't seem to matter as much when you can spam attacks and specials. So far I think range is the most important stat, though. Characters with one-star range are definitely harder to play as.

Next up is Splinter, who has the highest attack power of any character, but is also slow AF. Do I want to grab that pizza on the train tracks? Not with this speed.

He's got two-star range and is generally a full-on bruiser, however it's easy to get swamped by foes with his speed. Here I battle a squad of Mousers, one of the more nostalgic (for me) bad guy types from the show.

The Rat King is the next boss. I think this guy was one of the three action figures I had as a kid (others were Raphael and a generic Foot Clan guy). What I really wanted were Leonardo and Shredder, but I guess they were always sold out.

The Rat King summons waves of charging rats! Even Krang's Severed Head doesn't like any of this.

Wow, these between-level pictures are literally that "guys pointing" meme.


Next up I play as Michaelangelo. He was probably my least-favorite turtle, which is weird because I probably had the most in common with him. He's got the same range problems as Raphael, without the power. Ended up relying on his special a LOT.

Here's ::checks notes:: Tempestra? the Dame of Games.

I'm starting to wonder how much of this show I actually saw. I think I watched the first four seasons and now I'm finding out it ran for TEN. No wonder there are so many characters I don't recognize. The later seasons (and the later shows) introduced a lot of characters that I don't find appealing at all, like all the weirdass aliens replacing the traditional villains, and even the pink ninja turtle. The way I see it, don't mess too much with the formula that works. Even making Krang the core villain after a while was a bit much for me, it was Shredder or bust. I think I began losing interest when everything was revolving around Krang and the Stone Soldiers and Shredder was a sidekick instead of the top heel.

Tempestra might be a Bishop of Battle reference, not sure. She goes wire-frame (invulnerable) and summons Tokka and Rahzar. This is the only time they appear in this game and they're super-weak. She summons them like 4-5 times throughout the fight, and most of the fight is just beating them up repeatedly. They really got thrown under the bus for this. Which is okay because they're kinda lame. Could the movies not get the rights to Bebop and Rocksteady? ...also I need to watch the movies again and see if the third is as terrible as I remember.

We find Krang's Torso. What's going on with Don over there? You okay, Don?

Speaking of Don, next we're playing Donatello himself. Why are Bebop and Rocksteady out wreaking havoc again already? Does this city have a pro-foot Soros DA?

Donatello has the best range of any character and decent power too. He's slow as molasses but it doesn't matter when he can whomp enemies before they can even reach him. Is he the best character? I don't know, maybe. It's hard to say because they're all so balanced. I do think range is the best stat, like I said, and Don has the range.

I have absolutely nothing to fear from these guys with a Heal Pizza in the room.

Having to fight multiple bosses at once is no problem whatsoever in this game because special moves just PILE damage onto everything around you.


Some bat-guy named ::checks notes:: Wingnut takes off with the Krang Torso (plus head). This leads to a rad hoverboard level over the rooftops.

These hovering Foot with gatling guns are extremely obnoxious, and this stage is full of them. So much for being a rad hoverboard level.

Wingnut himself does Storm Eagle dives all over the screen so he's one of the more treacherous bosses so far. More importantly than all that, did they cover up the Statue of Liberty? Nobody puts Lady Liberty in a corner on my watch, damn it!

Wait, that looks like it might be famed crocodile Leatherhead.

Now the Foot are using kwondos...that they hide behind like shields.

Feels like Coney Island has been a stage in quite a few fighting games, for some reason. Especially the Spider-Man ones.

NOOOOOOOO! Nothing is as demoralizing as losing a life with a heal pizza on screen. IT WAS RIGHT THERE!

Famed crocodile Leatherhead is one of my favorite TMNT bad guys. He isn't a Foot and he marches to his own drummer.

This is a fight where special attack spamming works really well, since he zips around and hides and you have brief chances to attack. Turns out that using Taunt is completely OP because it gives you a full special move meter after one use.

Donatello's taunt has him playing Game Boy, so I went ahead and did this while Leatherhead went on and on zipping around and hiding.

So now that I've played as everyone, who is the best character? I think Donatello has been the most effective, followed by April, then Leonardo, then Splinter, then Raph, and finally Mike. Leo would be ahead of April, except he has one glaring weakness: His special is probably the worst of the group. I assume Casey Jones is going to replace Don as the top character after I finish the game and he's unlocked.

Looks like Casey is the only one with seven stars. He's got the range, without sacrificing speed.

I'd like to play as Shredder, but it sounds like the fighting games are the only real option for that.


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