Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge (for PC) Review

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge (for PC) Review

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge (for PC) Review

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The Bottom Line

Although a relatively short game by genre standards, Shredder’s Revenge takes you on a fun, mutagen-powered romp through New York City’s ninja-filled streets.

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge (for PC) Specs

Name Value
Games Platform PC
Games Genre Beat ‘Em Up
ESRB Rating E10 for Ages 10+

Shredder’s Revenge harkens back to Konami’s classic Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles arcade games, but it swaps brutal, quarter-munching difficulty for creative, combo-friendly combat. This $24.99 PC game features a robust cast of characters, excellent visuals and animation, and a fun, throwback soundtrack. In short, Shredder’s Revenge is an action-filled, nostalgic good time for TMNT fans, despite multiplayer syncing issues and a brief runtime.

Turtle Power

Shredder’s Revenge doesn’t waste time with lengthy story scenes or pointless melodrama. The game begins with Donatello, Leonardo, Michelangelo, and Raphael devouring pizza with April O’Neil and Splinter. Unfortunately, the good time is interrupted by a news flash that alerts them to funny business involving Shredder and the Foot Clan at the Channel 6 headquarters. This prompts the crew to take action, and you to select a hero.

The action is fairly simple: You have a bread-and-butter attack, super attack, jump, and dodge. Like a fighting game, Shredder’s Revenge charges your super meter as you attack enemies, a gauge that unleashes devastating, wildly animated super attacks when full. When multiple Turtles (or Turtle allies) bust out their supers at once, it’s like a fireworks display of special effects that look great in action.

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Despite the simple controls, Shredder’s Revenge lets you get fairly creative with the tools at hand. For example, holding the attack button charges your next attack, which lets you break enemy defenses and launch them across the screen. Pressing attack and jump at the same time triggers an anti-air uppercut. Dashing and pressing the attack button initiates a rushing attack, which is a great way to start a combo. In short, you can string together hard-hitting, awesome-looking moves.

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Admittedly, Shredder’s Revenge’s Story mode is not particularly difficult. In fact, the game’s first half is pretty easy on Normal difficulty. It only gets harder during the second half, when bosses become more mechanically demanding and enemies soak up more damage. That said, you’ll likely brawl through the opposition without too much struggle. I never saw a game over while playing Normal mode.

Fortunately, Shredder’s Revenge offers a Hard mode, where enemies deal twice the damage and attack much more aggressively. You can also play through the story in Arcade mode, which limits your lives and saves. This is where the game gets especially challenging, particularly if you tackle Arcade mode on the highest difficulty.

Short, But Sweet

Shredder’s Revenge is a short game; you can expect to finish the story in roughly two hours on Normal difficulty. If you’re the type who only plays through a game once, Shredder’s Revenge won’t keep your attention for long. Still, beat ’em up games are meant to be replayed for high scores and perfect runs, and this title is no exception.

Characters earn points as you progress through the levels, which unlocks more special attack gauges, health, and special moves. There are also optional objectives strewn throughout the game that you can complete for bonus points. The six-character roster and leveling system also encourages replays. The game’s playable characters each have unique play styles, as they fight with different weapons. For example, Donatello has excellent range, but his attacks are notably slower than Leonardo or April’s.

At the start, you’re limited to a default special attack when standing in neutral, but you eventually unlock an aerial super, and a dodging super to spice up your assault. Aside from wailing on thugs for meter, you can also earn it by taunting them, Devil May Cry style. You’re vulnerable for roughly three seconds when doing so, but a successful taunt rewards you with one, full special bar. This adds an extra layer of strategy to boss fights.

The combat contains a satisfying amount of mechanics, and that doesn’t include the situational attacks you can do when playing in co-op with up to five other people (in local or online modes). When playing with friends, you gain additional moves whenever you attack an opponent launched by an ally, or whenever you and a buddy flank a target. This makes combat quite dynamic, letting you set up some truly fun combos.

Shredder’s Revenge emphasizes teamwork in other ways, too. When an ally is drained of health, you have 10 seconds to revive the fighter with pizza. Likewise, when a fighter is low on health, you can initiate a cool high-five to give the brawler two life bars. These are nice touches that showcase that the Turtles family fight as a family. And you do it all to a score that features retro arcade-style tunes, as well as lyrics-based tracks from era-appropriate artists (no spoilers!).

Some Minor Stumbles

Oftentimes, beat ’em up games give you a few seconds of invincibility when you die and respawn, so you don’t eat a cheap combo before you regain control. Or, they’ll knock opponents down when you lose a life, so they can’t cheap shot you. That’s not the case with Shredder’s Revenge. Enemies know exactly where you spawn, and are ready to slug you as soon as you use that new life to re-enter combat.

The other issue stems from connectivity. Playing online is terrific fun, and I tried my hand at three-player co-op a few times. This worked well, except for some odd syncing issues that cropped up fairly frequently. At least once per level, I noticed that enemies would desync and warp around the screen to another player, likely due to latency. During another run, the bosses turned invisible and intangible on my screen, so my buddies had to fight them off while I swung at thin air trying to find them. It’s nothing a patch or two won’t fix, but it was annoying. Please note that my friends didn’t experience any such issue.

This is a personal preference, but I wish the game offered a parry option. Shredder’s Revenge isn’t challenging to the point that the combat needs one, but I really like having the ability to reverse and counter an incoming attack. Fight‘N Rage, another excellent brawler, incorporates a tightly timed, Street Fighter III-style parry that instantly interrupts incoming attacks and refills your special meter. A mechanic like this would make some of the more mechanic-heavy bosses less tedious, since you have a defensive option to employ during scripted attack phases.

Can Your PC Run TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge?

Shredder’s Revenge effortlessly ran on my gaming PC, a computer that contains an AMD Ryzen 5 3600 processor, Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 graphics card, and 16GB of RAM. To run the game, your PC needs at least an AMD FX-4300 or Intel i3-2100 CPU; an AMD Radeon HG 5570, Intel HD 4600, or Nvidia GT 320 GPU; 4GB of RAM; 1GB of storage space; and the 64-bit Windows 7 operating system.

For a more optimal playing experience, your PC should house an AMD FX-6300 or Intel i5-2400 CPU; an AMD Radeon R7 250, Intel HD 630, or Nvidia GTS 450 GPU; 4GB of RAM; 2GB of storage; and the 64-bit Windows 10 operating system.

Visually, Shredder’s Revenge is a treat. The sprites are large, well-animated, and wonderfully expressive. Apparently the Foot Clan ninjas work part-time across New York City, with ninjas working in food courts, typing at work stations, or generally chilling around Central Park before jumping into evil action. The game is packed with neat little details like these, to say nothing of the awesome cameos from across the Turtles brand.

Shredder’s Revenge uses a cartoony art style that sits somewhere between Streets of Rage 4’s comic book look and Fight‘N Rage’s chibi art style. I especially liked the boxy NYC map you drive around between missions; it reminded me of the classic NES TMNT map. Overall, Shredder’s Revenge is a nostalgic good time.

A Brawl for All

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge features the excellent visuals, tight action, and accessible challenge you’d expect from a contemporary beat ’em up, and it’s priced to move at $24.99. Sure, the game could use a more levels, and has a few online hiccups, but it’s a fun, action-dense stroll down memory lane for TMNT fans.

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Shovel Knight Dig (for PC) Review

In 2013, I started my Ziff Davis career as an intern on PCMag’s Software team. Now, I’m an Analyst on the Apps and Gaming team, and I really just want to use my fancy Northwestern University journalism degree to write about video games. I host The Pop-Off, PCMag‘s video game show. I was previously the Senior Editor for Geek.com. I’ve also written for The A.V. Club, Kotaku, and Paste Magazine. I’m currently working on a book about the history of video games, and I’m the reason everything you think you know about Street Sharks is a lie.

The Bottom Line

Shovel Knight Dig remixes the popular indie platformer into a clever roguelike that’s an entertaining—if somewhat diminished—Shovel Knight experience.

PCMag editors select and review products independently. If you buy through affiliate links, we may earn commissions, which help support our testing.

Shovel Knight Dig (for PC) Specs

Name Value
Games Platform PC
Games Genre Roguelike
ESRB Rating E10 for Ages 10+

After a successful Kickstarter campaign, Yacht Club Games’ Shovel Knight became an indie hit. Not only did we get the excellent original game, but three expansions that offered their own twists on retro-platforming goodness (not to mention puzzle and fighting games starring the helmeted hero). Shovel Knight Dig, co-developed by Nitrome, is the most ambitious spin-off yet. This $24.99 PC game turns familiar Shovel Knight gameplay into a new roguelike adventure. Although the swap ultimately leaves this game less fulfilling than the side-scrolling original, it still makes for a fun, endless journey to the center of the Earth.

Unearthed

In keeping with its old-school homage, Shovel Knight Dig doesn’t waste too much time on setup. Shovel Knight must burrow through the ground to claim treasure, and stop Drill Knight’s gang of dastardly Hexcavators. Instead of focusing on a tedious narrative, Shovel Knight Dig takes advantage of the understated worldbuilding that’s turned Shovel Knight into a beloved franchise. You’ll see familiar friends, fight familiar foes, and find fleeting bits of lore that add an appreciated depth to the experience.

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Most exciting, though, is how well Shovel Knight Dig carries on Shovel Knight’s wonderful presentation. Colorful character sprites bounce around with more expressive personalities than in previous games. Exaggerated animations and sound effects are powerful and satisfying, while never getting in the way of gameplay. Additionally, Jake Kaufman’s new chiptunes-based video game soundtrack pulses and pushes you forward. It’s proof that even purposefully “primitive” games can have rich production value.

The Descent

Past Shovel Knight games were fairly straightforward 2D platformers featuring a shovel-toting hero, but Shovel Knight Dig flips matters by centering digging as the central mechanic. It’s a very vertical game, like a cross between Downwell and Mr. Driller. You still avoid obstacles, grab treasure, and battle enemies. However, you now reach the game’s end by tunneling down, not running to the right.

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These constraints enable new gameplay opportunities. Shovel Knight often falls down from the top of the screen when he transitions between level chunks. As he does, he’ll automatically stick out his shovel so you can string together nimble pogo stick combos as you bounce on blocks and enemies. Skillfully timing these bounces is sometimes the only way to reach elevated locations filled with extra goodies. Shovel Knight can also horizontally dig through dirt patches in rapid fashion.

Some of Shovel Knight Dig’s most clever enemies force you to reconsider your new relationship with how you navigate the world. Fungal spores turn you small enough to slip through crevices. Giant worms eat through dirt, constantly limiting your movement options. Boss fights take place in enclosed arenas, making their more traditional gameplay a nice change of pace.

Going Rogue

Shovel Knight Dig’s gameplay is a radical departure from the series’ typical mechanics, but its overall structure represents an even greater shift. Shovel Knight Dig, like puzzle spin-off Shovel Knight: Pocket Dungeon, is a roguelike. Although this is fertile territory for Shovel Knight, the indie roguelike field is a well-worn subgenre at this point. As a result, Dig doesn’t feel particularly special.

The game’s algorithm does a good job generating fun platforming levels. Oftentimes, I stopped to consider what the game wanted me to do to reach faraway treasure. And if you wait too long, a giant drill tries to kill you, which adds just a little pressure. However, randomized levels lose their charm when you learn all their possible gimmicks. The original Shovel Knight saga had some of the best, most creative, and most polished platforming levels of this current indie boom, which makes Dig feel a bit like a step back.

Shovel Knight Dig doesn’t take full advantage of https://jiji.ng/ the roguelike genre’s possibilities as well as it could have, either. Each level features three golden gears hidden in risky spots as bonus objectives. Nab them all, and you can choose to gain more health or a random power-up for the rest of your run. These power-ups are definitely useful. For example, you can pick boots that don’t take spike damage, a feather that revives you after death, or a helmet that bashes blocks above you. Still, they don’t freshen up the inherently repetitive gameplay loop all that much. Neither do the sub weapons or extra combat techniques you can purchase from the occasional shop. Instead of buying temporary or permanent upgrades, I saved most of my cash for tickets that let me skip to later stages and avoid the repetition. Compare that to all the creative combat experiments Hades encourages you to discover.

When you’re not digging, you can check out the leaderboards and in-game achievements. If you need some extra help, turn on helpful accessibility options to give yourself more health or slow down the game’s pace.

Can Your PC Run Shovel Knight Dig?

Like prior Shovel Knight games, Shovel Knight Dig resembles your memories of classic, 8- and 16-bit games. Although Dig’s gorgeous sprite art couldn’t run on retro consoles, even the most modest modern PCs should have no problems handling the game. Dig’s Steam page recommends a PC housing at least a 2.1GHz Intel Core 2 Duo (or equivalent) CPU, 8GB of RAM, a GPU with 1GB of video memory, 2GB of storage, and the 64-bit Windows 7 operating system.

In addition, Shovel Knight Dig is Steam Deck verified, and that’s how I played the game. I occasionally experienced brief and mild stutters during screen transitions. However, the game stayed locked at a smooth 60 frames per second during the vast majority of my playtime.

You Can Dig It

Shovel Knight Dig suffers a bit from its roguelike structure, especially compared with its predecessors’ superb simplicity. Still, with its awesome aesthetic and innovative gameplay twists, Dig is a worthy entry in the Shovel Knight canon.

For more PC game reviews and previews, check out PCMag’s Steam Curator page (Opens in a new window) . And for in-depth video game talk, visit PCMag’s Pop-Off YouTube (Opens in a new window) channel.

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