April O’Neil joins the fight in Shredder’s Revenge

During the Gamescom event, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge reveals the addition of intrepid reporter April O’Neil in the retro-style beat-em-up as a playable character.

Dotemu/Tribute Games' Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge has built up a lot of hype ever since it was revealed nearly 6 months ago.

April O'Neil joins the battle in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder's Revenge. (Images: Dotemu/Tribute Games)

Fans of the old beat-em-up games starring the Heroes in a Half-Shell have been waiting a long time for a return to form and this new game appears to be what the doctor ordered. It is also adding something new: April O’Neil as a playable character.

Check out the details revealed about the classic yellow jumpsuit ally of the Ninja Turtles and what she can do in Shredder’s Revenge!

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TMNT beat-em-ups

Beat-em-up games starring the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have been around for a long time. Even the first NES Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game was mostly a beat-em-up, although it was also as much an action adventure, exploration, and platforming game, just like Castlevania and Metroid. The game was produced by Konami under their Ultra Games imprint in 1987.

It was not until the second game also produced by Konami that it truly became a proper beat-em-up. Released in 1989, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles finally allowed cooperative multiplayer gameplay, letting players select one of the four Ninja Turtles: Leonardo, Donatello, Raphael, and Michaelangelo.

The first beat-em-up to feature the Heroes in a Half-Shell was Konami's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Arcade Game (1989).

It also followed the familiar tropes of beat-em-up games, with the mostly isometric level-designs, palette swapping for enemy mobs, special attacks with the right control and button combinations, and end-level bosses to move to the next stages. It also used more familiar enemies from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ lore such as Foot Soldiers, Bebop and Rocksteady, Baxter Stockman, Krang, and Shredder. The arcade version was ported over to the NES, though with the compromise that only two of the four Ninja Turtles could be used.

While more beat-em-up TMNT games came later on, the most popular and successful of them is Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time. This is considered by many fans to be the best of all the TMNT beat-em-ups even to this day. It debuted as an arcade game that allowed up to 4 players and ported to the SNES as a 2-player game. It perfectly captured the art style of the animated cartoon and featured fluid animation, as well as new moves the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles could do such as dashing, slides, aerial attacks (other than just flying kicks) and special throws.

For the first time, classic yellow jumpsuit April O'Neil is a playable character in a TMNT game!

But through all the games based on the first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles animated series, only the four turtles themselves are playable, except for the Tournament Fighting games that was a versus fighting game. And certainly, April O’Neil was either a background character or even the usual damsel-in-distress that needed to be rescued.

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Gamescom reveal

Earlier this year, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge was announced. Developed by Tribute Games and Dotemu in association with Nickelodeon, Shredder’s Revenge is intended as a successor to the old beat-em-ups produced by Konami.

But aside from the visual and gameplay style, Shredder’s Revenge is also taking a page from another classic beat-em-up that received the modern treatment, Streets of Rage 4.That is by introducing new playable characters to the game. Aside from the four pizza-loving Ninja Turtles, April O’Neil is joining in on the fight.

April sports her iconic banana yellow jumpsuit and carries a microphone. Her character model is slightly different from her animated look, with more stylized features and anime-like expressions and proportions. The Channel 6 reporter attacks with her fists, elbows, knees, and kicks. Her move set has a similar feel as Chun Li from the Street Fighter games. April also uses her mic and TV camera as weapons. She also has unique animations and combos, depending on which of the Ninja Turtles she is performing a move with.

April's attacks and moves include using her mic and TV camera as weapons.

Dotemu went on to send an explanation as to the delay of the release of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge and thanking the fans anticipating the release of the game:

We know that TMNT means a lot to you, we hear you and we take into account your impatience, as well as your passion and your trust in us for this game. For these reasons, we prefer to take our time to deliver a game that suits you (and us). If adding more exciting content to this game means taking more time, then we'll take it to make sure the result is worthy of your expectations. A BIG thank you for your passion, fan arts, daily kind messages that show your unconditional support, love and trust in us.

With the reveal that April is a playable character, could this also mean other characters will be added? Master Splinter, Casey Jones, the Neutrino Teens from Dimension X, Bugman, and many more are potential candidates from the classic cartoon. Even Batman isn't out of the question, since he teamed up with the Turtles in Batman vs. Ninja Turtles (2019).

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge is beating its way into the Nintendo Switch and on Windows PC sometime in 2022.

Geoff Borgonia
Geoffrey "Borgy" Borgonia is a veteran writer, artist, journalist, gamer, and entrepreneur based in the Philippines. When not contributing to some of the top pop culture sites on the planet, he spends the rest of his time running his business, practicing martial arts, working on and developing books, comics, and games. In his man-cave, his only luxury is sleep. Borgy on Linkedin.