Key TakeawaysThe reveal of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder's Revenge was met with a ton of social media enthusiasm. Despite the poor quality of the property's last several games, fans are optimistic about the Turtles' return to the medium. The franchise's enduring popularity and cross-over potential are among the probable reasons for the overwhelmingly positive response. Viacom International Inc.
Last week's reveal of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredders Revenge set social media abuzz, cementing the enormous staying power of the '80s most popular, animated reptiles.
It's no secret reboots and remakes of nostalgia-stinging properties are big business, from the upcoming Dune film to Punky Brewster's return to television. Couple that with the fact that video games are enjoying a surge thanks to COVID-19 forcing everyone to find new ways to entertain themselves at home, and it's the perfect time for Leonardo, Donatello, Michelangelo, and Raphael to return.
"Gaming is the largest form of entertainment, and it's been a long while since the property has made a splash in that market," said Ray Carsillo, co-host of the Geeks Who Like Sports podcast, in an email interview with Ach5.
"But it's also one of those IPs that has lasting appeal. It's ingrained in our pop culture. And it's such a fun, timeless idea that it always resonates with a new audience, whenever it does come back and in whatever form."
Nostalgia on the Halve Shell
It was this longing for the Turtles' glory days of gaming that saw IGN's executive editor of previews, Ryan McCaffrey, take to Twitter with an especially enthusiastic take on their return.
Building on McCaffrey's reference to the upcoming game's developers' previous work, Carsillo also pointed to their pedigree as a reason Shredder's Revenge could be better than more recent efforts, like the critically panned Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants in Manhattan.
"Shredder's Revenge seems different because it's going back and looking at what worked best in the past for its foundation, namely the side-scrolling beat 'em ups of the early ‘90s, and it's being handled by hardcore fans of the property in Dotemu and Tribute Games."
Of course, while the Heroes in a Half Shell haven't made much of an impact in the gaming space as of late, they never really left the spotlight.
"The comics have seen a resurgence via [comic book publisher] IDW, cartoons are constantly being churned out by Nickelodeon, and the action figures aren't going anywhere," said Carsillo.
"There's a lot of overlap in the Venn diagram between TMNT fans and gamers, and it's been ignored for far too long. It's a weird blind spot that needs to be rectified."
On top of its cross-over potential, promising pedigree, and the enduring popularity of its stars, Shredder's Revenge has one more ace up its sleeve. It's positioned as a spiritual successor to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time, the quarter-munching classic long considered the property's best interactive outing.
It remains to be seen if the Foot Clan-crushing foursome's return will live up to the hype, but based on the "Cowabunga!"-rivaling responses following its reveal, there's plenty of fans that can't wait to kick some shell and find out.