Nickelodeon originally approached TMNT: Shredder's Revenge devs about working with a different franchise
Nickelodeon made the right call
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge is available now on Switch, and Turtles fans around the globe are rejoicing. This game is a return to form for both the Turtles and beat’em-ups, and is very much the experience people have been jonesing for for years. That’s why it’s crazy to think it almost didn’t happen!
In an interview with the L.A. Times, Tribute Games co-founder Jean-Francois Major said that Nickelodeon originally approached their team to have them work on a different licensed property. Major doesn’t say what that brand was, but Tribute took the opportunity to pitch Nickelodeon on a new TMNT game. Somehow, some way, Nickelodeon agreed, and the project was officially a go.
Another part of that initial pitch to Nickelodeon was having April O’Neil playable. April has very much played the damsel in distress for the Turtles for years now, but both Tribute and Dotemu felt it was time for April to dish out some of the devastation herself.
Initially, says Major, Nickelodeon approached Tribute Games to work on a different property, but Tribute was built for original games, and Major says the studio pushed for “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” if it was going to venture into licensed properties. Partly because many members of the team had experience with the brand from their Ubisoft days, and partly because those early Turtles games stand as major influences in the side-scrolling, beat-‘em-up genre.
“April, from the first pitch that we did, was playable. I just feel it’s time. We wanted to have a broader roster, and not just the Turtles. It was really time for April to have her moment to shine and not be just a damsel in distress. She’s been with the Turtles all this time, and it’s time for her to kick butt.”
Real Ghostbusters, contra style gameplay. Make it happen.
Frankly, April feels out of place as playable in this game. I know in other iterations of the Turtles she's got powers/moves/training/etc. and I think one of those designs would work here (2012 TMNT would work the best) but here it doesn't quite fit. Maybe I'd feel different if she was physically taller than the Turtles in-game, but she looks really weird here.