It’s no secret that I’m a pretty big Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fan. I grew up on the series from the 80’s and while it holds a special place in my heart, I’m loving the new animated series from Nickelodeon more. The turtles have a modern feel with comic book and anime inspirations scattered throughout the show while every turtle retains their core persona. So when I heard there was going to be two new TMNT games I really got excited and while neither game is far from perfect, they’re still worth checking out in my opinion.
Admittedly TMNT Out of The Shadows was a bit of a letdown. I still play it and don’t really dislike it, although I can understand why some people find fault with it. The controls are especially frustrating when trying to switch between turtles or landing moves. I feel like the OOTS just can’t keep up which is why I’m happy to report that these issues aren’t present in the TMNT game on 3DS. The newest TMNT outing is pretty generic in terms of gameplay. It’s a side scrolling beat-em-up against the foot and the krang. Each turtle has moves that can be upgraded by collecting energy dropped from defeated foes or by destroying things in the environment such as trash cans and crates. As you can probably guess the music is generic and uninspiring as is the repetitive quips from each turtle during combat.
That’s not to say this game is all bad however. I haven’t beaten the game since I’m at work but I have had an hour or two and beat the first boss and have a general feel for the game at this point. There are some fun nods back to TMNT games of yesteryear such as throwing enemies and having them smack the screen (which is kind of neat in 3D), the arrow that dings and points you to your next objective, and some of the moves the turtles have. Rapidly switching turtles during battle to perform combos and throw the foot into dumpsters or into each other is fun. All in all the new TMNT is a fun game, albeit feeling slightly uninspired. Especially for a portable game. It definitely isn’t perfect but it’s worth a buy in my opinion. Toys R Us is where I got mine which came to $29 with a free set of Ninja Turtle mini figures, and a $15 gift card. It’s hard to beat that.
Updated Review: I took advantage of Toys R Us sales and ended up getting TMNT for both the Wii and 3DS for $30 each with a $15 gift card, so it was like getting both games for the price of one. I played the game through to it’s entirety and was able to upgrade each turtle to their second tier of armor or “Shell Hardner” as it’s called. Overall my original review sticks. Unfortunately there are only a handful of boss battles and none of them including the final Shredder battle were challenging. It would have been nice to have diffficulty settings to choose from for us TMNT hardcore since it didn’t get chaotic until the last two levels. The ende of the game reminded me the most of the NES games which were much more of a challenge comparatively.
Another nitpick I have is I wish there was the ability to disable the points that show up when you hit enemies during battle. It just seems to get in the way when there are a lot of enemies on the screen at once and becoms distracting. There were also issues with clipping and unbalanced audio during the cinematics. Even though the games on NES were also generic beat-em-ups with button mashing like this _TMNT_there seemd to be more heart and variety, something this game didn’t seem to start to live up to until the last two levels. The Wii version is unfortunately identical to the 3DS which is a shame because even the Wii is capable of outputting the graphics seen in the trailer which are from the Xbox version. The differences include in lighting, facial expressions, and crispness that really make a difference. In the end I’m satisfied for the $30 it cost me for both titles (or $15 for one) but I definitely wouldn’t be happy if I paid $40 for one version. Here’s to hoping Activision’s last of three games isn’t a rushed mess and something Turtles fans are worthy of!
While searching for reviews for this game I read generally positive reviews for the TMNT game from 2007 and I have to say I’ve been having fun with it on PS2. =)