|Invisible barriers hinder your progress
until you defeat all the enemies in your "section". Just
like in real life!
First, the bad news: Even five years ago, this Teenage
Mutant Ninja Turtles game would have been old and stale.
Turtles is repetitive, uses a fixed camera, employs lazy
programming tricks, has what looks like a pretty low poly count (and
not just because of the cell shading), has plot holes (!!), is only 2
player, the Turtles have about 3 war cries ("Batter Up!
Turtle Tornado!"), and you have to earn basic moves unlike every
other Turtles game.
Anyone could play Turtles with one button while making themselves a soufflé.
One could say that playing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles lacks a degree of
complexity found in other titles released this year. You could also say
that the game is mindless.
Now, the good news: Turtles is mindless fun that mimics
the older versions of the game - but with updated graphics, better sound, and a
whole slew of cool cut scenes.
How you interpret the news is up to you - I've had a lot of fun with Teenage
Mutant Ninja Turtles 4 on the SNES, and a whole heck of a lot more fun with the
arcade version of the Turtles. They were some of the most repetitive games
out there, and proud of it. And there are times, in fifteen minute
intervals, that I really need that "Rain
Man" effect in my games.
Still, there are several shortcomings with this, the newest of the Turtles
games. It's filled with some frustrating moments that defy
explanation. For example, when you go too far without killing the bad
guys, you're presented with a pink-ish swirling barrier. Tell me:
how hard would it have been to add some scripted events - as in almost every
game since Half-Life? Heck, even old Turtles games handled it better - a
truck would be in the way, or the Turtles would have to smash through a
If this "invisible barrier" thing happened only once in a while, it
wouldn't be a big deal. As it is, there are invisible barriers ALL OVER
THE PLACE. It's annoying, and worse - you can hit the enemies through the
barriers where you can't reach them again until they attack you.
|Jump+Slash? You need to earn
that move. Till then, wave your stick around.
The simple fact is that this is an old programming trick - don't let the
player go too far, or we'll have to draw too many enemies on the screen, or
worse, we'll have to load new scenery at the same time. Weak.
I'm also really disappointed that you have to earn moves - part of the fun
with the original Turtles games was figuring out what buttons can do a sweet
sweep kick, or a cool jump attack. No longer - you have to play through
the entire first level before you're even able to jump and slash. That
makes me a bit ornery.
My final note of disgust is the lack of four player. Turtles should be
a party game. That's all there is to that. It should have been four
player, no excuses.
These shortcomings work pretty well at destroying this game for me.
Combine all of the above with the lack of variety (in all aspects - attack,
enemies, scenery, etc etc etc), and you've lost my attention. It's too
bad, I really wanted to love this Turtles game.
For what it's worth, there are some things to like about this version of
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. It's fast paced, and plays a lot like
previous titles in the series. Cell shading really helps the Turtles come
into the next generation, and you can't beat the cool cut scenes.
To enjoy the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, just turn off your brain for a
bit, and enjoy the arcade style intensity. There are times when you'll
have to dodge and take out five or ten enemies at a time. There are times
when you'll get a bit pissed at the enemies' attacks. And yeah, there are
some times when you feel like you're a part of the cartoon.
Sadly, I think this game plays out more like an exercise than a game.
You have to push push push that button to get to the next reward. I'd
say that Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is a rental at best. I give it a