Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
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  • Konami
  • Konami
  • Action - Fighting/Brawler (example - Street Fighter)
  • 10/1/2003
  • 2
  • hard drive
  • 1
  • $40.00
  • Everyone
6  |  Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Review (XBox)
larsoncc , 11/4/2003 5:23:38 AM
Turtle power can't beat this barrier.
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 wall.  

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 6/10.

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