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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Review

Developer: Konami Publisher: Konami
Release Date: October 21, 2003 Also On: GCN, PS2 and Xbox

I remember growing up watching the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles television show, weekly on Saturday mornings. Before the show started, I would wake up at around 5 a.m. and play Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Manhattan Project with my father. Since then, not one beat-em-up has topped it. With high anticipation, I rented Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles from Blockbuster, hoping to play the same jewel of a game that I had when I was 5 years old. This time, in 3D and with different play mechanics and a more comic book feel, TMNT has grown to nothing more than an average cartoon and video game. Without my favorite characters (Bebop, Rocksteady, Krang), what’s to like about a subpar fighting system and game play mechanics?

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The graphics in TMNT are on the positive side. The cell-shaded character models look great and most of the environments are well detailed and feel like a cartoon/comic. With bright colors and visual sounds (think the Batman show from the 60’s), TMNT is nice to look at in motion. Minimal attention was put into designing unique character designs and because of this, throughout the whole game; you will find very few different looking characters. Another downfall is the fact that the game lags, at least the PS2 version does.

Story mode is where you will end up, right after picking up this title and popping it in the disc drive. After watching a short movie, introducing the Turtle’s new art style and theme, you will choose the character that you want to play as, whether Leonardo, Raphael, Michelangelo, or Donatello. The game will throw you into a colorful, yet somewhat dark environment, after the cut scenes that seem to be popped out straight from the cartoons.

Your turtle has a limited supply of moves, including mainly just basic attacks, an uppercut, and kicks. However, you can combine button to perform various finishing moves. You can also carry and fire shurikens, which can be used to either attack an enemy, which is not recommended, since it does minimal damage, or ignite barrels with them. For some unknown reason, the turtles don’t even know how to jump attack at the beginning of the game (you will have to learn it later in the game), which proves that Konami did not put much attention on a large array of moves. Instead, they spread moves and power-ups throughout the 30 or so stage game. Why couldn’t they have giving you an adequate supply of moves from the beginning, and acquiring even more throughout the game?

This series has been known for its exciting moves and combos, but this title lacks that kind of coolness that previous incarnations had. Completing each level is simply run down to button mashing. All you have to do is hit the basic attack buttons, while watching your health meter and you can easily defeat every enemy and beat the game in three or four hours. If Konami had included the NES classic titles, I might recommend renting or even purchasing this title, but as is, TMNT does not even deserve a look, it is nothing more than a button mashing children’s beat-em-up.

Graphics: 7
Sound: 5
Gameplay: 2
Creativity: 6
Replay Value/Game Length: 3
Final: 4.3
Written by Kyle Review Guide