Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles has been around for ages! Many of you will know (especially if you have kids) that it recently hit the big screens once again, and so Ubisoft have released TMNT on the Xbox 360 as a movie tie-in, which usually spells out disaster for a game but fear not, it’s not all bad!
The game starts with a simple tutorial level where Splinter [the talking rat? -Ed] takes you through the basics of running, jumping and fighting. The tutorial is very easy and gets you used to the controls and prepares you well for the rest of the game.
In total there are 18 levels, in each level you get a grade of how well you did. They base the grade on how well you fought off enemies, how quick you completed the level and how many silver coins you collected. This then gives you gold coins which allow you to buy certain novelty things such as big head mode.
The game play is surprisingly good. There are a few jumping annoyances now and then but on the whole the game controls very well and glitch free. The fighting looks very slick but is a little basic with only a small number of moves at your disposal. Most of the time you will find yourself mashing the B button which uses the turtles weapon to strike the enemies. The turtles do strike in different ways but it is all automatic and you have no control over what the turtle is doing whilst you are tapping B apart from the direction you are facing. The other moves you have is a kick which is used to smash enemies away from you in crowded situations, holding down B, which is a focus move and strikes a number of characters automatically and holding down X which is your special move – this involves using you and another turtle to inflict damage on an enemy - something very handy for boss take-downs.
Every turtle carries a different weapon and has their own special ability which is useful for different parts of the game. For example, some enemies have long staffs which they attack you with - for this type of enemy you would use Donatello as he carries a long range weapon. The special moves always come in handy but it is very obvious when you need to use them which makes it unchallenging and slightly dull.
As you progress in the game you can use more than one turtle per level. A single tap of the X button will switch to the next turtle. This helps with fighting sequences as half way through you could switch to another turtle to replenish the previous ones health. Other turtles can also help you if there is a particularly long jump you need to make. This is done by jumping and pressing X, another turtle will then throw you which allows you to get much further than a regular double jump.
The camera angle is always fixed in the game which can make some jumps slightly tricky but it’s never too much of an issue and on the whole it is very good. Sometimes it is hard to know where you are meant to be going but due to the restrictive linear nature of the game it won’t take too long to work out as the camera will usually give you a clue when you walk past. The game takes you to a variety of different locations from the jungle to the sewer. This gives the game more variation and although you are doing the same tasks all the way through the game it feels different on every level and you fight different types of enemies which range in difficulty.
Graphically the game isn’t very next-gen but they do their job and the movie sequences in between levels look fantastic. The character animation is very good and you can clearly see a lot of time was taken to perfect this. The areas all look fairly decent and having seen the Wii version they have definitely improved the graphics a lot for the 360. The sound on the game is superb. The voices are spot on and the sounds effects are very fitting. The only gripe with the sound is that there are only about 5 phrases that the turtles say when they die and after hearing them 20 times they get rather infuriating so perhaps more variation was needed in some places.
The worst part of this game is the length. In total it took me around 4 hours to complete the game and get all of the achievements. However, it would be harsh to mark the game down too much for this as it is quite clearly targeted at a younger audience (around 5 – 12 year olds). That said I cannot realistically see anyone spending more than 8 hours on this game as there is very little replay value. There is no multiplayer at all and the only thing you could do is replay the game to collect all of the gold coins and better your times which is not very fun at all, at least not for someone my age.
The achievements in the game are just gradually collected for completing levels and doing special moves. You will never have to go out of your way or challenge yourself to get all of the achievements. This gives even less replay value when it would have been so easy to implement slightly harder achievements such as collect every coin in the game or even complete a level in a certain time.
Overall, the game is very fun but for most gamers it will only last around 5 hours. It has a budget price tag but even then I don’t think that’s good enough to warrant a purchase as there really is zero replay value. If you have young kids, it might be worth renting it just to keep them out of your hair for a few hours - but it's a shame that Ubisoft couldn't have spent some more time and money and made the game a decent movie tie-in, similar to the awesome SpiderMan series.
Originally Written By: Joe