nostalgia time again and everybodys favorite heroes in a half shell are
back. This pretty much wraps up my childhood, having already gone
through a new He-man cartoon, a new Transformers cartoon and comic, and
a horrible new run of GI-Joe comics. While many gamers will be turned
off by the lack of innovation on this new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle
game, I am optimistic. I got to sit down (Ok I was standing; there isnt
a lot of sitting involved at E3) with the GameCube and the X-box version
and I had myself a good ol time.
mixture of an old school License, fresh 3D, cel-shaded graphics, and old
school gameplay got my blood pumping. I was a huge fan of TMNT II: The
Arcade Game back in the day and this quite simply is a modern day
update. It features the same side scrolling, overly exaggerated cartoony
mayhem. Much of the old cast of characters are back. I was thrilled when
the Mousers attacked and even more thrilled to beat them down with my Bo
surprise, you get to choose from one of four characters: Leonardo,
Donatello, Raphael, and Michelangelo ("is a party dude"). Also returning
is the Turtle's arch-nemesis the Shredder, who has a whole cadre of
wrongdoers to throw at them. In the level I got to play, I faced a small
variety of street level thugs (who look a lot less like the Foot
soldiers than my high school aged brothers), the previously mentioned
Mousers, and a junkyard car construct (looking a lot like a
cel-shaded graphics enhance the cartoon aspect of the game along with
appropriate sound effects. While we are on the subject of sound effects,
each time you hit something or someone on screen the sound effect is
accompanied by a word balloon. Just like the old live-action Batman
television series, you should expect to see BAM, BOOM, and CRASH pop up
on the screen. This may send some people running and screaming of
cheesiness, but I thought it added to the fun. The same people who do
their voices for the new animated series will provide the voices of the
pizza loving heroes. The game will feature cut scenes from the series as
well as all new ones made specifically for the game.
looks to have a pretty typical setup: six levels, thirty-five stages,
each with a mini-boss and a big boss. In addition to the story mode,
there is to be a vs. mode that was still unavailable at E3. Hopefully
you will have the chance to unlock other characters for the vs. mode
that you dont get to play in the story mode. It would be great to have
the chance to pit Master Splinter up against the Shredder or have April
ONeil give Casey Jones a smackdown.
a little disappointed that the game is limited to two-player co-op mode.
I understand that they probably have their reasons and I would hate to
see the frame-rate take a hit, but how awesome would it have been to
play as all four turtles with three friends? Especially now when most
consoles have four controller ports built in. (In fact only one doesn't.
I wont mention names, but you know who you are PlayStation 2.) Seems
like missed potential, but I can deal with it.
only other concern with the game comes from the difficulty. At E3 we
played through the available level pretty easily. It was fun but I hope
for a little more difficulty. This could just be the first level though
and in that case I would expect the difficulty to increase throughout
the game. Otherwise this may be the thing that keeps Teenage Mutant
Ninja Turtles being strictly a rental game instead of a game to treasure
in your personal library.
Better stock up on Turtle Wax because Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is
expected to be released in October of 2003.