As someone who was a huge fan of the TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES cartoon as a child, owned multiple action figures, and loved the first movie, I remember getting a copy of TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES 2 for the Nintendo, and spending the next year of my life playing it frequently. The arcade-style games in the series are some of the most fondly remembered beat 'em ups.
This latest game in the franchise focuses around the new animated series. I seem to remember the old TV show being rather cool, but after watching the animation and the opening title sequence, I was cringing with pain. It's not the same as the old one, but the new one definitely ISN'T cool. The story of the game (light as it is) is told with these animation sequences, but they're really inconsequential.
As in the other arcade style games, this is a straight beat 'em up. Run through the levels, kill everything that you run into, use the items adorning the levels, eat pizza (or other food) to replenish your health, and eventually reach a fairly tough boss. Wash, rinse, repeat. The cool part about the previous games was that it was really difficult, and always, always tense.
The best part was playing with four players in an arcade, each player representing one of our half-shell heroes. Given the difficulty of the game, and the immense amount of enemies that would attack at one time, you were jump kicking, swinging, and dodging for your life.
But all of that was lost.
The first thing, there is no four-player support on any of the versions. This is a major, major downfall. Secondly, the game is entirely too easy and boring. You spend hours walking around these stages, that are all extremely simple and don't really lend too much excitement. In fact, it's basically just mindless button mashing for hours (if you even make it that far).
So why play this game? There isn't really much of a reason to be honest. I'd recommend it to all those nostalgic fans as a rental, but not much more. I think you'll easily be satisfied by the shallow gameplay over the course of a day or two, and never really want to pick it up again.
From the graphical side of things, the game tries hard to emulate the cartoon with cel-shaded graphics. They look good, but they don't really look great. In fact, the visual look doesn't really excite me or do anything to make the game that amazing. The animation is ok, but really, the look of the game is rather bland. The sound followed the same pattern, as it's nothing really spectacular, just average.
Essentially, the TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES aren't really back in style. The new game is a little bland, and just doesn't really excite the same way that the old ones do. It's the worst game under the NINJA TURTLE franchise, and is worth a rental at most. It's only half a shell of a game.