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Page 1:
Intro

Page 2:
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (NES)

Page 3:
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Arcade)
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: Arcade Game

Page 4:
World Tour
Manhattan Missions

Page 5:
Turtles in Time
Turtles in Time: Re-Shelled

Page 6:
The Manhattan Project
Hyperstone Heist

Page 7:
Fall of The Foot Clan
Back From The Sewers
Radical Rescue

Page 8:
Tournament Fighters

Page 9:
LCD
Pinball

Page 10:
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003)
Battle Nexus

Page 11:
Mutant Melee
Mutant Nightmare

Page 12:
TMNT (2007)

Page 13:
Mobile
Browsers
Standalone

Page 14:
Smash-up
Arcade Attack

Discuss on the Forums!

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Cinematic Shellshockers

Even before the production of the third live action movie in 1993, there were already plans of more movies to follow it and ride the popularity of the TMNT on the silver screen, but when that film turned into such a disaster, the fan base was soured and any further plans to finance and produce any motion pictures was put on ice or entirely scrapped, leaving the many script treatments and pitches in development hell for 12 years. It wasn't until the successful relaunch in 2003 that investors were again willing to put their money towards a new blockbuster. Amidst many rumors of reboots, sequels, live action and animated features, Kevin Munroe was appointed to bring the green greats back to the big screen. Munroe had his background in video games, having been the lead director and artist on Midway's Freaky Flyers in 2003.

Interestingly, the new TMNT movie was actually to be set in the same timeline as the three previous live action movies, though mostly ignoring the third movie in its narrative. Opting for a full CGI adventure rather than the mix of special effects costumes and live action actors, the new cinematic adventure brought back the grit and the real emotion to a TMNT movie, taking place several years after the events of the previous movies, with the four brothers having drifted apart and doing separated business. The result was surprisingly decent, with a well made action movie for all ages, with great voice acting and a real sense of family and the importance of the bond a family share and the turmoil that grows when that unit is taken apart. The film managed to bring the TMNT into contemporary times and age them along with the audiences that had grown up with them while also touching on subjects like teenage angst, regrets and responsibilites, essentially humanizing the characters and allowing for a broader audience to identify themselves with the characters, and also allowing for new parents that had grown up with the Ninja Turtles to introduce them to their own kids or younger family. The movie, simply dubbed TMNT, went on to be number one at the box office and a huge worldwide success on home video, and spawned a large line of merchandising, including an official video game.

TMNT Poster

Leonardo vs. Nightwatcher


TMNT - GameCube, Game Boy Advance, NDS, PlayStation 2, PSP, XBox 360, Wii, Windows (2007)

American Wii Cover

European PlayStation 2 Cover

After Konami's last hurrah, Ubisoft became the license holder and quickly announced their plans to develop many new TMNT based games with their new acquisition. At the same day the first official poster images and promotional materials for the movie was released to the public, Ubisoft's video game tie-in was also revealed, promising a dark NYC adventure based on the events of the movie and with cooperation from Munroe and Mirage. During the earlier demonstrations of the game, it was demoed on PS3 and Xbox 360 at conventions and sneak peaks, detailing plans of a co-op action adventure game using a similar visual style to that found in the movie. In addition to the action, there was also to be a great focus on the relationship between the brothers through the storyline.

TMNT takes place before and during the events of the film, allowing for a unique opportunity to explore and take part in each of the four brothers' endeavors while they cope with reality of growing up and becoming separated and their journey to reunite once again. Rather than using the scenes taken out of the movie itself, all the cutscenes and story elements are scripted for the game exclusively and told in a past tense by the characters, reflecting on their individual times and struggles and seen through moving pictures in a comic book with art based on a blend of Mirage and new animated features art style. Due to the fact that the game was released before the actual movie and developed in way to tie the circumstances not seen in the actual movie together, there are some obvious deviances from how the movie turned out and played out. The game also made use of an original voice cast for the supporting cast rather than the one found in the movie, leading to slightly different role interpretations for some of the main characters interacting with the Ninja Turtles.

The stages are built up of a mix of acrobatic platforming with death defying leaps and wall running, melee combat and some slight interactive story devices which takes place literally all over the world as each stage tell a story from a perspective of one of the turtles, much in the style of a inner comic book dialogue.

The platforming portions make up the majority of the game, and are quite apparently inspired by Ubisoft's reboot of Prince of Persia, which at the time of its release introduced the acrobatic platforming mechanics that is much more stylized in this game. Wall running, high climbing, double jumps and scenic acroatics with the use of pipes and poles are featured on virtually every stage. Similar to the way it is displayed in the actual movie, the leaner, gecko like movements of the Ninja Turtles make them flow with efficiency and speed in a very appealing fashion. Stages are marched on a linear path with a fixed camera which in theory is there to give every area a more distinct feel and look to make the jumps and gymnastics less repetitive and to give the overall game a cinematic feel. Most of the actions are performed by a single button press along with the D-pad. Each turtle also bring individual skills that are used on their particular stages to give some variety. Some areas will also require the brothers to work together to perform slingshots and other team up moves to progress.

The combat takes place on set locations on each stage and will will lock the character in a small area, with the camera zooming in and the picture being given black bars to focus in on the characters rather than the environment. Combat is quite simple in its implementation, with a single button acting as a strike button perform a sequence of strikes, while the alternative attack button performs a jumping split kick which is used to mostly distance a group of enemies apart. Each turtle also has an individual charge up move, that can be performed when the meter is full to activate a rage mode which will distort the image and mostly take out all foes with one strike. Also during combat, brothers can be summoned to perform team up moves.

At a total of 16 stages, challenge stages can be unlocked to gain extras such as videos and artwork, as well as cheat modes that can be activated from its own menu. Like the Konami games of the 2k3 series, stages can be replayed and some stages act as boss stages. Completing stages brings up a ranking system based on teamwork, speed and combat with higher ranks resulting in unlocked secrets.

On the positive side of things, the fundamental game is quite solid and all the features work very well, especially the platforming sections, which are genuinely fun and fluid. The controls are quite responsive and easy to figure out, and even in its simplicity it is taught very well during the tutorial stages early on in the game. The new character design for the Turtles also gives them a bit of an advantage for a video game of this kind, with their lean and mobile physiques making the wall bounding and pole swinging much more appropriate than the beefed stocky design which has predominantly been used for the Ninja Turtles. The animation is also quite smooth and gives the game a heightened sense of speed without losing track of the actual character.

On the negative side however, TMNT never attempts to go further than the norm. At no point does the game present anything that would impress any general gamer or innovate any of the mechanics that already are more or less lifted from another famous franchise. The difficulty is also much too generous, as the game actually does not allow one to die, rather defeat will simply restart the segment, be it platforming or battle, and just deduct some amount of time which affects the ranking. The challenge never seems to pick up much at any point, even after the tutorial stages which even for the very youngest audience is much too easy. The fixed camera system tries to keep the progress interesting by introducing some new angles and panning over and under some interesting rooftop leaping jumps, but it introduces some very annoying issues of placing itself behind a railing or structure, obstructing the view and making some rather simple jumps frustrating due to the lack of a good angle to get some sort of perspective on how to position the jump.

Additionally, for all the talk of teamwork and emphasis on brotherhood as stated in the development period of the game, the actual finished product features no multiplayer capabilities and the use of teamwork in game is reserved for very few moments of effectiveness, while outside of those moments there is no need to call upon any shelled brother. Similarly, combat is extremely repetitive and overly simplistic, with the same string of strikes never evolving and enemies more or less just standing around waiting to be attacked and never posing a threat. The boss battles are also quite disappointing and don't change up things enough to keep the interest up. It goes into the initial problem with the game, it never allows itself to step up out of the ordinary.

Even though the game was mostly demoed on the then next generation line of consoles such as PS3 and Xbox 360, the actual graphics are somewhat disappointing for its time apart from the interesting turtle design. The character modeling and animation is acceptable, but the actual geometry of each stage is lacking, with quite ugly scenery and blocky shapes, which at times can be almost to the point that they are undefinable. For the major set pieces this isn't as much of an issue, but it really jars the eyes when a rock shows on the side of the trail that consists of four pointy shapes and a two toned texture which sticks out from the otherwise fairly appealing stages. The composition of each stage also becomes a bit old halfway through no matter how much the camera pans and curves along, and relies too much on rubble and grey buildings for its own good. The framerate also takes a hit during some of the boss battles, though not to an extent it really detracts too much. The audio is entirely forgettable as well, consisting of simple ambience and rock riffs. The voice clips also repeats too often which becomes quite annoying quite quickly.

So TMNT is quite the mixed experience. On one hand, it works for what it does and can't be said to be outright mediocre, because the platforming is genuinely fun and it's only towards the very end that one really would start to feel a bit of fatigue from those mechanics. The controls are also rewarding due to the speed of the game, and the feeling of running along a wall, double jumping and dropping down only to catch onto a pipe and perform a flashy flip is a feeling only Jackie Chan can identify with. The problems really boils down to the cowardly approach by the developers to never let the Ninja Turtles come out of their shells and really bring some action to the table, and rather just placing them in essentially what feels like Prince of Persia lite version. Even the very youngest of players will have no problems running through the stages considering battle is mostly just a one button affair, and that the turtles can't be defeated in the traditional sense. For fans of the movie, it gives a cool insight into the characters and their individual struggles and thoughts, but for those who just come into the game without any prior interest, the story elements will most likely just serve to confuse. If bought at a bargain price, it's a totally acceptable game however.

TMNT appeared on virtually every system of its time, with the console versions and the PC version being identical apart from some graphical changes and control layouts. Judging from the graphics, the GameCube and Wii versions seems to have been the actual lead development units due to the fact that they feature the least bit of slowdown during any given boss battle and that the higher capable versions still uses most of the textures found in those games. The Wii version stands out the most due to its implementation of motion controls, though these controls are quite unfavorable due to being largely just waggle without any rationale or imitation of the on screen action. On top of being lazily implemented, there is also a delay between the actual motion and the reaction in game. There are some exclusive minigames in the Wii version based around the pointer controls, which actually works relatively well, but they don't serve to really flesh out the experience enough to warrant a purchase. The GameCube version features identical graphics to the Wii game, though the controls are much more preferable and the best out of all the alternatives. The PlayStation 2 version features weaker graphics and more frame rate issues than any other version, and is not to be recommended compared to the GameCube version.

The PC version and Xbox 360 seems to be the very same, with the highest graphical option of the PC being the same of that found in the 360 game. Underwhelmingly, the graphics are simply presented at a higher resolution, while the texturing remains the same as the SD versions, which leads to some very ugly compression on some of the areas and quite visual leap compared to the other games released in 2007 on 360 and PC and making it one of the few games which looks more or less the same on both 360 and Wii. Some areas have been touched up however, and character models have some additional reflection effects on them, but for some reasons these upgrades are very few, possibly due to time restrictions. The 360 version has some achievements not found in any other of the versions, though they are very easily obtained and require little effort to be achieved.

Strangely despite the game being demoed on PlayStation 3 at several media briefings and conventions, TMNT never saw any release on that console and was silently cancelled without any explanation.

Quick Info:

Developer:

Publisher:

Creative Director:

  • Nick Harper

Genre:

Themes:


TMNT (XBox 360)

TMNT (XBox 360)

TMNT (XBox 360)

TMNT (XBox 360)

TMNT (XBox 360)

TMNT (XBox 360)

TMNT (XBox 360)

TMNT (XBox 360)

TMNT (XBox 360)


NDS and PSP Versions

DS Cover

The DS and PSP versions of the game are relatively similar to each other, though makes use of their individual system's strengths in different ways. Both are based on the same story layout as the console versions, and brings the action to the rooftops in New York in a fast paced acrobatic platformer.

But it's not a conventional platformer in the sense that you directly control the turtles and navigate them through the scenery. Rather the DS and PSP versions can be described as rhythm platformers, with the emphasis being on hitting the correct corresponding button to progress on and perform the necessary action, and the distance being controlled by the game rather than the player. The idea of this is to create a smooth flowing sequence of action which allows for some really fast paced voyage that blazes high above the city. The turtles can be directed into directions to collect tokens along the way to unlock extras. Along some stages this rhythm is broken up by battle sequences which pans the camera to accommodate for the action.

The fighting in this game is further simplified down from what is found in the console system, and as such the fights themselves are not many and the enemies likewise. The Ninja Turtles feature the same amount of short string strikes and a charge move, along with an assist strike where another brother will come in and take care of the enemies. The strikes are easily performed with a simple button press.

While the idea is very noble and does at least try to introduce something different from the direct console counterparts and other games at the time, nothing really seems to mesh that well, especially the platforming portion which takes up about 85% of the game. With the idea that with a rhythm, the game will be fast and fluid, the actual result is far from as smooth as the game would like you to think. Most jumps are followed by fumbling to find the correct button which is never really that well stated, and even when some sort of rhythm is possible, it never achieves any level of excitement due to the loss of actual exploration and overall control.

But it is the fighting engine that really bogs the whole thing down. It is by far the worst single fighting engine ever presented in a TMNT game, worse than even Mutant Melee, and the simplistic controls don't help to make it any more tolerable with repetitive animations and horrible AI. The few boss battles also suffer from terrible AI and design flaws that are enough to warrant the game shut off.

Between each version, there are many differences visually, though the core game remains the same. Out of the DS and PSP, PSP features much better and polished graphics, while the DS with its smaller screen becomes a pixilated and ill proportioned mess, and the bottom screen not being used for much other than a status screen which can mostly be ignored. The PSP has weather effects not found in the DS game as well, and features clips from the movie playing out the story, while the DS uses still images. Both versions features the ability to link up with another player to race eachother for stage completion.

There is an interesting note about the audio of this version however. In the very same year that would see him featured in one of the game series that defined him as a composer, Jake Kaufman would score both Contra 4 and TMNT in the same year, bringing him into both franchises which directly inspired him to become a video game composer himself. However due to constraints put on him from the publisher, most of the upbeat music he sent in for the game was rejected, with the request that the game should not sound so Mega Man-ish. Kaufman revised his work to have more cityscape ambiance and low tone rock elements. The result is probably Kaufman's least memorable soundtrack.

Despite being of rather low quality, the DS version of TMNT reportedly sold very well, but even though it was a mass market success, for gamers it's not worth the time even if you happen to be such a fan that you sleep in TMNT themed bedsheets.

TMNT (DS)

TMNT (DS)

TMNT (PSP)

TMNT (PSP)


Game Boy Advance Version

GBA Cover

The GBA version is a completely different affair from every other version across any system, and was developed with the classic arcade games specifically in mind, using a slightly modified version of the story to present a more straight forward plot than the other games, which tried to incorporate some brotherhood to varying degrees of success or failure.

There is no platforming action to be found whatsoever in TMNT GBA, rather here the idea is to bring back the barrage of enemies in a simplistic yet addictive beat-em-up worthy of the TMNT name and association. Over the course of seven levels, the Ninja Turtles must battle not only the low life thugs of downtown Manhattan, but also the Foot and mythical creatures from thousands of generations ago. In addition to the general cast of the movie, TMNT GBA also features an larger supporting cast of characters from the 2k3 series, despite the movie itself not being set in that same universe. The game usually gives a free choice of what turtle to play as and who is their stage partner, though certain stages has the character pre-selected due to plot points.

The fighting system is reminiscent of what is found in Turtles in Time, with one button acting as strike and the other as jump. Pushing the strike button in rapid succession leads to a combination of strikes, and there enemies can also be thrown as in the previous arcade games. However there is much more to the fighting system of TMNT GBA.

A larger range of attacks, from knee drops to sweep kicks and rolls can be performed, essentially doubling the amount of moves from the get go of the game. Furthermore the turtles gain experience from each stage and can level up a number of three times, which will enable longer combinations and more power and speed as they progress. The back kick found in Turtles in Time also returns, eliminating the occurrence of enemies sneaking up behind and gaining a free strike. There are also weapons to be found on the stages that can be picked up and used for a limited time to inflict even greater damage than normal and also increasing the number of attacks per turtle extensively. The team moves are also featured in the game, which can be used in two ways. Once the co-op meter by the health bar fills up, the turtle chosen as a stage partner can be summoned by pushing either of the shoulder buttons, and will proceed to either eliminate every foe on screen or leave behind health refills. Similar to gaining experience, the strength between the brothers themselves becomes stronger as their Brotherhood Bond stats increase in accordance with how many times they have been selected together. Once their bond is strong enough, they can perform a super team attack by pressing both shoulder buttons at the same time.

Enemies also behave and can be used differently in offensive ways than what is seen in the other TMNT games. Once they are knocked down, they can be struck while downed, and even picked up and thrown into other enemies to inflict damage, and upon defeat they will drop coins which can be collected. This seems to be a direct reference to Techno's River City Ransom games, which also allowed for enemies to be propelled and used as weapons against their own accomplices and when defeated they drop collectible coins. The stages also have a much increased interactivity with destructible environments which can reveal both weapons and extra cash, though the game actually allows the Ninja Turtles to destroy parking meters and take the money which falls out of them, which is committing a felony.

Between each stage, the Ninja Turtles can walk freely around their sewer hideout and a small portion of the surface. This opens for further customization and upgrades to each character. On the surface level, there is a Sports shop which sells items which can increase the movesets, enable new abilities and also gain more experience. In the sewer hideout, there is a sandbag hanging from the ceiling which can help power up the turtle of choice, and there are even achievements in the game which unlocks different pieces of TMNT memorabilia that can be accessed from the trophy shelf. Achievements can be accomplished by performing certain in game tasks, such as beating a set number of specific kids of characters or picking up a number of specific items. Some achievements are also accomplished simply by beating a stage. Once the game is beaten, the save file can be loaded to play the game multiple times to unlock more achievements.

Between some of the stages there are also some mini games featuring Casey Jones and April, with the former having to deflect shurikens thrown at him and the latter throwing boxes at targets within a time limit.

Graphically, the game features a vast amount of visual flair. The turtles themselves appear as their leaner movie counterparts, and are each smoothly animated and given a lot of distinct personality between how they attack and behave. The moves themselves also have more frames, resulting in smoother animation that what was even seen in the arcade version of Turtles in Time, and the sprites are large and defined in detail, owing a lot of its visual influence to the cartoons rather than being specifically based on the movie. The enemy characters, particularly the bosses, are also very animated and the bosses can be quite large and intimidating. The stages also feature a large number of destructible elements which display some nice visual effects when broken. When played on a Game Boy Player, the game looks even better and really manages to bring forth the great art style and smooth animations.

What really keeps TMNT GBA from being the very best TMNT game of all time is the lack of multiplayer, which actually does bring down the game quite a bit considering how much the genre benefits from it, and how essential it is to the TMNT franchise. In this game, the entire game is played through a single player campaign, and the only form of co-op is the summon of the brother which lasts a few seconds which is somewhat disappointing.

Another issue is the short length of the game, which results in the player never fully being able to make use of the experience system. The pre-set choice of Raphael during two stages also brings this system a bit out of balance since out of the seven stages, there is only so much experience to be gained through each playthrough, so the game really relies on the player to stick with one team throughout the campaign. As well done as the graphics are, the stage design is a bit dull and could use a little bit of diversity to spice things up rather than constantly being a left-to-right flat surface. The audio is a bit more engaging than the other versions of the game, though it remains fairly forgettable even here.

But these flaws can largely be forgiven simply due to the fact that the game is incredibly fun and satisfying, and actually manages to evolve the classic concept further much more than the other versions manages to successfully introduce anything new to the series. There is a slight irony to the fact that the superior version of the TMNT game would be found on the oldest system out of the platforms it was released on, and it achieves this by evolving 13 year old mechanics and properly updating the genre to give both old and new gamers a good worth for their money. TMNT was one of the very last big name titles released for the system, and it's a true must have title for any GBA owner.

Quick Info:

Developer:

Publisher:

Game Designer:

  • Gaël Léger

Genre:

Themes:


TMNT (GBA)

TMNT (GBA)

TMNT (GBA)

TMNT (GBA)

TMNT (GBA)

TMNT (GBA)

TMNT (GBA)

TMNT (GBA)


<<< Prior Page

Next Page >>>

Page 1:
Intro

Page 2:
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (NES)

Page 3:
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Arcade)
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: Arcade Game

Page 4:
World Tour
Manhattan Missions

Page 5:
Turtles in Time
Turtles in Time: Re-Shelled

Page 6:
The Manhattan Project
Hyperstone Heist

Page 7:
Fall of The Foot Clan
Back From The Sewers
Radical Rescue

Page 8:
Tournament Fighters

Page 9:
LCD
Pinball

Page 10:
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003)
Battle Nexus

Page 11:
Mutant Melee
Mutant Nightmare

Page 12:
TMNT (2007)

Page 13:
Mobile
Browsers
Standalone

Page 14:
Smash-up
Arcade Attack

Discuss on the Forums!

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