Closely sticking to its source material, the latest in a string of mediocre Ninja Turtles games barely breaks the average marker. While sharply designed in terms of jumping mechanics, the dull level design feels forced, combat is too loose to be successful, and the lack of multi-player utterly baffling.
Family is the focus of the story, the reasoning behind the decision to eliminate multi-player. For the majority of the game, the fleet footed heroes go solo through their missions of which there are 16 total. When together, a press of a button swaps the current turtle out for a new one.
To call TMNT easy would be an understatement. Checkpoints are beyond generous, and losing all your health only requires you to rapidly press the A button to regain your health. The biggest penalty is being forced to listen to the repetitive voice samples over again at the spot of your death.
Game play resembles a lost PlayStation gem Jackie Chan’s Stuntmaster, a title that presented a series of difficult jumping puzzles interspersed with rapid fire combat. TMNT is similar in that its linear level design requires the same timing and skill when jumping onto and off of various objects. Unfortunately, this is not a lost gem, and TMNT is riddled with mistakes.
The non-user controlled camera can make it difficult to judge what’s the next section of the level or an instant death. Likely to make it easier for younger players, the turtles literally cling to walls far too easily. Pressing A could wall run, jump off a wall, perform a standard jump, or grab a ledge. It’s infuriating when you plan a simple leap only to bounce off the wall into a death fall.
Boss fights are uninteresting and put up only a small fight. Standard combat is unspectacular, failing to recapture the magic of the classic games in this franchise. Team up moves allows another turtle to perform a co-op attack to take out more enemies, though it’s just as easy to jam away at the attack button. The 360 version does manage to make this a slightly intense affair, with a staggering number of enemies on screen at once compared to other versions. For the most part, they simply stand around until they’re hit however, dragging out the fights artificially.