TMNT Arcade Attack assumes you have a vision problem, and a severe one at that. The design necessitates that as you walk right, the game must come to a complete stop to indicate new enemies in the area, and pan in so you can see who has shown up.
It’s likely to be the same group of foes you fought one screen prior, but it is nice to see a game sticking to its guns and remaining consistently stupid instead of sporadically so. The constant stoppages are not only mind-numbingly dumb, they stop the already lackluster pacing down to a crawl.
Part of the joy generated by a beat-em-up is speed, pushing forward, pulling off powerful, accurate combos that generate a sense that you have the upper hand. The Turtles here do have the advantage. The problem is the player does not.
An awkward, needlessly slanted camera crams the action onto a small area, causing a forced AI (or second human player) partner to consistently get in the way of seeing things. Maybe the camera is a way for the level design to be hidden, although “level design” is used loosely.
Each stage is literally a straight walk to the right. There are no ledges, no obstacles (aside from items that can be picked up), and no change of perspective for the entirety of the game. The only design shift is that of the backgrounds which in no way impact in the gameplay.
Arcade Attack is the first title in a long line of Turtles game to let the TMNT pick up weapons. While they come equipped with their trademark means of assault, Leonardo can now pick up a stop sign to slam a foot soldier or street thug over the head multiple times. Apparently, the two razor sharp metallic blades strapped into the holders on his back are just for show, and hitting someone in the face with a stop sign is far more effective than cutting them in half.
It’s bad enough Arcade Attack thinks you’re blind, but it must think you’re stupid by trying that needless gimmick.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Arcade Attack is rated E10+ (Everyone 10 and older) by the ESRB for Cartoon Violence.