Review by Drake Aldan

"Turtles in a halfshell! Turtle Po... whatdya mean this isn't the old stuff?!"

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was a very, very good comic, but it went unnoticed. Blood, severing, gore everywhere, but not a lot of people cared. That is, until 1987, when the cartoon came out. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was all over the nation. Their games were awesome, not because they had the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles brand name, but because they were good. I still remember going to certain places, noticing a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles arcade game and going broke on it. It was fun. It gave you a reason to get rid of the money burning a hole in your pocket. Today, they're trying to bring Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles back in the form of the new cartoon. Did they do the formula right with the games, though?

Nope. It missed a spot. Or two. Or three.

The game had potential. It did. But it was rushed, forced. Even if it wasn't, it's evident that Konami did not really do that good of a job. Let's get started, shall we?

Graphics
I have to give them one thing; the graphics are great, as Konami brings back that old ''comic book form'' of the 70's and 80's. It's stupendous. Konami also did a very good job with the cel-shading, and certain things like the alternate costumes, themes on Halloween and Christmas, etc. make it very good. Also, they managed to rip some animated film directly from the show. One single gripe, though... they didn't really provide animation for them. No one has a mouth that doesn't move. Casey's mouth doesn't move, the Turtles' mouths don't move, hell, everyone seems to be a ventriloquist! In one of the final chapters, you have to fight Hun. In a cel-shaded cutscene, Hun is standing with his mouth wide open. And talking. It looks horrible. Also, the Turtles have no articulation; their fingers and toes don't move. Konami could've done a better job. I mean, look at their other games, then look at TMNT. For shame, Konami. For shame.
4/10

Sound
The sound is crisp, clear. No fake sounds, unless you turn on a code that enables it. The new theme is in effect, though; on some of the stages it is revised, playing through the background. Sometimes this can be a little unnerving, and sometimes it can't.

One more thing.

The turtles will make you put earmuffs on.

Everytime an attack is made in the game, a quote is heard. Mikey can get away with this, as he's the corny one- but the other's don't do it so well. Hearing ''SLICE AND DICE!'', ''Outta my way, nimrod!'' and ''Anyone up for stickball?!'' can get hard on your ears.
6/10

Gameplay
Konami, Konami, Konami. *sigh* Why, oh why did you decide NOT to focus on this part?! IT'S THE CORE OF THE GAME!

Anyway, if you've played Dynasty Warriors 2-4, then you should be alright. Each character has a weak attack and a strong attack. You can weave the strong attack into the weak attack. Each character also has a jump attack, and depending on the character it can be craptacular or awesome, but the bad thing is that in Story mode you must learn it first. You can dash with each character, an action very similar to Shinobi's stealth dash, though the dash doesn't distract enemies, and you can't dash around things, so mostly it's used just to get around faster. As for evading attacks, by the number of enemies you see in the stage, it's kinda lousy. The juggle attack is pretty much only for the lower baddies, because the bosses are impervious to being launched in the air, sadly.
Also, there is a special attack, but it's gained so LATE IN THE GAME that it's quite useless. Also, with this stuff, you'd think, ''hey, it's not so bad'', but it is. For some reason the repetition hits a bad note here, unlike back in the old days.

As of the game modes, there's Story Mode, Versus Mode, Challenge Mode, and that's it. Story Mode is okay, but due to repetition it's lousy. It consists of going through short areas, fighting high concentrations of punks/ninjas/mousers etc., and it can get boring. FAST. Sure, 2-player Story Mode is more fun, but it can still bring you down.

Versus Mode is meant to be played with a friend. The AI is very, very, very, very hard to beat. You'll find it's impossible to get a few hits in.

Challenge Mode is exactly what it says; a challenge. It's hard, but it's used for mostly unlocking things.

The repetition still cuts through all this though. I don't know exactly why it happened. Maybe it's because there are too many stages, too many areas... but surprisingly, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is quite short. It's very, very disappointing to have Konami flip you the bird twice...
4/10

Control
Pretty good. Some twinks here, some problems there, but it's stable enough for me.
9/10

Story
The story is dependant on you watching the new Saturday Morning Fox Box TV show to get the missing pieces. I did not really get everything, because, well, I was missing the show, with sleeping in and all... It's decent nonetheless.
5/10

Playtime/Replayability
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles has short playtime, but good replayability. You have to beat the game at least 5-10 times to get everything. After that, it's just playing Story Mode and Versus Mode for kicks. It's just that the repetition WILL SWAY YOU, so don't think this game is going to last forever.
4/10

Buy or Rent?
Rent this. Unless you're a hardcore, and I do mean hardcore beat 'em up/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fan, then this isn't worth the 40-50 dollars you'll be paying for it. It's quite sad, really, expecting a game to be great and not getting your expectations met.

And one more thing to say to Konami; please, spend more years on your next Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game, and do better next time.


Reviewer's Score: 6/10 | Originally Posted: 10/31/03


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