Review by HamatoSplinter

"Improvements from the old TMNT lead to new problems"

Konami pretty much let folks know after the previous TMNT game came out that they were going to 'fix' the oversights of the first game. These oversights would be not fighting Hun, no 4 player mode, simplicity of gameplay, and annoying voiceovers.

This game seems to be the result of overfixing. Konami was so anxious not only to give players what they want, but also to get the game out quickly for October 2004, that some things went wrong.

The game opens with you fighting Hun by the second short stage. Already this creates a disjointed feel to storyline, as this fight was supposed to have happened last game. Here it feels like an appeasement... an unneeded one as you again fight Hun later.

The 4 player mode is cool, and by itself is a great feature. However, when you combine it with Konami's attempts to spice up the game by adding jumping puzzles and challenges, all crap hits the fan. You end up waiting for your friends doing the wall jump before you go, 'let me try!'.

The voiceover thing is fixed, as turtles and characters say more and do so a little less often, so you won't hear 'slice and dice' over and over like in the first TMNT.

The camera is farther away, so your character seems smaller, less detailed, and thus a little less cool. Additional camera problems include swiveling around when you go from one section of a level to another... disorienting you. Let's not forget the addition of 'confusion' attacks by monsters that are more annoying than truly challenging. Doesn't add to the fun factor, adds to frustration.

For characters, you can still be the 4 turtles, and later, when unlocked, Casey and Splinter. Donatello's not nearly as well-designed so he fights awkwardly... whether this was on purpose or what I don't know, but I don't like it. I can fight great with Raph, Leo, and Mike, but Don struggles in attacking enemies.

It has a ton of stuff to collect that adds more to individual replay than to group replay because when you play with your friends you usually don't feel like hunting down antiques.

And let's not forget the unlockable arcade game... definitely a cool feature and a nostalgia inducer.

So, pros:
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4 player mode
Better voiceover comments (less annoying)
Follows the new cartoon storyline (mostly)
Arcade game
Unlockables (Artwork, codes)

Cons:
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Frustration factor in jumping puzzles, especially in multiplayer
Slightly disjointed story (especially the first Hun battle)
Bothersome camera swivel may disorient you
Donatello's awkward offense

Recommendation for this game:
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If you're a TMNT fan, don't despair, the cons don't make it unplayable, just a bit frustrating. If you're just looking for a good adventure/fighting game, this isn't it. As a multiplayer it's okay but it won't be something that will hold all players' interests. Might be worth renting before trying to buy, to see how it holds your interest and how much it'll frustrate you.


Reviewer's Score: 6/10 | Originally Posted: 12/13/04


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