TMNT: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Wii) Review

By 23.04.2007 8

The turtles have been around a long time, many times regarded as a passing fad the series has had the cheek to return to just about every generation of children for the past two decades. In this next videogame iteration we have a pretty drab scenario - a movie tie-in with tacked on motion controls. Will the game surprise this intrepid reviewer? Or are we looking at a dud the likes the game industry has never yet witnessed?

Shredder is no more, and the turtles have grown apart, you must re-unite with your green chums to defeat your foe, namely Max Winters. The former leader of an undefeatable elite squad of warriors who wished to conquer the world. He has re-surfaced after three thousand years awakening his siblings, the stone generals. Well, that's the jist anyhow, essentially a lot of bad things happen.

From the outset you'll realise that this isn't the most polished of movie tie-ins, from the basic "I did this in Flash during my lunch break" Wii channel startup image, to the fairly basic menu navigation, no flashy gimmicks here. The story is told through a series of disjointed cut scenes that consist of looking at comic stills as the turtles hold roundtable discussions, usually on how "awesome" that fight they just did was. It's a linear action/adventure with lots of basic acrobatic platforming segments with fighting sequences sporadically mixed in, and the odd Boss fight. The games clear similarity to another Ubisoft developed title, Prince of Persia, though slightly shameless, is a bit of a saviour. Moves are fluid and responsive, wall running moves are pulled off with ease, as are many of the other Princes' trademarks. Consequently you'll be racing through levels at record pace. Of course, it's not only the fluidity of the animation that allows you to pull this off, the game is about as linear as you can get, forcing you down one set pathway, a style that shouldn't necessarily be sniffed at, but environments lack variety, quickly becoming soulless and lacking in substance. The jump button alone will get you through the majority of the levels, though the game does correct itself somewhat in later stages.

Screenshot for TMNT: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on Wii

Motion controls. The Wii's current double edged sword. Unfortunately, TMNT's take on this is decidedly blunt, their sole use remains in combat - most fights consisting of shaking the remote up and down to pull off the various combos, which as you can imagine, becomes incredibly tedious and repetitive, and is where your cranium will begin to severely throb. Additionally, unlike a game such as Zelda, there's no correspondence with your movements and the action on screen, and to successfully pull off the combos you'll need to be shaking the remote fairly rapidly, consequently when enemies continue to spawn themselves your way for upwards of five minutes, it begins to annoy....to put it mildly.

Other moves such as jumping and then performing a quick flick of the remote (performing a ground punch), though refreshing, fails to dish out the damage you might've expected. If you do manage to kill enough enemies without retaliation, you'll fall into a trance like state which allows for mega attacks, enabling some satisfying one hit kills, and where one such other move comes in considerably handy. Tilting the remote sideways causes your green companion to 'charge' up, hitting all the enemies in the room at that moment in time, the combination is enough to end most fights pretty abruptly. However, this move isn't limited to combat, oh no, meaning you'll need to keep the remote and Nunchuck in a firmly erect position - particularly grinding during boss battles as you unknowingly allow the hands to relax, if this happens you'll need to keep adjusting your position if you actually want to progress and not die.

Screenshot for TMNT: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on Wii

There's a wide variety of moves on offer, with each of the turtles offering their own unique services. Aside from the usual and expected Bo Staffs and Katanas, abilities such as the "Bird Flip" and "Raph's Power Climb" do help to diversify the platforming beyond the jump button, and in later levels are required more and more until eventually levels do demand a fair amount of skill from the player. Though it always ends up feeling like a watered down version of the game it plagiarized. Indicative of the obviously younger target audience it seeks to target. Often moves will require co-operation between characters, as you request their assistance in battle for special moves (particularly useful during boss battles), or to leap across gaps a bit too much for your lonesome. These are thankfully easy to pull off, and dependent on what stage your on, you can usually transform into other characters at will, giving you different combos, and the ability to call upon all the characters different strengths to help you progress.

On the visuals side, things immediately lack detail and clarity, giving that grainy look that earlier PlayStation titles tended to suffer from, a possible style choice that didn't gel with my personal tastes. Character models are basic, though perhaps enough to satisfy fans of the series. Animations successfully give each of the characters a unique feel during battle, and there are some neat effects loosely mixed in. Environments are where it loses most points, some levels being a distinct lesson in the art of bland. If your in a place with lots of greenery, they'll make sure you know this by inserting lots of green everywhere, similarly, if your in a mountainous area they're not going to let you forget, oh no, more brown please. Though, in fairness, it can be very hit and miss, with some levels offering locales from the side of buildings, to the depths of the streets below, only limited by its basic use of polygons and textures. The game runs in progressive scan for those with capable tellies.

There is one area where the game does seem to mildly excel in, sound. There is a large amount of dialogue for such a short adventure, most notably during their inciteful discussions during cutscenes, but in some select levels your pretty much narrated through, an addition that will surely soil the panties of fans. However, most levels don't offer this amount of turtle/player interaction, with extreme catchphrases such as "boo-yah!" and "super-sensationalistic bro!" resounding from speakers every few seconds, which does begin to grate. Less said about the forgettable tunes the better. One more niggle is the often dodgy camera system, with most problems arising when your view is directly behind the character, meaning you'll be unable to judge the distance of your jumps or swings to the next platform.

There are coins strewn through levels for you to collect that can be used to pay for goodies such as trailers and artwork that may provide you with some added entertainment value. They also account towards a final grading at the end of each stage. Your skill during battle, the bond between your brothers and your speed will also help you to achieve that A+ grading, and if you manage it, you'll also unlock additional challenges as well as mini-games exclusive to the Wii version, and some fun extras that can be used to change some of the mechanics in the single player campaign.

TMNT does have some impressive underlying core mechanics, mainly thanks to one Arabian Prince, but deserves some merit for being an okay-ish game. Mainly suffering from some broken controls you'd be best advised to locate another console version that plays it a little safer. But hopefully, mutant turtle fanatics will be satisfied by its pretty close following of the films storyline and theme.

Screenshot for TMNT: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on Wii

Cubed3 Rating

6/10
Rated 6 out of 10

Good

The game just pips an above average score, which I may regret. If you've got some patience to trudge through some hemorrhage inducing battle sequences, you may find some enjoyment from the basic platforming, perhaps if you find Prince of Persia a little intimidating. The game is simply wholly unambitious, but to its credit, doesn't try to be anything it's not. A movie tie-in.

Developer

Ubisoft Montreal

Publisher

Ubisoft

Genre

Brawler

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  6/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10 (3 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

Awesome review, shame it's so meh, eh. I'll stick to DBZ Smilie

Thanks dodge, it is genuinely like a poor mans Prince of Persia. Perhaps worth a rent, just don't get it for Wii. :/

IANC said:
Dude yuor totally awesome. And i won't be killing you anytime soon.

Easiest game ever, 4 hours, 1 sitting....

No Longer Temporarily Banned.

The GBA game is by far the best of the bunch...been playing it loads recently! :Smilie

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

Good review, from the videos ive seen it looked good! So im not sure if im might get it or not!


I don't get why games companies just don't make good games...people put months or years into making a game and if they had spent just a little longer it may have been good but they never do....what a waste.

wow...this looks...cack. good review sly tho.

Enoch Powell was right, and you know it.

Good review, I like the art style of the game but everything else isn't that good.

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