Activision Publishing, Inc. and PlatinumGames Inc. have joined forces to create Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles™: Mutants in Manhattan, a third-person action game featuring New York’s crime-fighting Heroes in a Half Shell. Players will protect The Big Apple from aliens, mutants and the Foot Clan in a single-player campaign or partner with up to three friends in four-player online co-op. But be prepared – defeating Bebop, Rocksteady, Shredder and other iconic bosses won’t be easy.
PlatinumGames’ flair for stylish visuals and fluid combat are on full display in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants in Manhattan. Fast-paced, team-based brawling will challenge gamers of all skill levels. Each Turtle has a distinctive combat play style and can be customised with a unique set of Ninjutsu moves, combat items and special bonuses.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants in Manhattan also features gorgeous, cel-shaded art design, with an original story from prolific author of IDW Publishing’s acclaimed ongoing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series, Tom Waltz. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants in Manhattan is expected to arrive this summer as a retail and digital release.
It has not been an overly good gaming year for the mutant teenage turtles and their Rat Sensie Master Splinter. Their most recent appearance on XBLA in the form of TMNT: Out of the Shadows is a quite messy and poorly executed TMNT game, but can a direct adaptation based on the animated TV series fair any better as a full blown retail title?
Developed by Magic Pockets and published by Activision, Nickelodeon TMNT is a generic side scrolling beat em up and features all four of the Turtles; Leonardo, Donatello, Michael Angelo and Raphael as they defend the streets, rooftops and sewers of New York City from the evil forces of The Shredder and Krang, who have an evil scheme to turn the entire population of New York into mutants using the same Mutagen that transformed the Turtles and their Master Splinter.
As an adaptation of the TV series, the game uses the voice actors for each character for cutscenes, which are nothing more than conversation bubbles, and sadly this is the starting point of many issues this game has. The audio quality is terrible; you can hear the scratchy noise of where the sample has been taken from the sound recordings. Each character takes it in turn to drop a sound bite of their catchphrases as a short explanation and multiple loading screens lead the player into the level. The levels are broken up into stages, with each stage having a rankings table which is only local to the console, with the old school style of using initials to record your high score.
The stages themselves are all very basic. The four Turtles have to battle their way across the stage encountering enemies and in traditional side scrolling style, have to clear the screen of those enemies before being prompted to move on. Each stage will have a number of Mutagen Canisters to discover, which will unlock game modes Time Attack and Survival mode if you collect enough of them. The later stages will require the player to discover 4 canisters but mostly the number is 3, with two of them being discoverable by just exploring the environment you are in but one will be locked away in a hiding place which the player will be prompted to scan for the secret switch following an onscreen prompt, to activate the switch that will release the final canister of mutagen for the player.
The combat is quite woeful, with the mashing of the X button the only real tactic you need to use. The enemies you encounter range from the basic to those with gun weapons but the enemy AI is as awful as it is for your fellow Turtles. Often they will simply stand there waiting for you to move over to them and hit X until you ‘Ninja Stun’ them, as the annoying catchphrase plays. Stunning an enemy places a large Y button icon above their heads which is a trigger to say that you can now throw the enemy. Some environments will have objects such as trash cans or dumpsters that you can throw the enemy in to trap them or the more mildly amusing for the first few times you do it, throw the enemy towards the camera, having the enemy splat up against the TV screen to slide down. Funny yes, but then it covers the view of the screen meaning you can get hit as you will not be able to see the screen until the animation has completed.
As the player you can hot switch to any of the four Turtles during combat, with each one assigned a direction on the D-Pad. This can be used to switch if one Turtle’s health gets too low but there are always health packs in the environment to replenish your health bar then I found I only switched just to try out another Turtle’s weapon but they all do the same damage. During combat, the AI of your remaining 3 Turtles will see them getting involved in the combat but it helps very little. Often the last remaining enemy will stand right in the middle of the three and they will simply look at it, waiting for you to move to them to finish off the final enemy. The frustration of their lack of help is more felt during boss battles, where they simply act as damage sponges and do very little to actually help you win the fight. But then, they do not really have to as Boss battles are uninspired and often revolve around the ‘avoid attack, run around a bit and attack when boss gets stuck after failed attack‘ scenario.
The game does have an upgrade system; energy orbs can be collected from each stage and defeated enemies which can then be used to upgrade each turtle increasing their attack power, health and unlock a special move triggered by B, when the bar is filled up. On my play through I only managed to fully upgrade two Turtles so will take the replaying of some stages to collect enough orbs to upgrade all Turtles, but sadly the AI will not improve along with their skill set.
Visually the game is again very basic. Using the same animated cell shaded style of the TV series, it falls down during the chat bubble cut scenes where the character speaking has no lip synching at all with what they are saying which spoils the story telling. The combat suffers from clipping in the animations of characters with the hit detection failing to register attacks from you the player or from enemies. The sound effects are also basic, with catchphrases thrown out during battle which became quite grating by the end and dialogue scenes that felt ripped from the TV Series then specifically recorded for the game.
Overall, Nickelodeon’s TMNT is a very poor game. Checking the install size on my Xbox was very telling. At just 469mb the game install is a quarter the size of the Out of Shadows XBLA title and this game is no better than an XBLA game in quality and is not worthy of a full retail disc release. It will only really appeal to the young viewers of the TV Show; older fans will gain nothing from playing this game. The very generic feel and execution of the game will have you asking where the retail price of the game was spent during development. It was a real grind to complete it and once completed there was little to make me want to replay the game.
This is a game to avoid, it is certainly not worth the full retail price and it would be a stretch to advise it having a value worth half of the Out of Shadows XBLA title, a terrible game with little imagination or development purely released as a cash in on the TV Series.
We’re pleased to announce that Activision today launched a new video game based on one of Nickelodeon’s most iconic, beloved animated television properties – TeenageMutant Ninja Turtles. Available now for Xbox 360. Younger and veteran players everywhere can join their favourite half-shelled heroes – Leonardo, Donatello, Michelangelo and Raphael – as they return to the streets of New York.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is a side-scrolling, action-fighting game that combines the striking art style and charming storytelling of Nickelodeon’s popular, animated series with the beat ‘em up feel of classic Turtles’ brawlers, featuring fast and fun gameplay and pick-up-and-play combat. Hidden collectibles encourage exploration along the way, while a light progression system unlocks powerful abilities for each Turtle as the adventure advances. With four-player, local, drop-in/drop-out co-op support (Xbox 360 and Wii only), players can truly play as Team TMNT as they team up to take down Shredder, Fishface and other Turtles Universe enemies across a dozen levels with a multitude of gameplay modes for a thrilling experience.
Last to take centre stage on the Xbox360 #SummerofArcade promotion on the Xbox Live Arcade is TMNT: Out of the Shadows. It’s more than overdue; a decent Teenage Ninja Mutant Turtle game I mean. We’ve had a slew of failed attempts to adapt the TV Show in a respectable and fun manner. Licensed games have a tough time and recently it seems the only real exception is the Arkham franchise which does considerably well. The recent TMNT games have been mediocre, and although Out of the Shadows is a good game, it’s not by all means great.
If you weren’t already aware, Nickelodeon are the ones currently in charge of the TMNT rebirth and they have done a commendable job of kicking off this new era of the Turtles, introducing these characters in new ways to the younger generation while also being enjoyable for older fans, like me.
The developers of TMNT: Out of the Shadows, Red Fly Studios’ who are likely to be better known for their Wii titles than anything on the Xbox 360, have done an alright job when it comes to both the mobility and animations of the Turtles in this arcade game. It has been created in a way that rewards the player for exploring the environments with their Ninja Skills, thus making it fun to just goof about at your own leisure. It also appears that they’ve worked hard on creating an expansive and immersive combat system that really compliments the Turtles different fighting styles and tactics helping to combat and overcome the repetitive button bashing style system in place. A Stealth mode is included which isn’t anything special, but does give you that ‘ninja’ feel, as it should. A single play through of the game will most likely take you around 12 – 15 hours if you do all the challenges, complete arcade mode and the main campaign. You can finish the main campaign in 4-5 hours if you head online and draw a player between the levels 40-50. Replayability is added via some concept art which can be unlocked by finding comic book strips dotted around the landscape in campaign mode.
Where the game is lacking is in its attention to detail and the overall presentation. It feels unpolished, clunky, and there are some really bad camera angles and positioning that will be sure to annoy even the most patient of gamers. I know, I know it’s an Arcade title created by a team of only 16, but that’s not my problem as the player. My problem is how I can’t see what I am supposed to be doing half the time due to a camera that likes to zoom in on my head and not the surrounding area and Foot Clan bad guys trying to get me. There are frequent glitches too such as floating enemies and weapons (nothing game breaking but still…it is unnecessary) and sometimes the animations can feel stiff. One of the confusing elements to the game is the comic book style cut-scenes because the graphics in the game itself are actually quite good, so using the comic-book-esque cut-scenes seems odd, if not lazy in comparison. The game does however nail the art style and feel of the new Nickelodeon Cartoon and puts you right into the action. It seems pretty obvious that the game is only developed to appeal to new fans of the animated series, whilst hoping that older fans will likely buy for nostalgic reasons.
There are also a lot of extras bundled in with TMNT: Out of the Shadows – and it does make you question why other developers and publishers can’t bundle as much in with their titles too. You get to enjoy not just the single player campaign, but 4 player local or online coop, an arcade mini game across 7 levels, unlockable concept art, upgradeable individual skills, team skills and weapons as well as additional fine touches like a Dojo for training in.
The amount of nods and homages to previous incarnations and to the newest TV show will give TMNT fans plenty to be happy about. The banter between the Turtles is brilliantly done and it is clear that here the developers did their homework. Arcade Mode acts like a whole different game and is in my opinion more fun than the campaign; it also doesn’t glitch out and makes me feel all nostalgic.
In Conclusion, TMNT: Out of the Shadows is an OK attempt at adapting the new Ninja Turtles in game form. The fact that it’s only 1.7 GB and 16 people individually put out this much effort into an Arcade game is truly commendable but it doesn’t do anything to make you forget or overlook the annoying bugs and glitches, not to mention the hideous camera views.
Let’s give it a 6.5 out of 10 and move on to other things. Pizza anyone?
To ramp up the Summer of Arcade promotions on Xbox LIVE – Xbox has reached out to us to share with our readers details of the new live streaming events to celebrate each of the games in the Summer of Arcade 2013 line-up.
Microsoft Studios has teamed up with several popular YouTube gamers to host a live streaming gameplay event showcasing each week’s new release. Lisa Foiles will be hosting the live shows every Wednesday in August at 3pm PST, previewing that week’s new release. The live events will also feature JesseCox, Raychul Moore and GameGrumps – via Youtube.com/polaris
As a reminder here is the Summer of Arcade line-up on the Xbox LIVE Arcade for 2013.
Brothers: a Tale of two Sons – available now for 1,200 Points
Guide two brothers on an epic journey. Control both at once with each thumb stick in co-op play like never before. Explore puzzles, varied locations and fight boss battles.
Charlie Murder – available now for 800 Points
Fallen punk rock idols Charlie Murder must face off against rival death metal band Gore Quaffer and their army of the damned in an RPG brawler hybrid inspired by coin-op beat ‘em ups and dungeon crawlers.
Flashback – launches August 21st for 800 Points
Conrad B. Hart of the G.B.I. is re-enlisted for the return of an acclaimed gaming franchise. Uncover an alien conspiracy, getting through complex & deadly environments.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows – launches August 28th for 1,200 Points
TMNT: Out of the Shadows returns to how it all began. Become the four turtles fighting to save New York City from mutants, the Foot & Shredder.
If you buy any two Summer of Arcade games this year you’ll receive a Souls Pack for Ascend: Hand of Kul, absolutely FREE!
Over the past few years, it has become apparent that a new fad has come into fruition. Dressing up our old beloved games in a new high definition gloss, and releasing it out to the world once more. Today’s gamers have accepted these releases at a huge scale. Accepting them rather then scorning them. It’s a great idea, take something everyone loves, repackage it with more content, make it better looking, let people relive their past loves. Here at ThisisXbox, we have painstakingly gone through the list of HD re-releases and picked the best ten of the bunch to share with you. Continue reading ThisisXbox Top Ten: Xbox HD Re-Releases→
Activision will release a brand new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game on the Xbox LIVE Arcade over the Summer period this year. Not yet known if it will be a Summer of Arcade promoted title, but Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows has an announcement trailer as shown below.
This news comes courtesy of AGB, as Activision hasn’t officially announced it yet but with the trailer release it will only be a matter of time.
Check out the trailer below – it looks pretty cool.