Thursday, October 24, 2013

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2013)

Developer: Magic Pockets
Publisher: Activision
(*Based on the 2012 TMNT reboot series) (*On Xbox360 and Wii + DS)

Title screen (the bros kick back)
There was a time long ago, four brothers with training from their father/master did battle against many evils of the shadows. One was the Shredder, who vowed to take down his arch rival many years long past. With that said in stone, they were caught up in a battle of unsurpassed hated for the others misdoings. Long story short, bad guys suck, Turtles rule.

Okay rewind a bit, this game is based off the (A) old comics "Tales of the Sewers", and (B) the classic beat em' up on every console in the late 80's/90's. I and many others grew up with these characters every Saturday morning with a cereal bowl waiting to see what would happen. Flash forward to now, I am still a fan of these four ninja turtles (+ their father Splinter). What's not to love? fun tales, life lessons, and the old hi-jinks.
Welcome to the upgrades menu!

(the good:)
First this game is a sidescrolling beat-em up, and it still works.
Second: It is still fun as you remember
Third: Fun boss battles (including the one liners)
Fourth: It is actually fun
++Bonus!: Levels are extensive, and allow for some exploration. Including the ability to scan your environment to find hidden items.
Each ninja can upgrade their skill setup, from offense to defense (including special moves)
A nice variety of enemies to dish out something sweet!

Level Map, from start to the final? battle
(the bad:)
(minus the fact that the brothers don't seem to have their cpu co-op timing together)
Some attacks don't seem to connect right away, it becomes a bit of timing it right.
There are too many invisible walls (ie: not all pathways you see can be explored, or health items can't be obtained close by and get lost due to a limit of how long it can be on screen).
Lives in levels cannot be transferred, but you can pickup more along the way.
Lives also can be lost, due to the AI co-op bros that are inactive or get battered mid-fights
First level, someone call the pest control number!
*Note in regards to this game(s) design setup
1) the Rage meter (left from turtle face icon + health bar) This bar will fill up on 2 levels, if used it will drain their power attack. If you build it up, it can be used on several enemies on screen. This can be maxed to level 3
2) The Health bar can be upgraded, at first its minimal but it will get he job done. As their quest continues, battles will get more intense, and extra health will come in handy
3) Small icons under the HP will display an amount of secondary weaponry you can carry. Some are limited, but can found in key areas of each level. Note: You cannot take them to each level, they can be used only for that level specifically. Once you leave the level, they are gone.

Health item(s)
Whole pizza: full health recovery
Slice: Partial recovery
Pizza Gyoza: Sliver of health added

Secondary armaments:
Smoke Bomb: can be used to confuse enemies on your turtle position
Whiteout: Partial blindness, no enemy can see you temporarily for a few seconds
Shuriken: These throwing stars can be anywhere, and handy in a tough fight
Scanner: This can be used to scan your surroundings. Listen to the Turtle you're playing as, they will give you a heads up on something nearby. **careful, you are left open to enemy attacks when scanning the area!

Bosses: From Fishface, Dogpound, to Stockman, and last but not least the Shredder. These fearsome foes are out to pummel the four brothers. They deliver some tough blows, so keep an eye on everyone's health meter.

Okay, the list makes it seem more cons than positives, but hear me out I think its on purpose. Difficulty for one, you will get pummeled a ton. But I honestly don't know why they let the AI co-op efficiency drop, it would make for a better game (then again it is meant to be played with friends). Online or offline, it is an extensive game that is worth of anyone's interest.

Don on the team's name YIAP!?

But what gets me, is the amount of hidden content that new TMNT fans might miss. For one, a lot of the jokes poke at the old stuff ( like the series does), in game its all over the place. Those moments where you wondered what the bad guys had to say, and they got more annoying. *yeah that happens, yup picture it, frame it. It is so surprising how much promise this game could have had if it were complete. I honestly want to recommend it to newcomers, because this nextgen needs something fun again.

Sure its not Final Fantasy level flashy, or Ninja Gaiden level of gore. But you know what, it never was about beating anyone up, it was about taking a stand for those who couldn't fight for themselves. And I think that's the best message anyone at any age deserves to agree on.

Meet the development team!
Official website for the new TMNT series‎

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