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Platform

Playstation 2

 

Genre

Action

 

Publisher

Ubisoft

 

Developer

Ubisoft Montreal

 

ESRB

E 10+ (for Everyone 10 +)

 

Released

March 20, 2007

 

 

 

- Fluid animation using the Prince of Persia engine
- Platforming elements can be a lot of fun
- Good productions values throughout

 

 

- The enemy A.I. is as old as the TMNT franchise
- The pesky camera once again will cause you to die
- Might be “too kiddie” for some players

 

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TMNT

Score: 6.5 / 10

 

tmnt-1.jpg (43824 bytes)          tmnt-2.jpg (39423 bytes)

 

Talking and thinking about this game and franchise makes that “heroes in a half-shell” tune from the eighties cartoon pop back into my head. I’ve spent over a week trying to cleanse my brain with no luck.

 

If you’ve followed the previous generation of the Turtles, then you have no doubt played the various Konami games in the series. With the exception of the multi-player friendly arcade version the games haven’t exactly lived up to my expectations and this one is no different, although it’s heading in the right direction.

 

When I first heard that this game was going to use the ‘Prince of Persia’ engine and was worked on by the same team, I had great expectations. I will admit that I am disappointed, but perhaps I’d raised the bar unfairly.

 

The game is made up of various missions. Most of them require you to get from the beginning of the level to the end and along the way you’re going to have to fight. There are cut scenes in between the levels that further the story along, although it might be difficult to follow the entire story as it seems a little disjointed to me.

 

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At the end of each level you are ranked on how fast you complete the level (something I don’t like as I enjoy taking my time to see all the scenery), how you performed against the enemies and if you collected everything along the way. Will you be Ninja Fast?

 

The game boils down to a lot of platforming elements that can be 

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quite enjoyable (save for the occasional camera annoyance) and lots and lots of beat 'em up sessions. The biggest problem here is that your enemies are dumber than a lump of coal. They either wait for you to beat up their friends first or just don’t get out of the way when you’re coming.

 

Although this game is clearly aimed at a younger audience, there are elements that will frustrate just about any player of any age. The camera angles make some of the jumps you need to perform impossible to judge – resulting in overshooting and usually death. This is one part of the game that definitely needs a little tweaking.

 

tmnt-3.jpg (33775 bytes)          tmnt-4.jpg (23411 bytes)

 

The combo system is fairly simplistic and there is one main attack button and one kick button. You will fill up a ‘rage’ meter of sorts as you destroy your enemies that will put you into a slow motion powered up mode where you really kick butt.

 

The voice acting in the game is well done and the presentation and cut scenes have high production values (although I felt the comic book style of the cut scenes would have been better as fully 3-D scenes but I know that is a lot more work). 

 

The bottom line is that the production values are good and it’s the best TMNT game we’ve seen in some time. Overall, the game doesn’t quite feel inspired. It’s easy and fairly short, and after you run through an inventive and interesting platform area you’ll be feeling yourself sighing “oh oh” as the enemies start to fall from the sky. It just feels boring in these sections and if it wasn’t for the fact that you have to go through these fights so often it might work better.

 

If you’re a fan of the series, it’s definitely worth looking into. If you’re looking for a new platforming experience with some action thrown in with a non-human character, try checking out ‘The Legend of Kay’ at your local retailer. You’ll find it more enjoyable in the long run.

 

Syd Bolton

May 7, 2007

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