For gamers of a certain age, one of the fondest memories of seaside arcades is clustering around the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles coin-op, with four players each controlling of one of the half-shelled heroes and working as a team to batter the bad guys. But in a staggering case of short-sightedness, the developers of this movie cash-in have removed the very feature that made the vintage mash-up an unforgettable classic.
Without any multiplayer mode or the chance to team up with other human players, what’s left is a rather dull action adventure, where combat plays second fiddle to Prince Of Persia-style swashbuckling and players use acrobatic jumps and flips to work their way through a variety of perilous environments. But while Ubisoft’s POP games bombarded players with fiendish traps and puzzles, the action in TMNT has been stripped to the bare essentials to entice a younger audience, making for a bland, repetitive escapade that won’t appeal to seasoned gamers or long-time Turtles nuts.
Aside from its tedious platforming, TMNT also disappoints with offensively simple combat, the seemingly-pacifist enemies mooching around the levels and waiting to be hit while you hammer the same attack button over and over again to deliver feeble strikes that spectacularly fail to capture the verdant fighters’ irrepressible energy or comic book brutality.
Worst of all, as the challenges are so easy it’s virtually impossible to die, and even if you do your only punishment is to be placed back a few steps or penalised at the end of the level for not completing it in record time, giving players little incentive to use anything but the most rudimentary moves or stick with this disappointing adventure until the Turtles save the day once again.
Reviewed by David McComb