What do you get when you mix the old Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles attitude with Ubisoft’s Prince of Persia-style gameplay? TMNT, that’s what. It looks and sounds like the Turtles, but with far more interesting gameplay than the franchise has ever seen before. There are a few nagging issues, but for Turtle fans or people that just want to rack up 1,000 easy Achievement points, TMNT is worth checking out.
- Title: TMNT
- Platform:Xbox 360
- Publisher: Ubisoft
- Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
- ESRB Rating: “E” for Everyone
- Genre: Third-Person-Action
- Pros: Gameplay is fast and fun; easy achievements
- Cons: Combat is a bit too simple, which becomes repetitive quickly; some sequences are made more difficult due to annoying camera and control issues; average graphics and sound; no co-op
TMNT the game is based on TMNT the movie, which just hit theaters. Twenty years ago, these fellas were called the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, but thanks to the fast paced ‘90s and even faster paced ‘00s, the title had to be shortened down to TMNT. All of the old characters are back and, really, as far as the story and look and voice acting, it is all pretty much like you remember it.
The main story mode in TMNT only takes you about 4-5 hours to play through, which is pretty short. Each level has you playing as a different Turtle, and all of them have unique moves and abilities, so it really isn’t too bad. It also has to be noted that the achievements in TMNT are very easy, and you can pick up all 1000 points in an afternoon. There are also some extras and unlockable items you can earn as you play through the game, so the features list is fairly well stocked.
The only real disappointing aspect about all of this is that there is no multiplayer option whatsoever. This franchise was made for co-op play, but TMNT doesn’t have it. Lame.
The gameplay in TNMT is actually fairly decent. It is clear the difficulty has been scaled back to be more accommodating for younger players, but it isn’t so mindless that it is boring for more experienced gamers. The majority of the gameplay comes in the form of Prince of Persia-style platforming sections. You shimmy along ledges, run along walls, and do the ninja jump between two close walls to reach higher areas. Unlike PoP, though, these sections in TMNT go by blazingly fast. The game moves at a very, very quick pace and there is a fairly wide margin for error in the platforming sections, so everything flows together surprisingly well and it is a blast to play. There are some tricky sections that aren’t helped by some odd camera angles and occasionally you’ll hit the jump button one too many times since the game is moving along so fast, but overall the platforming is very fun. It is also interesting that each Turtle has their own abilities such as Raphael can use his sais to climb walls and Michelangelo can twirl his nunchakus like helicopters to float to new areas. This makes each level a little different since they each have areas only one Turtle can reach.
The other part of the gameplay is combat, and sadly, it isn’t quite as solid. The enemies are braindead, and the attacks you have at your disposal will bore you to tears. You have one main attack and a jump kick button, and one combo, and you can occasionally call in another Turtle for a tag-team move. And that is it. You will have seen everything the game offers within the first four levels.
Graphics and Sound
The graphics in TMNT aren’t super impressive, but they get the job done. It is clear the 360 version is a port from the older consoles, and it just doesn’t look as good as it should. It doesn’t look bad, and the animation and special effects actually are quite good, but it isn’t up to the standard we have come to expect on the 360. Also, for some reason, the Xbox 360 version suffers from some framerate stutters that the other versions do not.
The sound is in a similar state. It is okay, but not great. The voice acting suits the theme, but catchphrases repeat way too often.
Overall, TMNT is far from the worst game to use the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles license, but it is also far from the best. For every one thing it does right, it does a couple of other things poorly, which adds up to produce a game that is merely average. The gameplay is a mix of fun platforming and dull combat. The graphics and sound don’t even come close to taking advantage of the Xbox 360’s power. And the lack of a co-op or other multiplayer mode is just inexcusable. It does benefit from easy achievement points, but that is only enough to put it squarely into the “rental” category. Fans of the Turtles will find something to like, and I do think younger gamers will get more out of it than older players, but I can’t recommend TMNT for anything more than a rental.