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I guess I just like liking things

"We heard you had pizza?"

“We heard you had pizza?”

Remember back when I found out about this game? Almost six months ago. It finally came out last week and I ponied up for it the day it was released. So how was it?

Pretty, pretty, pretty good. That’s the short version.

The slightly longer version is that it’s good, even though I have some gripes. Here they are:

  • It is glitchy as all get out.  I had to restart some particularly difficult levels after finishing them because it wouldn’t move on to the level-ending scenes after I beat the boss – my Turtles would just wander around.
  • Some of the boss fights are ridiculous and frustrating.
  • The camera needs to be a bit farther out and maybe have some sort of auto-correct to it. When an enemy is about to attack, they get a white circle around them, giving you enough time to hit your counterattack button. Many, many, many times, though, you’ll get attacked by someone you never even saw because they were offscreen.

With those out of the way, let’s talk about the good stuff! First off, it’s got 4-player co-op play, and even though I don’t have three friends who also own it or could all come over to play it with me, I’m hopeful that will eventually happen.  But 4-player co-op is definitely the way to go with a Turtles game, so that’s a good call.

The game is (mostly?) based on the newest Nickelodeon incarnation, and I don’t have a problem with that. The style is definitely cool and the characterizations are right-on. In fact, there are a few changes/upgrades to the characters which helps differentiate them a bit more. I know, I know – what more differentiation do we need than colored masks and unique weapons? It’s hard to say exactly, but they’ve made things ever so much more so. Michelangelo was always “the party dude,” but they’ve given him just a tad bit more of a crazy edge. His portrait in the upgrade screen has him with his tongue hanging out, and it’s goofy but perfect. Raphael is more of a “heavy,” and that also makes sense. He moves a little slower, but is tougher, and he bodyslams bad guys.  It’s pretty sweet. Donatello is still the best, though.

I love the fighting animations! For the most part, the fighting is very close to actual fighting techniques. I mean, sure, occasionally there’s a giant leap that seems a bit much, but who’s to say a 6-foot mutant turtle wouldn’t be able to jump higher than a human? Not me, that’s for sure. The movements on the bo, nunchaku, and swords look fantastic, and Raphael turns his sai around to punch dudes in the face, like you do.  I love watching it in motion.

Shredder shows up, but so do the Kraang (which is how it’s spelled now, I guess?), and Baxter Stockman with his mousers, too. It ties them all together in ways that make sense, which I guess the show is doing, but I have only seen two episodes of it, so I can’t be sure.

April’s younger in this version, and that’s fine. But Donatello has a crush on her, I think? It’s a little weird. But I gather she’s also taking fighting lessons, so even though they do rescue her here, I get the impression she’s not totally helpless, which is a good April. I can’t tell from the game what her job is, if she has one, but she’s most likely not a new reporter in this version.

Once you beat each level, a challenge map version of that level becomes available. When you beat the whole game, a survival mode opens up. Best I’ve done is 9 levels, and there’s an achievement for hitting 20 that I have pretty much figured out I’ll never get. There’s also an arcade version that opens up, which has the new graphics and animations, but plays like the old Turtles arcade games and is pretty fun, but tough. I don’t know how you’re supposed to beat the giant 3-headed mouser by yourself… but maybe you aren’t. I’ll have to scrape together some friends and give it another try some time.

Turtle fans, this is a definite buy. I don’t regret the $15 I spent on it at all.

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