As a kid of the 80s, I was entrenched in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – the NES games, the cartoons and ultimately the movies in the 90s. Through the years, there have been various incarnations or takes on the Turtles, including the old school comics, which had a bit of a darker image than the more cartoony look of them in recent times.
However, the Turtles, who now have a brand new series/cartoon on Nickelodeon, are back at it once again in video game form; this time a bit edgier and more mature. Based off of the comics and cartoon, though with its own unique direction, gamers will get rip through the streets of New York City this summer.
We recently sat down with developer Red Fly Studio, to discuss what the game is all about. For starters, each of the Turtles will have their own unique style and advantages, such as Raphael being more of an MMA inspired character, with power, but also a short-ranged attacker. Michaelangelo is the speediest, has flashy moves, but is also the least powerful and is the smallest of the four. Donatello is the slowest, but has great reach and can do plenty of damage. Finally Leonardo is the most balanced of the four, with good range, power and speed – probably the easiest one to use for beginners.
As you begin the game, you can go into the Dojo, where you’ll be able to train and practice the different maneuvers and combos. The game is a 4-player game with 2-player local co-op or 4-player online multiplayer, where all four Turtles are on the screen at the same time. For those playing with only 2 people, or by themselves, you’re able to switch between the Turtles at any time, and since the combat is all about fast moves and combos, you can chain them together for higher points and more damage. In one instance we got to see Raphael jump on a Foot Soldier and do a ground-and-pound, while someone like Michaelangelo, was able to do his best Booker T (WWE) impression and do a spinarooni with nunchucks on his feet, to take out various enemies at once. For combos, it’s all about timing, as you’ll be able to do tag team moves, which will require communication between you and your teammates, so yes, there is voice chat. As you build up your combos and chain attacks, you’ll increase a green bar, which lets you ultimately do extremely powerful moves.
The game’s story is broken down into various chapters, each with its own little tale, while we’re told that there will be cameos from old heroes and villains. We can only imagine there might be some Shredder appearances, perhaps Beebop or Rocksteady, or even Krang, but we were simply given a wink and a smile when we asked the developer.
The game certainly feels like a mixture between the old TMNT arcade games and something like Marvel Super Hero Squad, but definitely with a more fluid and intuitive control mechanic. As our demo took us through various areas in NYC, you could easily confuse this downloadable title with a full-fledged retail game. The amount of detail is outstanding, with impressive physics and a realistic looking city. The Turtles themselves are distinguishable with a very reptilian look that matches what you’ll see on the cartoon.
You’ll also get to dig into the game’s Challenge mode, where you’ll essentially fight in a four-round fight against various enemies, but you’ll accumulate points, which goes onto the online leaderboard. As you progress throughout the game, you can increase the level of your Turtle, to make him more powerful as you’ll gain experience to unlock combat capabilities and weapons upgrades.
The game is only in pre-Alpha, but the design and gameplay looks pretty solid. Surely 4-player Teenage Mutant Ninja turtles have typically proven to be enjoyable with plenty of replayability, so here’s hoping this one turns out as another TMNT classic.
The game will hit Xbox Live, PSN and PC this summer.