Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants in Manhattan Review
The inability to get some great franchises from my youth revitalized in movies, TV, and video games is getting increasingly frustrating. For years, I felt the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise was heading down that same, dark path. Sure, we have seen brilliant uses of TMNT, but for the most part, the last 5 years have reaked of disappointment.
At GamesReviews, we were really hoping Mutants in Manhattan would be the start of something great.
The game fails and succeeds, depending on who you ask. For myself, it was a big let down from what I was hoping for. Combat seemed chaotic in the worst possible way, and while stringing combos with one turtle, or teaming up with multiple turtles, was really fun and looked great, it was often hard to differentiate those moves with normal button mashing attacks.
The game itself also doesn’t seem to have any longevity. Yes, each level is packed with things to find, and the environment size varies depending on where you are, but I never felt compelled to search out the areas and find every nook and cranny. It was an OK experience, but not necessarily one I could recommend to fellow gamers. The hardcore TMNT fans might have a different perspective though, as the game really does a great job of bringing the cell shaded look of the comic books to console.
In fact, I dare you to find anyone that doesn’t think this game looks great. Attention to detail was obviously paramount with the developers, and although the game play mechanics might be lacking, the graphics and use of cell shading makes this one of the more impressive titles available on console. Another major plus for this title is the writing. The humour you expect to find in the movies and tv shows is ever present throughout this 4 to 8 hour adventure. Each characters quirks are highlighted, exposed, and often over emphasized to create a humour storyline in an otherwise bleak story of world domination. Somehow, it works, and it works fairly well.
Most people are going to be disappointed with this release, and I can honestly say that is understandable. However, I think young kids will find lots to love when loading this up on console for the first time. Unfortunately, the lack of local cooperative play is a really big miss; in my situation, it meant I couldn’t play this with my son, and I really wanted too.
Overall, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants in Manhattan is a title that does a lot right and a lot wrong. The graphics, dialogue, and overall humor of the game is top notch, but once you actually begin playing, things start to slide downhill. It is not a total bust, however, as younger TMNT fans will probably love this title. From the great rail grinding mechanics that find their way into most Platinum Games titles now, to the chaotic battles, some people – young and old – will find something to like…but may be not at full price.
- Great graphics; excellent representation of the comic books
- Outstanding writing; the dialogue between the turtles in and out of cut scenes is top notch
- Controls don’t always feel as responsive as they should
- Battles can get chaotic
- Lack of local multiplayer