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TMNT - Review
Written by Jonathan Hobbs

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, or TMNT, does exactly what it says on the tin - mutated adolescent turtles jumping around like ninjas. Upon clicking the game channel on your Wii’s main menu, you are presented with the image of a turtle blinking in a random fashion and you find yourself sighing. The first impressions are not good at all.

TMNT Screenshot
Down, boy
There is no denying that the only reason TMNT was released was to support it's motion picture counterpart, and in the past this has often proved to be a futile attempt to reach the ‘real’ gaming community. However, upon entering the first level of the game, I found myself relishing the training period, as it was interesting and fun, not a plethora of stopping and starting with an American voice telling you how to click the ‘A’ button. The variety of non-combat moves available is pleasing, and there are a variety of ways to get from point to point, overcoming different obstacles and avoiding traps.

Then you come to the fight training. That is the reason I said the ‘non-combat moves are pleasing’. It reveals the first major weak spot in the game. To be frank – it’s terrible. There is neither grace nor elegance to the style of battle. Waving your hand frantically about in the air is the only technique needed. This painful experience is prolonged by the amount of enemies you have to kill, but even the novelty of slightly differently dressed adversaries wears off after a few bouts.

So, you are left to jump the rooftops of New York, with constant irritation from the Wii-mote, as if you do not hold it perfectly level your turtle will begin to power-up in attack mode. I did find myself screaming various curse words at the screen and slamming the Wii-mote down in blind fury. This aggravation is exacerbated by the amount of times you have to restart certain areas of levels. The controls become infuriating and, as a result, you start to get more and more annoyed, and end up wanting to quit the game.

However, if you are able to overcome this urge to excrete your bowels onto the disk, and you advance further into the game, you are rewarded with the joy of team-moves with your brother turtles. This new feature adds depth to the game, as from now on certain obstacles can only be triumphed by using team work, and it makes the ever increasing amount of enemies in the battle mode easier to defeat.

Multiple routes is another of the features that you will find later in the game, adding to the expansion of scenery, but sadly this too is ruined by pure laziness - even the cut scenes seem to be made half-heartedly. It also becomes apparent that the further into the game you delve, the more you find yourself repeating many of the same tasks as before ( jumping over different sized boxes and gaps ), which is made even worse by the lack of bosses. Although there are some, the same story applies to these as to that of the normal enemies – no finesse or style, just waving your Wiimote in the hope that you are actually doing some damage to the beast.

As you progress, you begin to notice more of the perks – obtaining all the coins, completing levels quickly and using team moves means that you unlock the challenge levels and mini-games. Defeating enemies without getting hurt allows you to perform splendid looking team moves, or unleash a rather cool superpower that makes you go into slow mo and ‘kick they asses quicker’. But, sadly, these are possibly the height of the perks you are to get with the game. The mini games are similar to those found in Rayman, although not half as fun or diverse – just extensions of techniques you can do in the game, which do not come with an adequate explanation of the rules (or even controls) - you are left, once again, waving your Wii-mote about whilst crying. The challenges tell a slightly different story, lending themselves more to the style of ‘Smash Bros. Melee’ challenges, but they are in essence just a short version of the levels.

TMNT has obviously gone for the clichéd action/hero genre of background music and story narration. It is littered with corny jokes and Americanisms; with such sayings as ‘da bomb’ you know that this is a franchised film game. The music is fitting to the style; it has not tried to be original or inventive, just what you would expect from this sort of game. Each character has their own little sayings, which at times can get on your nerves, especially if it is the 23rd time you have tried to do a particular run – the character is programmed to say certain phrases at certain parts of the level, so it can get exceptionally repetitive.

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