TMNT Video Game (Wii) Review

TMNT is a franchise I have loved for almost as long as I can remember. I was a huge fan back when the cartoon hit the airwaves in my youth, and as I got older, I found the more mature comics that preceded the animated series to be fascinating. So, as you can imagine, this Ninja Turle reconnaissance that we’ve been in these past few years has been very entertaining for me. Watching my child enjoy the Turtles as much as I did has been great. So, I probably look at Turtle stuff with a set of rosey colored glassy from time to time, but even with those glasses on, I can still see the flaws in this game, that make it ultimately a disappointment.

I don’t yet know how close the game follows the story of the movie (what with the movie not being out yet and all) but the way this story is told in the game is very odd. It’s all pass tense. Something about the way this has been presented just doesn’t feel exactly right. It’s a little confusing to me, and I’m not sure I ever really understood the entire story that well…but, in all fairness, I’m not playing a Turtle video game for the story. I’m playing it to kick some butt…which is another disappointment.

The game mechanics are very similar to another Ubisoft franchise, Prince of Persia, and there is a lot of wall walking, wall crawling, and wall climbing platforming going on…it’s good stuff, and it’s fun. The fighting, on the other hand, reminds me of Double Dragon. It’s repetitive, and the Wiimote flinging action make it feel like a Wii version of an old school buttom masher…which is fine if fighting the same three generic bad guys is your thing…but if I want that, I’ll just play the Turtles Arcade Game from almost twenty years ago.

The game is also frustratingly difficult at times. That same child I mentioned earlier couldn’t wait to get home and play the TMNT game…but she couldn’t. It was too complex. She can play Excite Truck just fine…any of the Wii Sports too…but games like this seem more complex on Wii sometimes than their regular controllered counterparts. In fact, I think this game is probably a good example of the type of game that would benefit from a standard video game controller. I look forward to giving this a shot on another console in the near future, to see if it is better with a standard set of controls.

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The graphics look nice (for the Wii, anyway) but aren’t spectacular, and the controls feel sluggish at times. More often than not, I just found myself flinging the Wiimote into the air to fight, not really paying attention to what I was doing.

All in all, if you’re a HUGE Turtles fan, and have a TMNT itch to scratch, you might get some enjoyment out of this…but I wouldn’t go past a rental on it.

Final Rating: 5.5 out of 10

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