Nickelodeon Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2013) Game Review


 Nickelodeon Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Platform: Xbox 360

Publisher: Activision

Cowabunga dudes!

The raddest turtles to ever exist are back! Since the 1980’s, Leonardo, Raphael, Michelangelo and Donatello have won the hearts and minds of millions of fans through fighting with honor, creating pizza combinations that should not exist and exclaiming thousands of cringe worthy one-liners. God, I love watching the turtles! And, one cannot forget that the turtles have been involved in some of the greatest games found in the beat-em-up genre of video gaming (Turtles in Time anyone?). Well, they are back in this  new adventure based on their current incarnation. Let’s dive in!


What works:  

The graphics are well done. Overall, with regard to visuals, this is a great representation of the cartoon. Cut-scenes are a mix of static exposition blurbs from both the turtles and villains mixed in with more cinematic cut scenes. I personally would have preferred more of the latter but with that said, the more static interludes do bring back a bit of nostalgia. The in game action is smooth as the motions of the characters were fluid with little to no glitching.

Responsive Controls:  I know what you’re thinking. “It’s just a beat-em-up, how could they screw that up?” Well, they can. Just try Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: Battle Nexus. In this game however, the controls work and serve the purpose well. The turtles react instantaneously when it comes to moving, jumping and fighting.  There’s even an homage to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles In Time! At the flick of a button, to finish off a bad guy, you can throw them onto the screen. You have to love a game that knows where it came from. Oh, and all four turtles are on screen fighting, giving you the opportunity to switch between them with the touch of the D-pad. But fear not! The ally A.I. holds up pretty well so you won’t be switching turtles all of the time just so you can save them from getting killed. They hold their own. Tubular!

It’s just long enough: The game can be completed in between one and two sittings. It is 16 levels long divided up into 5 chapters. There was no difficulty setting to make it harder or easier. Normally, I would want more meat with a game length,  but, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles has always been about getting friends together and playing the game over and over, even though you know what’s going to happen next and how the story ultimately ends.


What doesn’t Work: 

The music is borderline muted:  Ok, so there is music in the game but it’s played at such a low level that, if you’re not listening hard enough, you would swear that it’s non-existent ( and I couldn’t find an option to bring the music up either). You can however, hear the voice samples from the turtles and all of the villians (and I mean all of them) crystal clear. Although, the samples are really varied and can be entertaining hearing them the first few times through, they get really annoying fast. The only sample that I did like was when Michaelangelo  would say, “Hey! We’re almost there!”, as that was the signal that the end of the level was close by. It’s a shame too because, a rocking soundtrack could have really put this game over the top.


So, in all, is this game good? Yes it is. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles can bring back a feeling of nostalgia that a lot of modern games either cannot replicate or have just decided to abandon all together. Is it perfect? No. But it is worth a play through either as a time killer that you can come back to periodically or as a way to spend an afternoon with friends.