Written by  :  Guy Chapman (2001)
Written on  :  Feb 23, 2005
Platform  :  GameCube
Rating  :  4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars

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Old-School, Yet Missing One Important Element.

The Good

To start, the main pull was the graphics. This visual effects are great, with the cel-shading, and cartoony attacks. It's an impressive looking and well animated title to watch, and each turtle behaves differently, unlike the original arcade games of yore. The cut scenes also blend in well with the style, and help to advance the story, which seems based off plot lines from the new series.

The "authenticity" factor is further enhanced by having the actual voice-overs from the show, which is a cool feature.

And to it's credit, it feels like one of the old-school Turtle games. Lots of enemies to fight, things to smash.... If you like a good stomping through button-masher, this works pretty well. And I do like the fact that going through bonus rounds gives new attack abilities. Clever move for an attempt to broaden the game's depth. And there's also a lot of cool bonus features, including some great choices for unlockable characters.

The Bad

I can't go any farther without hitting the biggest problem: It's not four-player, and there's no excuse for that. Sure, they adjusted that in the sequel, but for this game, how they dropped the ball on such an important feature is beyond me. Konami was well-known for its 4-player madness in the late '80' - early '90's. The fact that they didn't do it here is just puzzling.

The voices? Authentic, but repetitive. If you're going to use voices for attacks, Konami, keep it diverse. And they didn't. Hearing Michelangelo scream "Eat feet" over and over during his attack... well, it's a bit much. The music is also on the forgettable side. It's a shame that the new "Turtles" theme wasn't quite as catchy as the old one. I barely remember the music in this game, if at all.

In terms of difficulty, this game ramps up pretty high, and stays tough, even for two players. That junkyard robot boss will just destroy players, and I don't like that. If they're going to be tough or have a high life bar, that's one thing. But don't make some lower-ranking boss a huge time-consuming process. It kills the mood. Wait until the end so that it's more worthwhile.

The Bottom Line

Don't get me wrong. As an old-school gamer, I freaked when Konami announced that a new TMNT game was on the way after all these years. And for most respects, I was happy. It's just that it killed me when I found out that the game was only two-player, and for this game, that just doesn't seem right.

The game does a good job emulating the old games, while adding some new features to make the game more "now". I liked the presentation. I liked the graphics and authenticity of the (overused) voices. I'm just glad that the "beat 'em up" genre has made something of a return again, because these types of games were among my favorites. But no matter the attempt, I just feel like something is missing.

And it's that 4-player thing.

You can tell the people who made this game were Turtle fans just by the bonus content alone, and some of the original programmers worked on this game as well. Still a fun enough game, but it's not the full return home that you would expect or even hope for.