tmnt-re-shelled1

Genre: Beat ’em up
Year: 2009
Developed by: Ubisoft Singapore
Published by: Ubisoft
Platforms: Xbox Live Arcade, Playstation Network
#465
Feeling Like: No deposit, no return

It’s our (mine? eh, the royal our) second Ninja Turtles title! Normally this would be a cause for celebration, as I have an unabashed love for the four heroes in a half shell. The concept is silly, but we all have our childish vices that never really fade away (without a trace). For some, it’s their favorite type of ice cream. Others, a book their mom used to read them at night. For me it’s the Ninja Turtles. And pro wrestling. And video games. And cartoons. And lots of other things…let’s move on before I convince myself to stop the blog.

Sadly, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time Re-Shelled is more Ghostbusters than Stranger Things. To take my favorite Beat ’em up of all time, re-skin (or reuse, rehash, or recycle) it and somehow make it look and sound worse than a game released 25 years ago astounds me. I take this as a personal insult, hence why this game is listed in the Dregs and not a couple of hundred spots higher.

The game is still an archaic favorite. The addition of  four player co-op instead of two is one of the welcomed major additions. Multiplayer Ninja Turtles was always superior to single player. Everybody has a favorite turtle and thanks to their colorful bandannas and signature weapons, there’s never much doubt who you’re playing as during the melees. It’s simple, basic comfort food. Like pizza.

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I will begrudgingly admit that the cut-scenes look pretty good.

My failure to research the game, instead of blindly relying on nostalgia, led me to truly regret my purchase. Not playing it, but spending money to reward this kind of cash grab. Oh sure, flinging foot soldiers directly into the screen is hilarious and smashing them around like the Hulk did to Loki is both effective and satisfying. But there’s just not much here. Action certainly feels more button mashy than before, and infinitely less satisfying. It really does show how far games have come, and genres like the Beat ’em up have been succeeded by others that require a little more than going right and hitting the attack button.

It’s not all bad. The allowance of attacking in eight directions instead of two makes the surfing levels much more manageable. Familiar faces return, but why deny me the pleasure of seeing Bebop and Rocksteady in pirate costumes? It’s these kinds of changes that I would accept if they worked, but they don’t. Turtles in Time is one of the classic titles I grew up renting and have fond memories of. Re-Shelled just reminds me of how far we’ve come and that I shouldn’t go reaching into past waters too often.

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